2010 Finnish Ranking Final
The 2.4 season in Finland always start with the Team National Championships on lake Näsijärvi in Tampere. We are used to see Marko Dahlberg and Rikard Bjurström from the arranging club in Tampere win this event year after year, but this time the team from Helsinki with Harri Malm (bronze in the Worlds in 2006) and Juha Hopponen managed to get the breeze before the Näsijärvi team and was appointed Finnish team champions. The team from Naantali with Jan Forsbom and Janne Laine finished third.
The ranking series consists of six different regattas and the result is counted from the best of five. The first regatta was in late May and the last one in the beginning of September. The last one and the Nationals are given extra points in order to keep up the interest the whole season. This year the system worked extremely well leaving all the top places to be decided in the last regatta. When starting the last
regatta Jan Forsbom, who won the Nationals, was leading followed by Rikard Bjurström and Veikko Martin with Pelle Strömman in forth place.
After the Nationals Jan Forsbom was almost in an impregnable lead but Rikard made a bet with him about a bottle of the world famous Koskenkorva vodka and that enhanced Rikard to win the fifth regatta and gave him extra strength in the last regatta which he clearly won with the score 1,2,1,2,1 leaving others to fight about the rest of the places. Pelle being second in the last regatta made him pass Veikko and Pelle finished third in the whole series. The saying "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings" works especially well in sailing and should always be remembered when we are racing for gold (or as in Rikards case; Koskenkorva).
Among the 52 boats, that got results in the series, special attention should be given Niko Salomaa who is a rookie and finished 8th. A young guy who will be something to count with in future Paralympics. Also Timo Lankinen (last year 21st) with his fifth place and Sauli Ylitalo (12) with his sixth place showed that sailing and more sailing gives better results!
For more specific information about the series in all, please visit the Finnish 2.4 website: www.fin24metre.org
Nisse West, Finnish webmaster