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Open and U23 Finn Europeans in Csopak, Hungary - Day 1

by Robert Deaves 14 May 10:24 PDT 14-18 May 2023

Domonkos Nemeth dominates tough opening day

Hungary's Domonkos Nemeth won both races on the opening day of the 2023 Open and U23 Finn Europeans at Csopak on Lake Balaton, on Sunday. Laurent Hay, from France is in second with Filipe Silva, from Portugal in third. 70 Finn sailors from 21 nations are taking part.

Strong winds, big waves (for Balaton) and incessant rain provided a great challenge for the sailors as much as for the race management, but pretty much without exception, everyone came off the water with happy faces, despite the inclement and cold conditions, for it was a great day to be racing a Finn.

Nemeth had a comfortable win in Race 1, leading at the first mark and extending on every leg to take the gun. At the first mark Poland's Bartosz Szydlowksi rounded a close second with Lawrence Crispin from Britain in third. While Crispin moved up to second by the finish, Szydlowksi dropped to fifth, with Hay moving from fifth at the top to third at the finish with the wind increasing to 20 knots.

The breeze was still up at the start of Race 2 but dropped on the first beat to 13-15 knots and produced some big shifts. Hay led the French team round the top mark, with Nemeth further back but in the top 10. Hay maintained his lead downwind and up the second beat, though Nemeth was on a charge and rounded the final top mark just behind the Frenchman. He then passed Hay downwind to take the second win of the day. Hay crossed in second with Italy's Alessandro Marega ending a great day to cross in third.

Nemeth commented on the conditions. "We are soaking wet, the rain is super big, it was like 15-20 knots all day long, it was really raining all the time. We normally never have these conditions in Balaton, so it's only for you.

"The first race was pretty easy, I found my lane and my speed and finished first. In the second one I went to the left side on the first shift, so it was not that good, but I managed to catch up and finish first in that race as well, so I'm pretty happy with that.

On the event coming to Balaton, "We are super happy, we are thankful that everybody could make it, so thanks for coming here to Hungary.

On the conditions for the rest of the week, "Everything, everything, we will have no wind, more wind, less wind, every wind; best workout ever."

Bartosz Szydlowksi commented on his day, "Tough conditions for me, I have problems with this wind, which was very fast and tricky, shifty, big waves, but I liked it, it's a very good regatta here in Balaton. I was focused on some good sailing. It's hard to find one key moment. I think it's really cold here and it's really hard. I hope the next day will be much better."

Racing is schedule to continue Monday at 11.00 with lighter wind and less rain forecast.

Results after Day 1: (top ten, 2 races)

1 HUN 80 Domonkos NÉMETH 2pts
2 FRA 75 Laurent HAŸ 5pts
3 POR 21 Filipe SILVA 8pts
4 GBR 74 Lawrence CRISPIN 9pts
5 ITA 983 Alessandro MAREGA 10pts
6 FRA 38 Audoin McHEL 15pts
7 AUS 330 James BEVIS 18pts
8 HUN 50 Akos LUKATS 19pts
9 UKR 7 Volodymyr STASYUK 19pts
10 HUN 911 Elemér Péter HAIDEKKER 20pts

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