It was breeze on in Miami for Day 2 of the 2023 Finn Gold Cup. After four races now sailed, Ed Wright, from Britain, extends his lead while Domonkos Nemeth, from Hungary stays in second. European champion, Miguel Fernandez Vasco, from Spain, moves up third.
The race wins went to Federico Colaninno, from Italy, who then dropped out of the second race with gear failure, while Wright picked up his third race win in Race 4.
With the windiest forecast of the week, it was a blustery day on Biscayne Bay with winds up to 17-18 knots, but still a lot of cloud cover and patchy sunshine. The wind was also further round to the east with slightly bigger seas. It was a tough, but exciting and exhilarating day for everyone, while the race management was top class.
Colaninno made the best of the first beat in Race 3 and rounded the first mark overlapped with Nemeth and these two sailed off downwind with Wright, who rounded fifth, chasing hard. Nemeth had the lead by the bottom, but then managed to capsize to windward approaching the gate. Wright and Colaninno split gate marks but the Italian had a good final upwind to lead down to the finish to win his first ever Finn Gold Cup race. Wright crossed second with Vasco in third. Nemeth finally crossed in fifth.
Race 4 started after a general recall and again Colaninno led at the top from Nemeth, with Wright very close in third. Unfortunately, Colaninno then had gear failure with his boom bolting exploding and pulled out. Wright passed Nemeth downwind and extended for a big win. Nemeth crossed second with Laurent Hay, from France, having a great race to cross in third.
Colaninno was rueing his missed chances but ecstatic about a Finn Gold Cup race win.
“Today I won the first race, after a tight battle with Ed Wright and I got a nice first place. On the second race I rounded the top mark in first and twenty seconds after my boom pin exploded. It something that unfortunately I can’t control, it happens and now I can only think about tomorrow.”
But, “Winning a race in the Gold Cup is something special. It’s an unbelievable feeling. I am really happy about the first race.”
“I think Miami is a fantastic venue. It’s really cool to stay here in warm weather, it’s windy and the conditions are beautiful.”
This Finn Gold Cup in Miami is supporting a revival of the class in the USA. A number of new boats were imported for this event and for charter, so the fleet has been boosted by these boats. In addition a new boat project during the pandemic is about to bear fruit and the first US built boats for a generation will soon be available. For many years the US built Vanguard was the boat of choice worldwide and it has been lovely to see Peter Harken around the boat park and talking to the sailors.
The US Finn Secretary is Rodion Mazin. He is taking part this week and after a great day is now up to fifth overall.
“Today it was a tough day, very windy. The most important part was the start; it wasn’t that shifty. The first race I started in the middle with Ed Wright and the boys, and I got to the upwind mark in third, finishing in fourth that race. In the second race I didn’t really have a good start, the wind shifted on the right. Myself and ESP 161, Miguel, started at the Race Committee and unfortunately it didn’t pay that much, and we struggled, but we managed to get up to fifth and sixth place. Having a good start was very important, you know what they say, it makes the 60 percent of the success, besides your speed.”
On the Finn. Gold Cup being in the USA again. “I absolutely enjoy having the fleet here. It’s amazing, you know. First of all it’s such an opportunity for the Finn fleet to show numbers in the US. We’ve already seen it in the last couple of years, how much Finn promotion is going on and how much stronger the US Finn fleet is becoming, so the more international events we have, the more people can look forward to competing in these events. It’s like a pinnacle, Masters Worlds, Gold Cup. It’s an amazing opportunity for us.”
On Miami, “Miami is a great venue. It’s good weather, better than up north, we have below zero right now, like you European folks, it’s below 32 degrees, it’s freezing, so there’s not much sailing going on up there, while here is champagne weather. We have 15 knots yesterday, we had 16-18 knots today, gusting to 20 knots today. It looks from the forecast that we are going to see all the kind of conditions, from 20 knots down to 8-10 knots on Monday and Tuesday.
“It’s a great event, we are going to have a lot of fun here.”
On Saturday evening, Coconut Grove SC hosted a fantastic Cuban evening for the Finn sailors, with the Barcardi Bar open as usual.
Two more races are scheduled for Bacardi Race Day on Sunday with slightly lighter winds and sunnier skies forecast. The event concludes on Tuesday.
Results after 4 races
1 GBR 111 Ed Wright 5
2 HUN 80 Domonkos Nemeth 11
3 ESP 161 Miguel Fernandez Vasco 16
4 FRA 75 Laurent Hay 24
5 USA 16 Rodion Mazin 28
6 AUS 22 Paul McKenzie 28
7 BRA 32 Pedro Lodovici 39
8 BRA 53 Pedro Trouche 41
9 USA 186 James Golden 48
10 USA 91 Jack Jennings 58
Full results: https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?
Full photo gallery here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/finnclassphotos/albums/72177720305582255
Don’t forget to follow the Finn Class social media feeds (see below) to get the latest updates from hot and sunny Miami.
Highlight from Day 2 (Click for video)