Following is the report from our correspondent on the ground at the 2014 World Radial Championship......
The Open Mens Radial has drawn to a close. 75 competitors, 2 races each day, over 5 days. Held in the Baltic Sea. Air temp is 28C but water is chilly.
Day 1: 25K knts 3-4m waves. Very hard going for Finn as the youngest and one of the lightest in the fleet. Battling to keep it together, deep on the start line for these two races.
Downwind leg, Finn is lip-launched and the boat is completely out of the water, including foils… capsize. 34th, 33rd. A tough day…
Interestingly the Polish Standard team have jumped into Radials for this regatta…they start to dominate.
Day 2. Slightly better conditions 20knts but still big seas. Finn getting to understand start line tactics and negotiations on the world stage. He has good boat speed, and starting to race, rather than survive! Still deep in one of the starts, he shows good down wind speed and makes up 20 places. 26th, 24th.
Day 3. Wind 18 Knts, Seas 1-2 meters. Finn nails both starts. Game on, its time to race. Holding 4th for most of the race, he picks the wrong side of the last work and lets in a few of the seasoned campaigners. A 12th, a 10th.
Day 4. Similar Conditions as previous day. Finn is learning more about the starts but still finding in tough to get on the front line, let alone a clear lane. First race a 12th, next race, deep in the start, but fights back to a credible 18th.
Day 5. After a night of reviewing the days racing and writing down some notes, Finn takes to the water with fierce determination to nail the starts. He does exactly this and wins the Pin on race 1 and blasts off the line on race 2. Finn takes his first podium finish, a 2nd, then a 4th in the next and final race of the regatta.
Post racing, Finn humbly accepts the growing interest and admiration in his speed on the race track, particularly from the seasoned world campaigners.
The Youth worlds commences in 2 days time, so it’s time for Finn and Clare to rest up and prep for the 6 day youth regatta, with over 200 competitors due to arrive.
Link to results:
The regatta website has live twitter feeds, (typically around 8pm AEST) and I believe some GPS tracking may be happening.
Team Alexander send greetings to everyone in Australia!
Commenting on the result from a garden party at Martha's Vineyard, Dear Leader said:
"An outstanding result on Finn's first overseas campaign. I have now decided that the day Finn starts to sail a full rig, I will be retiring to a Radial. The new Grasshopper would have snatched the pebble from me! Best of luck in the Youth's".