Light winds mixed the fleet on the fourth day of the 2023 Finn Gold Cup in Miami. Ed Wright from Britain extended his lead to 11 points from Domonkos Nemeth from Hungary, while Miguel Fernandez Vasco, from Spain is back up to third. The race wins went to James Golden, from the USA and Wright.
With winds never more than 8.-9 knots and patchy lanes all over the course the conditions played havoc with the fleet and many sailors paid a heavy price. On the flipside there were some new names at the front.
In Race 7, Jim Cameron, from Canada, led from the top from Michael Mark and James Golden, both from the USA. Golden was soon in the lead and sailed away from the fleet for a huge win. While Cameron slipped to ninth, Italy’s Marko Kolic moved up to second with Laurent Hay from France in third.
All the regatta leaders were deep at the top mark. Wright made the best recovery from somewhere in the 40s to 14th at the finish. Federico Colaninno, from Italy could only make it up to 20, which he must count after an earlier retirement. In addition, Vasco picked up a second yellow flag had had to retire from the race.
Vasco soon made amends and led round the top mark in Race 8, with Wright close behind. They rounded the gate overlapped but Wright pulled out on the second upwind to lead down to the finish as the wind dropped to 4-5 knots. Vasco crossed in second to move up to third overall, while Colaninno crossed third.
Vasco said, “Today was a difficult day, because the light wind was terrible and very shifty. In the first race, when I was in 11-12, I got a second penalty by the jury right when I was crossing the finishing line, so I had to retire from the race.
“In the second race I started very well by the pin. I went straight to the left, and I arrived first at the top mark, but Ed Wright was super-fast and he overtook me on the downwind. In the second downwind we had a battle for the top and at the end I finished second. Right now I am sitting in third overall, tomorrow is the last day and it will be as difficult as today.
“Miami is fantastic, it’s a super location for sailing and the organization is super. Every day we have free meal after the racing, and everything is perfect.
“The level of the fleet is so high; you can never breathe too much because in one tack you can lose so much.”
Hay had the best of the day with a third and a fifth to move up to fourth. Caio Gerassi, from Brazil, also had a great day with a fifth and a fourth, the second-best score of the day.
“Today we had light breeze, the conditions were tricky, sometimes we had six knots on one side and on the other one we had nine knots, the wind was never even on the entire course, so we had to go looking for the pressure to cross. This was the trickiest part, if you missed one pressure you felt behind very quickly. I think I did well by being in the pressure all the time. I was in low mode pretty much all the time, trying to get the next pressure and that worked out. I finally got back to my place, I got a fifth and a fourth, which is by far my best day.”
Ciao had his first Finn in 2012 in Brazil, Ilhabela. “Most of the time I was sailing in between the Finn and the Snipe, but now I am finally back to the class, and this is my first major regatta. Before this event I only sailed only national events, but never an international event.
“This event is being amazing, the people here have all welcomed me, especially the people from the Coconut Grove Sailing Club, which is actually what opened the door for me to come back sailing the Finn. It’s been a pleasure sailing my biggest Finn event in this club, plus the conditions are amazing and sailing against the top guys is just amazing.”
The 2023 Finn Gold Cup ends on Tuesday with two more races scheduled. Most boats in the top 10 have a high score already, and only Hay now has only single digits. With more light winds forecast, another challenging day of racing in Miami beckons.
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 results: https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?
Full photo gallery here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/finnclassphotos/albums/72177720305643107/
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Highlights from Day 4 (Click for video)