Thursday’s show at the Finn World Masters La Rochelle was spoiled by too much wind. With the wind whistling through the rigging all morning, the sailors waited ashore under postponement for a final announcement at 14.30. By this time, the wind afloat had moderated to 14-16 knots and the first fleet was sent out. However by the time they got there it was a solid 24-26 knots and the fleet was turned around and sent straight back in.
So there is no change to the overall positions as the fleet heads into the final day on Friday with one more race for the colour groupings and the medal race for the top 10. On paper the defending champion Michael Maier (CZE) is the favourite for a record equalling fifth Masters title. He has a useful, but slim, three point cushion over Andre Budzien (GER) and Erik Lidecis (USA), which means that for either of them to win they must put a boat between themselves and Maier. Behind them any of the boats down to ninth could theoretically take the overall win – but they need to bide their time and wait for the leaders to make the mistakes.
The medal race was introduced for the first time last year in Pwllheli to create a structure where the leaders could race for the title on the final day. Sometimes in the group system this had not happened. However last year the race was cancelled because there was not enough wind to sail. This year it is looking likely that the reverse might be true. The forecasts show strong winds again, but we'll have to see what transpires in the morning. The final group race is scheduled for an earlier than scheduled start time 10.30 with the medal race directly afterwards.
During this week we have been trying some new ways to record the fleet on video using front and aft facing stern mounted cameras and sometime lapse movies of the fleet on shore.
Here are a few of those made so far:
Top ten going into the medal race:
1 CZE 1 Michael Maier 8.00 2 GER 711 Andre Budzien 11.00 3 USA 505 Erik Lidecis 12.00 4 LTU 7 Tauras Rymonis 15.00 5 GER 193 Thomas Schimdt 18.00 6 FRA 75 Laurent Hay 24.00 7 GBR 2 Allen Burrell 26.00 8 DEN 80 Michael Staal 29.00 9 NED 41 Karel Van Hellemond 30.00 10 GBR 642 Adrian Brunton 39.00