Jorge Zarif leads Finn World Juniors into medal race

Although two starts were attempted, only one race was completed on the
penultimate day of the Pata Boats Finn World Juniors at Balatonfüred in
Hungary. Sailing very well, Jorge Zarif (BRA) won the race and goes into the
medal race with a useful six point lead from Egor Larionov (RUS), and nine
points from Andriy Gusenko (UKR).

The weather was still not on the sailors side on Wednesday, the final day of
qualification races. The usual postponement in the morning was greeted
without surprise. The fleet went afloat at 11 am where they waited another
hour for the start in 6 knots of wind. In the gentle breeze first there was
a general recall, then the race got away under black flag.

After the gun, Richard Hirschler (HUN) got clear and and was leading half
way up the first beat. He kept this great rhythm throughout the whole beat
and led round the top mark ahead of Zarif and Zoltan Zentai (HUN). On the
downwind Hirschler kept his lead and led up the second beat. But Zarif was
not far behind, while and Patrik Deutscher (CZE) had overtaken Zentai on the
downwind.

On the second lap the Brazilian showed fantastic speed. First he passed
Hirschler and then sailed away to leave everybody behind. Zarif is
accustomed to tricky winds, and recognized the falling northerly wind and
sailed towards the fresh westerly wind, he approached the top mark buoy with
an advantage of some 300 metres, which he kept until the finish to take his
second race win in the Championship.

Second was Jakub Pasik (POL), and third was Nikola Baric (CRO), who had not
been in the first 20 of the Championship before. Hirschler finally finished
11th. The other Hungarian hopeful Róbert Bakóczy (HUN) finished the fifth
race in 29th place.

Afterwards, the sailors waited for two hours on the water and then the race
committee sent everyone back ashore. As a slight consolation, warm boiled
corn was waiting the juniors on shore, while everyone was given Pata Boats
caps as gifts personally by the manufacture.

Hoping for an increasing wind, the fleet went afloat again at 17.30. In rain
and a light NE wind, after almost 40 minutes of waiting, a start finally got
away with the usual black flag. At the top mark the first places were shared
between Yiannis Mitakis (GRE), Gusenko and Alexandros Raris (GRE), but
because of the dying wind the race was abandoned on the downwind. Exhausted
and soaked, the sailors ended the day with only one valid race.

In total Zarif has a 6 point lead from Larionov. Third is Gusenko 3 points
further back. The best Hungarian Bakóczy goes into the medal race in 9th
place.

On Thursday, the final day, the best 10 boats will sail in the Medal Race
for the World Championship, while the others will sail in a final race for
other championship positions.

The 16 years old leader Zarif said, “I am glad to sail such a good round
today. For me this tricky wind is not strange, in Brazil I frequently sail
in such conditions. After five races, to win the championship is getting
closer for me. Of course, I cannot make any mistakes now. I am six points
ahead of Larionov, but Gusenko in third is also a strong rival.”

Text and photos: Julia David

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