Patrik Pollak, SVK, from Slovakia, is the 2011 Raceboard European Champion. With only one race possible on this the last day of the championship, Patrik was able to sit out the race having amassed a commanding lead over the previous 4 days of racing.
Light wind expert Kazumasa Sugiura from Japan took the final win ahead of Daniel Blinnikka (FIN 5) and Juha Blinnikka (FIN 6)
Top 3 Europeans (and overall):
1st - Patrik Pollak SVK 1
2nd - Juha Blinnikka FIN 6 ( Kazumasa Sugiura JPN 15)
3rd - Jon Tornwall FIN 66
Patrik was also 1st Master
Juha was 1st Grand Master
1st Veteran - Kalevi Mannisto FIN 50
There was always the possibility of thunderstorms, although the forecast predicted they would hit tomorrow. With temperatures rising to 34c on the beach, and no wind, the race officer postponed the first possible start of racing until 14.00hrs.
On time the fleet were called out and one race was finished before the thunder rolled and the rain came. The race brought a new winner - leading grand master Juha Blinnikka (FIN 6).
After a break ashore it was clear that stable winds would not return, and with further thunder and lightening a distinct possibility, it was decided to call it a day.
Overall rankings remain unchanged with 3 races and one day left of these championships.
Check out the interview with event director Anne Karki.
A perfect day for overnight leader Patrik Pollak (SVK 1) - 4 races and 4 wins, which brings the 2011 European title one day closer.
Further down the ranking and there were mixed fortunes. Juha Blinnikka (FIN 6) was the most consistent - and that consistency moved him nearer to Kazumasa Sugiura (JPN 15) who holds onto silver medal position with 2 racing days to go.
A special mention for the race committee under Sanna Paivarinta, Race Officer, delivering 4 perfect races and receiving acclaim of all competitors. Check the interview with Sanna.
With 2 days and 4 races left to complete the championship, all course options are being considered including a long distance race.
There was no change in the podium positions at the end of day two in Yyteri, Finland, however further down the rankings there was movement.
The top five in the overall rankings finished the final race of the day in their current ranking order - with Finish father and son combo of Juha and Daniel Blinnikka holding 3rd and 4th positions.
Racing started on time this morning, we have a very efficient (and young) race committee led by a female race officer, Sanna. Races 5 and 6 were won by Patrik Pollak (SVK 1) and Kazumasa Sugiura (JPN 15) respectively; but after the lunch break Patrik was able to come back with another bullet to keep him securely in Gold medal position.
Full day's racing in sun and wind at the Raceboard Europeans
Racing began today at the Raceboard European Championships in Finland in unseasonal, but very welcome, conditions.
When asked what he thought of the venue, Kasumasa Sugiura exclaimed - without hesitation - "very hot"!
This fact was later verified by Masters World Champion, Patrik Pollak, who quipped - "unusually hot for Finland, not as I expected".
The fact that the wind blew and that 4 races were completed during the afternoon was not, however, unexpected. Patrik won 3 races; Kasumasa won 1 race.
This year's championship is hosted by Yyteri Surfcentre, Yyteri, near Pori. Home of the Finnish Boardsailing Association, the venue offers everything the beach sport of windsurfing requires.
For many 'raceboard' competitors a 4 race schedule was new and presented a challenge - all competitors who started were able to finish. Patrik Pollak, heading the rankings at the end of day one, offered this explanation - "mostly planing races, some tactical, with target time of 30 minutes, for winner, on target".
You can follow the action on Twitter via Raceboard Class website - http://www.raceboard.org/
event website - http://www.purjelautaliitto.fi/EN/RB_EUROPEANS_2011