The water was nearly boiling in the tense moments at the starts on the
second day of the Pata Boats Finn Junior World Championship on Lake Balaton
in Hungary. Although a start was attempted three times, the young Finn
sailors could not complete a valid race due to very light winds.
This most bothered Róbert Bakóczy (HUN) and Filippo Baldassari (ITA) having
been in first and second round the top mark in the race that did get away
before it was abandoned. Unfortunately, according to the rules, no race can
be held in under 5 knots.
The second day of the championship began just like the first; with the
sailors waiting on the shore. After two races Sunday, Jorge Zarif (BRA) was
leading and was sailing with a yellow sticker on his sail, second Alican
Kaynar (TUR) with blue and third was Róbert Bakóczy (HUN) with a red
Wind conditions improved during the day, so around noon, the fleet started
to take to the water. The first race began in bright sunshine and around 4-6
knots of wind from the south. Almost half of the boats, keen to get sailing,
were over resulting in a general recall. Eight boats were pulled out on the next
start under the black flag. These included Kaynar, Yiannis Mitakis (GRE) and
Ian Cook (USA).
On the third, successful start, the pin end buoy was very crowded, with
sixth overall Andriy Gusenko (UKR), who first had to re-round the buoy again
for touching it and, in addition, picked up a 720 degree turn for pumping.
After the start Bakóczy (HUN) sailed clear of the fleet, but Filippo
Baldassari (ITA) and Zarif approached the first upwind mark close behind.
Afterwards, the wind dropped so much that the race committee had little
choice but to abandon the race.
After this, sailors had to wait on shore again. In the afternoon, the wind
increased a little in Füred bay, but it was still too calm for racing to
take place and it was eventually abandoned for the day.
Reaching the shore, Bakóczy spoke of his disappointment: “Calling off the
race is vexing me much. I was in a great position and I could have won my
first race in the championship.”
Baldassari shared his experiences during an international ping-pong match.
“I am absolutely new in the Finn fleet and I started only in February with
this boat. Before that I sailed Laser. I do not really know anybody yet, and
the local wind conditions here are very strange for me. I am used to much
stronger winds. Although yesterday I made many mistakes, and I received a
yellow flag punishment, I feel satisfied with my eighth position. My goal is
to finish in the top ten.”
Among Finn sailors, the Hungarian Finn boat constructor Gábor Antal, owner
of Pata Boats and former Finn sailor, was very popular. Team leaders and
sailors gathered around him and talked about all things Finn.
At the end of the day, the Finn Class party made all the disappointment go
away. Here, beside a film show of photographs from the first racing days,
sailors were entertained and fascinated by the bikini show of the finalists
of the Királyno beauty contest.
Wind permitting, racing continues on Tuesday. A series of nine opening races
is scheduled, with the medal race and final race for the rest scheduled for
Thursday 6th August.
– Julia David