Britain’s Ed Wright has won the Finn Gold Cup in Miami, USA, after no racing was possible on the final day on Biscayne Bay. Domonkos Nemeth, from Hungary, went one better than 2022 and took the silver while European Champion, Miguel Fernandez Vasco, from Spain took the bronze.
The fleet was sent out an hour early to try to make the best of the wind conditions, but the breeze was already dying and after a short wait AP over A was signalled to end the regatta as no more breeze was expected until after the time limit.
Fernandez Vasco was elated with the bronze, coming just four months after the European title.
“I am really happy because in three months I have won the Finn Europeans and now I finished the Finn Gold Cup in third, so it’s a dream for me.
“This year I am going to stop sailing and I’ll try hard to get the title at the next Gold Cup. I am taking nine months break also because I haven’t really stopped sailing from the previous Gold Cup and this Gold Cup was very close to the Europeans, so it’s a lot of time that I’ve dedicated to the Finn.
“Miami is fantastic. If we do the Gold Cup another time here, I will come back for sure.”
Taking the silver, Nemeth said, “It’s been a really nice week in Miami. We were sailing really good, with very nice conditions. It was really nice sailing with super good people, the organisation was really good, I really liked it and I hope to see more of these sailors at the Europeans.
“I am super happy with the silver medal. It’s really thrilling to be honest, super good guys were here and it was really tight at the end. I am happy to compete against these guys and it was good to test my skills in another boat, [he sailed the TT2 this week] which I am not used to. It was good to test my skills also in the lighter winds. I am really happy with my sailing to be honest.”
On the future, “I am definitely going to sail the Finn while I am a junior. I am 20, so I have more time. I started doing a bit of iQFoiling but I don’t know how it will end. I am also sailing in the SSL with the Hungarian team. We really hope that the event is going to be held, so I don’t know what the future holds, I just want to sail as much as I can.”
Ed Wright, who also sailed a TT2 Finn, last won the Finn Gold Cup 12 years ago in San Francisco, the longest gap in Finn Gold Cup history for first and second titles.
Since then, “Many times I’ve been second or third, so probably I’ve been knocking on the door a bunch of times; it’s a nice feeling to win it again.
“It was a stressful day with very light winds, but we didn’t race today in the end so by default I got the win. It’s been a fun week and it’s nice to be back after a few years off the boat, I think it was 2019 the last time I was in the Finn, so it was really nice racing, and I really had a nice week.”
He said the competition was actually really hard. “The other guys have definitely picked up the level by training hard and there’s a couple young sailors that are improving, so let’s see what’s happening with the Finn Class in the future.
“Coconut Grove Sailing Club put together a great event, the race officer was outstanding this week, really hats off to her and everything went amazingly, it was a well oiled regatta.”
On future Finn events. “We will see, you never say never.”
Finn fans will see that the TT2 Finn has now won the last two Finn Gold Cups. Gear breakdowns will be published in the coming weeks.
For the American fleet this event has hopefully been a catalyst for further growth and development, and it is healthier now than it has been for a long time with growing numbers, new boats and a new builder on the horizon.
Gus Miller, the oldest person ever to sail a Finn Gold Cup finished 53rd overall. The highlight was Race 7 when he rounded the top mark in the top 20 to whoops from those watching this remarkable sailor. He finished 33rd in that race. Even at 87 years old his mark roundings were flawlessly smooth, and he even had his luff curve recut prior to the event, critiquing it with his experienced eyes. He inspired admiration and awe from all the other competitors, many of whom helped him get afloat each day.
Through the week the fleet has been joined by other icons of American Finn sailing, John Bertrand did some coaching, Cam Lewis turned up and recounted many old and gaudy stories to the younger sailors and Peter Harken also showed up for a while.
A final word about Coconut Grove Sailing Club. A huge band of enthusiastic volunteers has made this event possible with food and the Bacardi Bar available off the water every day. The race management was impeccable, the hospitality was second to none, the Miami weather delivered, and everyone had a finntastically fun and memorable regatta. Everyone who made the effort to travel to Miami was rewarded with an awesome event on and off the water. The Finn class and Finn culture lives on and goes from strength to strength.
Ed Wright remains world champion for 17 months with the next Finn Gold Cup heading back to another old Finn haunt, at Anzio in Italy, in May 2024. We are looking forward to it already…
Final results after 8 races
1 GBR 111 Ed Wright 11
2 HUN 80 Domonkos Nemeth 22
3 ESP 161 Miguel Fernandez Vasco 26
4 FRA 75 Laurent Hay 34
5 ITA 171 Federico Colaninno 35
6 USA 186 James Golden 59
7 USA 16 Rodion Mazin 61
8 BRA 53 Pedro Trouche 62
9 ITA 40 Marko Kolic 68
10 BRA 32 Pedro Lodovici 74
Full photo gallery here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/finnclassphotos/albums/72177720305663002
Highlights from Day 5 (click for video)