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Open and U23 Finn Europeans in Csopak, Hungary - Day 4

by Robert Deaves 17 May 22:51 BST 14-18 May 2023

Domonkos Nemeth from Hungary took three more race wins on the fourth day of the 2023 Open and U23 Finn Europeans in Csopak, Hungary to take a commanding lead with just one more day to sail. Laurent Hay, from France, had the next best day to consolidate his second place while Filipe Silva, from Portugal, remains in third, but by a narrow margin.

With a storm warning for later in the day, the intention was for three races before the wind became too strong. The first race was sailed in 10-12 knots, but midway through the second race it crept up to 20 knots and the final race was sailed in 25-30 knots. It was a hectic and cold day on the water.

Race 6 was pretty shifty in the offshore northerly breeze. Kantor Zsigmond, from Hungary, found the best way up the beat to round first, but Nemeth was fastest downwind to take the lead by the gate and extend to win. Silva was best of the rest for second with Alessandro Marega, from Italy, in third.

In the next two races in the stronger breeze, Nemeth was untouchable, leading at the first mark and extending for comfortable wins. Hay sailed exceptionally well in the breeze to score two second places while Marega picked up two thirds.

So, Nemeth takes an 11 point lead with two races to sail. Hay meanwhile has an 11-point lead over Silva, who has a one point lead over Marega. Only 19 boats made it through to the final race of the day; it was a tough day on the water.

A special mention today goes to Hungary's Tibor Pallay for rescuing fellow Finn sailor Tomas Mihalik from Slovakia, who had become detached from his boat following a capsize. Pallay fished him out of the water and delivered him back to his boat before finishing the race. He was later granted redress back to the tenth place he had abandoned.

Laurent Hay said, "Today it was very tough because we had a lot of wind and it was very choppy with waves and with 20-30 knots, so it was difficult but I'm happy because I had three good races, so it's a good day for me."

Silva stays in third place by just one point after posting a 2-7-6 today.

"It was difficult day and very windy. The first race was less windy, and I managed to be second and the following two races too much wind but I managed to maintain third place overall so I think there will be a battle tomorrow for the podium. There's everything still to play for and lot can still change, so the game is on for tomorrow."

On the conditions, "It was very shifty today, the north wind was bringing shifts of 15 to 20 degrees, and you have to be very sharp to sail in these conditions. The expected storm didn't really reach us, but the wind increased quite a lot. I believe the last race we finished in 25 knots, so it was pretty tough out there.

"Sailing downwind was very difficult. 25 knots downwind is always tough. It wasn't so wavy as we were so close to shore so there was no time for the waves to pick up so pretty flat but still very difficult downwind."

Two races are scheduled for the final day of racing in Csopak on Thursday and while Nemeth only needs one good race to secure both the senior and U23 European titles, the other podium places are still up for grabs. Hay has the advantage, but it's all on for the final day.

Results after Day 4: (top ten, 8 races)

1 HUN 80 Domonkos NÉMETH 7pts
2 FRA 75 Laurent HAŸ 18pts
3 POR 21 Filipe SILVA 29pts
4 ITA 983 Alessandro MAREGA 30pts
5 HUN 911 Elemér Péter HAIDEKKER 44pts
6 POL 6 Bartosz SZYDLOWSKI 47pts
7 GBR 74 Lawrence CRISPIN 52pts
8 RSA 1 Ian AINSLIE 56pts
10 HUN 5 Tibor PALLAY 88pts

See full results here

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