The Finnish National Championship was held over the weekend of the 1st July in the Nyländska Jaktklubben in Helsinki.
There were 17 entries – 14 from Finland, and 3 from Estonia. Eight races were held and the closeness of the racing was shown by the fact that there were six different race winners.
In general the racing was very tight and there were many close situations at the marks.The weather brought a variety of conditions, including wind, sun and rain. Everyone enjoyed the hospitality of the NJK club which organised the championship in cooperation with the Finnish Draakon Union.
For the third time in a row the team of Dmitrii Bondarenko, Aleksander Shalagin, and Aleksei Murashkin, sailing in GBR 422, were victorious. Their home port is at Pirita near Tallinn in Estonia. Although they only won one race they made very few mistakes and their pace and speed through the gears in different conditions was very good. They finished with an 11 point margin over the second placed young team of Henri Virkkunen, Patrick Arrila and Manni Borg who maintained the honour of the Finns with a well deserved and closely fought second place overall.
The Gustil XL team (Rene Treifeldt, Mihkel Kosk and Eero Pank) got their first Finnish medal with third overall, and they are very happy about it, because in recent years they did not manage to attend a FIN championship at all. This was some kind of revenge from last year’s Estonian Championship, where last year’s winner Peeter von Koskull had to settle for fourth place in this Finnish Championship.
In Finland, the general level of Dragon sailing is high, and several internationally known names sail along in the Dragon class, some with Olympic medals or world championship titles from other Olympic classes. It was also very good to see new crews in the fleet and some new Dragons for Finland.
Work is continuing for the European Championship in Pärnu in 2024, and the Finns have ambitions to bring a major Dragon competition to the Estonian region by 2026-27, either in the form of the Gold Cup or the organization of a World Championship.