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Open and U23 Finn Europeans in Csopak, Hungary - Day 3

by Robert Deaves 16 May 10:23 PDT 14-18 May 2023

The U23 Finn World Champion, Domonkos Nemeth from Hungary, laid down a marker on the third day of the 2023 Open and U23 Finn Europeans in Csopak, Hungary with two emphatic wins that puts him back at the top of the leader board at the halfway stage. Laurent Hay, from France, drops to second with Filipe Silva, from Portugal, back in third.

It was a wet day on Lake Balaton with 12-16 knots, heavy rain, bad visibility and cold air. But it was still a good day for sailing. Though three races were planned, the fleet was sent home after two races with a wind warning elsewhere on the lake. No one really complained though as the races were good and everyone was thoroughly cold and wet.

The right side paid in Race 4 with Nemeth leading Silva and Poland's Bartosz Szydlowski round the top mark. Hay rounded in fourth and was up to third by the gate and then moved up to second by the finish with Silva crossing third.

The fifth race was quite tricky, though again Nemeth rounded first. Silva was in second again with Elemér Haidekker, from Hungary, in third. Haidekker was fast downwind and stretched away from the pack as much as Nemeth stretched out a lead at the front and the two put some significant air between themselves at the fleet and for an easy 1,2, with Silva holding on for third. A 5, 2 today for Haidekker moves him up to fourth overall. Hay struggled in the second race to cross in 11th, but discards this with five races now sailed.

Joost Houweling, from The Netherlands, is up to 18th overall after a 16th and 12th today.

"We had some special conditions today. Lots and lots of rain. We had hard conditions, we couldn't see the marks, but in the end, it was hard for the race officer as well with those shifting conditions. I think he managed to put in two nice races, and I think we had an average of 15 knots. Let's see what happens tomorrow."

He was generally happy with his performance so far, but it was, "a bit of a struggle. The last event I sailed was Miami Gold Cup, and after that, I couldn't sail due to some physical issues, but I'm back at it and I'm happy to be here and see all these new faces from Eastern Europe. We are having a good time."

At just 18 years old, Atilla Svatits, from Hungary has been sailing the Finn for a year. After placing second in Monday's light wind race, he found today much tougher. He sits in 28th after five races.

"It was quite a challenging day, we had quite some wind, and there was a lot of rain, so it was very hard to see the wind conditions. We had two good races today. In the first race there was a bit less wind than in the second one.

"I'm just 18, so I'm hoping to achieve a great place in the under 23 category, although, today for me, it wasn't the best day. Yesterday it was much better, we had lighter conditions and moderate wind with sunshine, so we are hoping to have a better day tomorrow with a bit less wind, even if, as the forecast says now, there will be much stronger winds.

"I competed in the Silver Cup in 2021, but that was just a quick introduction to the Finn, as it was my first race. I hope to compete in this year's Silver Cup, and I would like to play it better than last time. I enjoy sailing and the Finn, it is a great boat, I have to say, and I'm learning as I go sailing, and it's going well."

There are two days and potentially five races left in this championship. Racing at Csopak is scheduled to continue Wednesday at 10.00, with possibly three races if conditions allow, though very strong winds are forecast.

Results after five races

1 HUN 80 Domonkos NÉMETH 4
2 FRA 75 Laurent HAŸ 10
3 POR 21 Filipe SILVA 15
4 HUN 911 Elemér Péter HAIDEKKER 21
5 ITA 983 Alessandro MAREGA 21
6 POL 6 Bartosz SZYDLOWSKI 25
7 GBR 74 Lawrence CRISPIN 26
8 FRA 38 Audoin MICHEL 36
9 RSA 1 Ian AINSLIE 43
10 UKR 7 Volodymyr STASYUK 44

See full results here

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