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Junior chasing bronze at Finn Europeans

Junior chasing bronze at Finn Europeans

Josh Junior will battle it out for bronze at the Finn European Championships in Spain tonight (NZ time) but will also battle the elements.

The 28-year-old will go into the double-points top-10 medal race in fifth, but only four points behind world champion Max Salminen from Sweden in third. The pair are two of four sailors who have a realistic chance of finishing third which will add a different dynamic on the final day given only 10 of the 91 sailors who have been competing this week will take to the water tonight.

Nicholas Heiner (Netherlands) and Edward Wright (Great Britain) will be engaged in their own race with the pair fighting it out for gold, leaving the rest of the sailors to decide who joins them on the podium.

Andy Maloney narrowly missed out on a spot in the top 10 finishing 11th overall, two points off qualifying for the medal race, but it represents a good result in his first major regatta since switching from the Laser to the Finn. Brendan McCarty finished 39th.

Strong winds and big waves have been battering Cadiz for the last couple of days and they are expected to be even bigger tonight (NZ time) with 25 knots forecast.

"I'll just try to get around the race course as well as I can and try to keep as many guys as I can behind me," Junior said. "I'm pretty good across all wind ranges so we'll see how it goes.

"It's pretty cool to be fighting it out for a medal in my first regatta [since the Rio Olympics]. I came over here with no expectations so to be in the hunt is a good start. I have plenty of things to work on and I'm improving all the time."

Only one race was possible overnight, with the race committee running out of time after a delayed start due to a lack of wind. Once it arrived it provided perfect conditions with strong winds and big waves, with Junior finishing 19th and Maloney 10th.

"I started pretty well but just let a few boats in at the end," Junior said.

The leaderboard had shuffled a little before they even started after the second race of the previous day was scrubbed following a handful of protests. The race committee had laid the top mark about 30 degrees off course, which meant it wasn't where many competitors expected it to be.

It proved advantageous for Maloney, who had crossed 22nd in that race, but it wasn't enough to help him sneak into the medal race.

"I would have loved to have been in the medal race because it's a fun race but I can definitely take a lot of confidence out of the week," Maloney said.

"I improved a lot in the last couple of days but it just took me too long in the week to feel comfortable in big fleets again and I didn't get off the start line well enough. Considering all that, to just miss out on the medal race, I'm pretty happy. If I can iron out a few things I will get myself closer to the podium [at future regattas]."
Results and standings after the fifth day of the Finn European championships in Cadiz, Spain, overnight (NZ time):
1st: Nicholas Heiner (NED) 1 7 2 1 (17) 5 12 14 - 42 points
2nd: Edward Wright (GBR) 9 1 5 7 (20) 3 5 17 - 47 pts
3rd: Max Salminen (SWE) (31) 18 1 5 11 2 23 7 - 67 pts
5th: Josh Junior (NZL) 6 (43) 4 4 25 9 4 19 - 71 pts
11th: Andy Maloney (NZL) 12 15 24 (29) 12 20 3 10 - 96 pts
39th: Brendan McCarty (NZ) 30 24 29 (49) 45 46 32 42 - 248 pts

See here for full results.

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