Shaky start for Finn World Masters

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Skovshoved, Denmark (June 10, 2019) – Former Finn World Master champions Mike Maier from Czech Republic, Vladimir Krutskikh from Russia, along with Simon Percival from Britain took the race wins on the opening day of the 2019 Finn World Masters.

With 245 entrants, the fleet is split into two groups, and of the four group races scheduled, only three were completed in an unstable and shifty easterly breeze. It was a generally cloudy day with onshore winds that proved to be surprisingly variable, making it a tough day for competitors and organizers.

Former Finn world champion Henry Sprague (USA) was first to the top mark in the opening race for Yellow fleet, as the wind peaked at 16-18 knots. Maier was close behind and soon took the lead to win followed by Paul McKenzie (AUS) and Volodymyr Stasyuk (UKR).

The wind eased towards the end of the race and the second race was sailed in much lighter conditions with some different faces at the front.

After rounding the top mark in second, Percival took the lead downwind, only to lose it on the second beat to Allen Burrell (GBR). However, Percival was faster downwind to take the win from Burrell and Ville Aalto-Setälä (FIN).

Blue fleet did not fare so well. Krutskikh led the first race throughout with Laurent Hay (FRA) moving up from about fifth at the top to second across the finish, with Uli Breuer (GER) a close third. The fleet finished in less than 2 knots of breeze and fighting a strong current. Though a start for the second race was attempted for more than two hours, eventually the race team gave up and sent the tired sailors back to shore.

The fleets are now imbalanced, so the first race tomorrow will be for the lost race, at 12.00, followed by one fleet race for the new groups.

Each day the groups are decided by an innovative random allocation system being trialed this year.

Percival said, “The breeze was very shifty. The first race was not so good for me with a black flag, but I made up for it in the second race and managed to get a win. It was quite tough downwind with lots of waves left over from the big swell from the breeze in the morning. But so far it is a great event. They are doing a great job and we are having a great time.”

Online results are not representative with one race missing.

Eight races are scheduled from June 10 to 14 with an innovative new random fleet selection format being trialed to make sure there are no ties at the end of the week, removing the need for the unpopular medal race.

Source: Finn Class / sailingscuttlebutt

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