Working with the young Finnish film maker Rasmus Tikkanen, the Finn Class has released a cool video of the exciting medal race at the Open European Championships in Helsinki on July 14th. Watch the top ten battle for supremacy in a tight race just offshore from the Open European Helsinki 2011 venue at Hernesaari, just west of Helsinki city centre.
Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO 524) went into the medal race with a six point lead over second placed Giles Scott (GBR 41). The battle for the overall title was between these two. In the pre-start Scott forced Kljakovic Gaspic into starting at the unfavoured end and then stayed on the right to control his opponent and eventually take the lead and cross the finish with the vital two boats between them to win his first ever major international Finn title.
Third placed Andrew Mills (GBR 85) carried an 11 point lead into the medal race over fourth placed Thomas Le Breton (FRA 29). Only one of these two could win the bronze, the rest of the field were too far behind on points. Mills also attacked Le Breton in the pre-start, and even though he took a penalty, still managed to come out ahead to put a close cover on his opponent throughout the race to keep his hands on third place overall. This was Mills' first ever major championship podium place.
The other contestants in the medal race included Pieter Jan Postma (NED 842), double Olympic Laser medalist Vasilij Zbogar (SLO 573), third at the Europeans in 2010 Daniel Birgmark (SWE 11), 2004 Olympic Silver medalist and 2007 World Champion Rafael Trujillo (ESP 100), 2006 European champion and current World Champion Ed Wright (GBR 11), and Marin Misura (CRO 25). It was one of the toughest medal race line ups of the year.
Watch the thrilling race unfold and listen to what Scott, Mills and the GBR coach Matt Howard had to say.