The Finn race doesn’t get much better than the opening day of the 2021 Finn World Masters on Mar Menor, Murcia, Spain.
With 12-18 knots of wind and 25 degrees, two races took place in almost perfect conditions. France’s Valerian Lebrun scored both wins to quickly take the lead ahead of Filipe Silva of Portugal and Anthony Nossiter of Australia. 108 Finn Masters from 20 countries participate in the 50th Finn World Masters.
Reading the wind today was key with frequent changes and lots of pressure changes. Karel von Hellemond of the Netherlands was leading in Race 1 but at the gate Paul McKenzie of Australia took the lead. He maintained that lead at the second best mark but Silva and Lebrun were both close behind.
Lebrun has just come out of two years of training for the Olympic selection and was clearly the best downwind, edging McKenzie on the last leg.
Stretching to the finish he took the win, McKenzie just holding Silva to take second place. After only two hours of sleep after a night’s drive from the Sail GP in Cadiz, Nossiter took fourth place.
The enthusiastic start of the second race left quite a few boats with black flag disqualifications, including some of the top boats, lifting many of the top 20s higher than expected.
Improving his first performance in the race, Lebrun organized a master class to lead to the end for a big win. Behind him, the places changed but in a slightly reduced breeze but still with a delicate chop, Silva finished second with Nossiter in third.
Leaving for a big win, Lebrun marked his authority over the fleet in the heaviest breeze expected this week. It remains to be seen whether he will be able to maintain this level for the rest of the week as lighter winds are expected.
The exhausted sailors made it to shore, just 15 minutes from the race area, to be greeted by a wonderful paella served in the boat park, with, you guessed it, in addition to free beer. The Finn Masters are well and truly spoiled by the locals and their fantastic hospitality.
Races continue through Friday with six more races scheduled. Two more races are scheduled for Tuesday.
Results after 2 races
1 FRA 111 ValÃ©riane Lebrun 2
2 POR 21 Philippe Silva 5
3 AUS 221 Anthony Nossiter 7
4 NED 41 Karel Van Hellemond 10
5 ESP 7 David Terol 11
6 NED 148 Peter Peet 15
7 SUI 7 Christoph Burger 19
8 GBR 74 Laurent Crispin 24
9 NZL 15 Greg Wilcox 26
10 NED 29 Stockings De Waal 29
Full results here: http://fvrm.sailti.com/en/default/races/race-resultsall/text/2021-finn-world-masters-en
By Robert Deaves