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Slater rules day one at Finn Gold Cup

'Dan Slater, NZL'    Jeff Crow/ Sport the Library ©

There was no sharing from Dan Slater at the 2008 Finn Gold Cup in Melbourne. The New Zealander won the first two races after patiently tailing the race leader and delivering the final blow on the last downwind leg to the finish.

Expected front-runners were left trailing as the Kiwi propelled himself clear of the fleet, with the best possible start. Britain´s Ben Ainslie, chasing a fifth Gold Cup title, recovered from average starts to place eighth overall, Ed Wright is 10th and Junior division competitor, Giles Scott is 11th.

The first race was sailed in moderate winds increasing from 7 to 10 knots. Light shifts made racing tricky and crowded mark rounding created enough turmoil to upset placings.

In the first race, Giorgio Poggi (ITA) who had finished 11th at the 2008 Sail Melbourne regatta last week, repeated his early form to lead the first race until the last down wind and crossed the line in third placed. The Italian lost two places on the last run to Slater and Harris Papadopoulos (CYP).

Papadopoulos stepped into a Finn only 6 months ago, having his first race at the Olympic test event in China, last August. Since then, the ex-laser sailor has intensively trained with Emilios Papathanasiou and other top sailors in Greece and made great progress. The regatta started well for Indian Nitin Mongia (IND) who finished in 13th position after sailing smartly in light and shifty conditions.

The second race started with freshening breeze from 11 to 15 knots. Free pumping provided fun downwind sailing and a slight advantage to the favourites, well trained for this sailing style.

Matthias Bohn (GER) took a great start at the committee boat and played the shift to round the top mark ahead of Dan Slater (NZL), Gaston Pal (HUN) and Nick Burfoot (NZL). Bohn covered his opponents all race, but hurt his elbow on the last downwind. It was enough distraction for Dan Slater to close the gap and take his second bullet in front of Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE) and Peter-Jan Postma (NED). Matthias Bohn crossed the line in 9th position.

It wasn’t the conditions expected by the favourites. Some of them collected heavy scores that could jeopardise their overall placings if repeated. While Ben Ainslie caught up from average starts to 4 and 11th places, World Champion Rafael Trujillo (ESP) never recovered from bad starts scoring 58 points on his first day. “Just one of these bad days!” commented his coach on the shore.

Ed Wright had an 11th and a 21st for an 11th overall, while

Dan Slater is leading the scoreboard in front of Emilios Papathanasiou (GRE) and Giorgio Poggi (ITA). In the Junior division, Giles Scott (GBR), placed 11th overall after a fifth and a 28th and is dominating his opponents by an impressive margin.

Finn - Overall positions after 2 races

1 NZL Dan Slater 1 1 2
2 GRE A. Papathanasiou 2 6 8
3 ITA Giorgio Poggi 7 3 10
4 DEN Jonas H Gh-christens 4 8 12
5 NED Pieter Jan Postma 3 11 14
6 NOR Peer Moberg 10 5 15
7 SWE Johan Tillander 6 9 15
8 GBR Ben Ainslie 13 4 17
9 AUS Anthony Nossiter 15 10 25
10 GBR Edward Wright 11 21 32
11 GBR Giles Scott 5 28 33 Jnr
12 CAN Chris Cook 19 15 34
13 ITA Riccardo Cordovani 18 18 36
14 CRO Ivan Kljakovic Ga P 12 26 38
15 AUT Florian Raudaschl 22 17 39
16 CYP Haris Papadopoulos 43 2 45
17 RUS Eduard Skornyakov 33 12 45
18 FIN Tapio Nirkko 44 7 51
19 GBR Mark Andrews 35 16 51
20 FRA Guillaume Florent 31 20 51
21 SWE Daniel Birgmark 20 33 53
22 IRL Timothy Goodbody 29 25 54
23 UKR Oleksiy Borysov 21 34 55
24 GER Matthias Bohn 9 47 56
25 POL Rafal Szukiel 24 32 56
26 ESP Rafael Trujillo 16 42 58
27 FRA Jonathan Lobert 34 24 58
28 GBR Ed Greig 38 22 60
29 POL Waclaw Szukiel 45 19 64
30 AUS Nik Burfoot 17 48 65
31 CHN Tianyu Ren 27 38 65
32 ITA Michele Paoletti 30 35 65
33 IND Nitin Mongia 53 13 66
34 SLO Gasper Vincec 14 54 68
35 FRA Ismael Bruno 26 44 70
36 CHN Peng Zhang 40 30 70
37 CRO Marin Misura 58 14 72
38 CZE Michael Maier 32 41 73
39 GBR Andrew Mills 8 66 74
40 CHN Bo Liu 51 23 74
41 CZE Michal Hruby 47 31 78
42 POL Piotr Kula 37 43 80 Jnr
43 NED Karel Van Hellemond 56 29 85
44 USA Zach Railey 39 46 85
45 RUS Dmitrii Tereshkin 46 39 85
46 POR Frederico Melo 23 65 88 Jnr
47 GBR Henry Bagnall 50 40 90 Jnr
48 HUN Tibor Pallay 66 27 93
49 ESP Diego Fructuoso 41 53 94
50 IND Nachhatar Johal 28 67 95
51 HUN Gaszton P L 25 72 97
52 TUR Ali Kemal T Fekci 42 57 99
53 TUR Akif Muslubas 54 49 103
54 EST Harles Liiv 52 52 104
55 AUS Michael Williams 61 45 106
56 CHN Lei Gong 55 51 106
57 GER Jan Kurfeld 71 36 107 Jnr
58 UKR Andriy Gusenko 49 59 108 Jnr
59 NED Sander Willems 36 73 109
60 CRO Josip Olujic 73 37 110 Jnr
61 USA Ian Cook 57 55 112
62 AUS James Paterson 48 69 117
63 BUL Mihail Kopanov 69 50 119
64 AUS Brendan Casey 63 56 119
65 CHN Aiming Chen 59 62 121
66 VEN Johnny Bilbao 60 61 121
67 AUS Rob Mcmillan 67 60 127
68 ITA Marko Kolic 65 63 128
69 NED Bas De Waal 72 58 130
70 AUS Warwick Hill 62 68 130
71 ITA Francesco Lubrano 68 71 139
72 AUS Christopher Pratt 64 77 141
73 GER Uwe Barthel 76 70 146
74 AUS Geoffrey Francis 70 79 149
75 AUS John Shallvey 75 74 149
76 ESP Luca Devoti 88.00C 64 152
77 AUS Anthony Wood 74 78 152
78 AUS Dirk Seret 79 75 154
79 SVK Robert Poor 78 80 158
80 GBR Edward Thorburn 77 82 159
81 AUS Brian Reynolds 80 81 161
82 POR Rodrigo Quina 88.00C 76 164
83 AUS John Condie 88.00C 88.00C 176
83 GBR Sander Kooij 88.00C 88.00C 176
83 ITA Paolo Cisbani 88.00C 88.00C 176
83 USA Philip Toth 88.00C 88.00C 176
83 RUS Egor Larionov 88.00C 88.00C 176 Jnr

One race is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

by Corinne McKenzie


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3:19 PM Wed 23 Jan 2008 GMT

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