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Finn World Masters at PuntAla, Tuscany, Italy - Day 3

by Robert Deaves 12 Jun 12:38 PDT 7-14 June 2024

After five races, French sailor Laurent Hay maintains the lead at the 2024 Finn World Masters, having scored another win in Wednesday's only race. French sailor Valerian Lebrun climbed back into the top three and is currently in second position, also after winning his group race. Dutch sailor Martijn van Muiden is third after posted a third today.

The third day of racing at the Finn World Masters, hosted by Centro Velico Punta Ala, has just concluded and, as per the schedule, only one race was sailed. This year's event is the largest since 2018, with 285 entries divided into four fleets, sailing across two racing areas.

Following the Master Meeting in the morning and a brief onshore wait for the breeze to stabilise, the D flag was displayed at 12:41, signaling all fleets to proceed to their respective courses. On both racing areas, the breeze initially blew at around 5-6 knots, rapidly increasing to 12-13 knots during the first upwind leg for the yellow and red groups. Shortly after, the Oscar flag, indicating free pumping, was displayed.

On the north course, the breeze filled in from the left side first and then shifted 30 degrees to the right before the first sailors rounded the upwind mark. On the south course, the breeze stabilised immediately at 280 degrees.

Dutch sailor Peter Peet led the yellow group, with a significant advantage over Brazilian Robert Rittscher and Italian Francesco Faggiani. In the red fleet, current leader Laurent Hay won the day's sole race, ahead of Brit Nick Craig and Dutch Martijn van Muyden. Hay remains the sailor to beat, with Van Muyden closely challenging for the Gold Cup.

In the green fleet, Peter Mosny had a strong first upwind, emerging from the middle left. However, German Andre Budzien won the race, followed by Dutch sailors Karel Van Hellemond and Jan Willem Kok.

"We had great conditions on the water," said Andre Budzien. "For me it was a little tricky, I went sailing late and I was the last one on the starting line. We had more breeze than expected and the right side seemed to be the right choice. I was really fast on the downwind today it was really nice on the water. It was definitely more wavy, which made it a bit harder to launch, but also much easier sailing in."

"It was awesome conditions, and it really couldn't be better than this," added Brit Tim Tavinor. "I had a nice start and I didn't get sabotaged by the big right shift that came in during the course of the first upwind, so at the end of the day, I was really satisfied. Beautiful weather, even better downwind and pumping. Couldn't be asking for more."

Hay is also the leading sailor in the Grand Master fleet, while Lebrun is first in the Master fleet. German Andre Budzien, in fourth position, is the first Great Grand Master. Rob Coutts, in 71st, and Howard Sellars, in 218th, are respectively the first Legend and Super Legend. Austrian Claudia Graber is the leading the female in 140th.

The annual gala dinner is scheduled for Wednesday night with three more races still to be sailed on Thursday and Friday, making the battle for the World title still wide open.

Full results available here: www.manage2sail.com/en-US/event/FinnWC2024#!/results?classId=Finn.

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