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Finn World Masters at PuntAla, Tuscany, Italy - Day 4

by Robert Deaves 13 Jun 21:36 PDT 7-14 June 2024

The 2024 Finn World Masters at PuntAla Camp & Resort is going down to the wire for an epic finish to an epic event.

On Monday we reported that "it doesn't get much better than this," but it did. Each day has been better than the previous day and Thursday, despite a long wait for a thunderstorm to pass over, produced the best sailing yet. Each day has been hotter, windier and sunnier. The sublime has become sublimer. It's a paradise for sailors. And such great competition.

It was an awesome fourth day at the Finn World Masters with not enough superlatives to describe how much fun the 285 sailors from 30 nations are having in Punta Ala.

After a long delay on the beach, some rain and a thunderstorm, the fleet was released about 16.00 in a building breeze, hot sunshine and blue skies. The breeze built very quickly to 14-18 knots for some amazing conditions with just one race sailed.

The key interest was in red group, starting on the South course. Florian Raudaschl started well and led all the way to win by a huge margin, with regatta Laurent Hay in second. Green group, just behind was won by Martijn van Muyden, who moves up to third overall.

On the North course area, Valerian Lebrun won his group quite easily to close the gap on Hay, while Nanno Schuttrups also won his second race of the week to end the day in fifth.

Florian Raudaschl, 24th overall, said, "Finally a nice day for me. I really enjoyed the conditions, it was perfect sailing, big waves. I changed some settings compared to the other days, but mainly I chose the right side. I saw Laurent doing it yesterday, so I basically copied what he did. I stuck to the right, where it was less wavy and where there was more pressure. I am looking forward to tomorrow. I had a bad start of the week, but I really want to sail better."

Germany's Fabian Lemmel, in 36th said, "Today was windier than yesterday. It was really fun to surf the downwinds, but also really exhausting. I am honestly really happy. I wasn't fast upwind, but I could hold the same speed as the first guys downwind. I caught up some places and I finished in top ten. The fleet is really strong, there's some former Olympians and professional sailors, and it's good to battle with them."

The championship concludes on Friday with just one race scheduled. Hay just needs a top two placing to secure his first major Finn title, but with five more boats within 10 points, nothing is guaranteed, and this is going to the final showdown, in true Finn tradition. The forecast is for light winds, but it will be an epic finale to an epic week here in Punta Ala.

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