The opening day of the Finn Europeans in Helsinki did not quite live up to expectations. High pressure and no wind meant a long, hot day ashore waiting for the wind to arrive.
Following a series of early postponements in the hope that wind would arrive, the PRO, Peter 'Luigi' Reggio, posted a final postponement until 14.55 but said that if the conditions at 13.20 did not look like they would improve then he would cancel for the day.
He duly kept to his word and at 13.25, racing for Finns was cancelled for the day. He said, 'There is no wind out there. If we sent them out now they would be starting at 3 o'clock in no wind and if any wind did arrive it's not going to be sufficient to give them a good race for the first race of the series. We have plenty of time to catch up and I'd rather wait for better breeze to give them better racing than what might develop today. But even if it might I don't think they'd be happy to go out and race in this after waiting around for four or five hours. That's just wrong, so we blew it off and sent them home.'
British coach Matt Howard couldn't agree more, 'Decisions like today is the reason why the Finn class asks Luigi back time after time.' With the course area around five miles offshore, no racing can start within 90 minutes of releasing the fleet from shore. The longer the delay went on, the more unlikely racing was to happen.
The final confirmed entry was 71 boats from 23 nations including 16 juniors competing for the Junior Finn Europeans.
Rafa Trujillo (ESP) is looking forward to the competition. 'In this European Championship we are somewhat smaller in number than normal, but with a high number of Europeans, lacking only the number one British sailor, but the British still remain favourites to take gold. The British have won all the major regattas this year and it is high time that we made things more difficult for them.'
'I want to take away the thorn in my European curse. In my entire career I have not won a single medal at the Europeans. It is the only regatta in which I participated in that I never got a seat on the podium - all the others, I have at least one medal.' Last year Trujillo went into the medal race in the overall lead and ended up fourth overall, on equal points with the bronze medal but with no chocolates.
Follow the racing as it happens on the event blog at: http://www.openeuropeans2011.com/eventsites/classpage_microsite.asp?eventid=65354&cid=78
This will be updated each day with the Finn Class Twitter feed, photos, blog entries and videos links on the day's action.
Racing will hopefully resume at 11.00 on Sunday, when better wind is forecast. Full fleet racing is scheduled until Wednesday, with the medal race for the top 10 and the final race for the rest on Thursday 14 July.
Event website: www.openeuropeans2011.com
- Event blog