The 2023 J24 European Championship continued with two more races on Lake Balaton on Saturday, August 26th. After five races, the Irish team is currently in the lead, with Cillian DICKSON at the helm of „Headcase,” maintaining their top position. In second place is Stefan KARSUNKE skippering „Schwere Jungs,” and in third place, the best Hungarian team is represented by SALLAI Gábor on board „iJroncat,” despite incurring a black flag disqualification during today’s race 5. The introduction of the elimination race after the fifth race has slightly shifted the earlier podium standings.
The fourth day of racing started with a shore postponement in the morning, as the wind conditions only allowed for races to commence at 16:00 in the afternoon. Race 4under the U flag got underway with a 6-7 knot westerly wind and only one over-the-line starter. At the first mark of the fourth race, the order was German sailor Stefan Karsunke („Schwere Jungs”), Hungarian sailor Sallai Gábor („iJroncat”), and Irish sailor Cillian Dickson („Headcase”). However, the finishing order changed to Irish, German, and Hungarian at the finish line. In fourth place was JBond, steered by Tomai Balázs, while the German boat Pfau, helmed by Hauke KRUESS, secured the fifth position.
The start of the fifth race was marked by a general recall following the first attempt, leading the race committee to initiate a black flag start for the second try. As the afternoon progressed, the earlier 6-7 knot average wind significantly dropped during the fifth race. Therefore, the race committee decided to shorten the course and set up the finish line at the 2nd kreutz mark. In the weakened breeze, the results of the fifth race unfolded as follows: the Irish team aboard „Headcase” crossed the finish line first, followed by the Italian boat „La Superba,” skippered by Ignazio Bonanno, and third place went to „El Nino,” steered by Litkey Farkas.
The competition for the podium remains extremely close, with only a few points separating the leading teams. As a result, the European Championship title will likely be determined on the final day of racing.
Stefan KARSUNKE, currently in second place, expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance in the challenging conditions. He stated, „Our goal is to finish in the top 5, and we will be content with that. This isn’t our ideal wind, but we’ll do everything to stay at the front.”
On the last day of racing, Sunday, August 27th, the race committee can start races until 14:00.