A fifth race win for Michael Maier (CZE) gave him his second Finn World Masters title, after first winning it back in 2006. Silver goes to the defending champion André Budzien (GER) and a last minute charge from Christen Christoph (SUI) gave him the bronze.
Day one: Marco Buglielli and Mike Maier on top of Finn Masters
Italian National Secretary Marco Buglielli and the big Czech Michael Maier share the points lead after the first two races at the the 2010 Finn World Masters in Split, Croatia. With the sea breeze providing great sailing conditions, the two sailors took a first and a second each while other race wins went to local favourite Luksa Cicarelli (CRO) and Peter Mosny (SVK).
The 2010 Finn World Masters was official opened on Sunday evening outside YC Labud. After registration was complete the entry stood at 167 from 25 nations. Following presentations by Ivan Kuret, president of Organising Committee and Mario Negotić, head of the sports department of the City of Split, Fons van Gent, the Finn Masters President officially opened the championship. Earlier, Attila Szilvassy (HUN) had won the practice race in light to moderate conditions.
Monday started with a short postponement to allow the sea breeze time to build, and the first races got underway at 13.00 in 8-10 knots of breeze.
Luksa Cicarelli (CRO), who has been practising in the waters off Split for months, realised the reward for all his hard work with a win in race one in the RED group. Rounding the top mark in eighth place he gradually climbed through the fleet to take the lead on the final leg. Alan Tucker (RSA) led for the majority of the race but finally crossed in fifth. Lars Hall (DEN) placed second with David Potter (GBR) in third.
In the BLUE group, Maier, the 2006 World Masters Champion, led at every mark to win the opening race. Buglielli placed second, knocking Michael Gubi (AUR) into third place on the final leg.
The wind had increased for the second race with Oscar flag flying at the start for free pumping downwind. Both fleets got away first time, though by the time the fleets had got to the first mark, the wind had decreased causing Romeo to be displayed.
BLUE fleet was led at every mark by Buglielli. Behind him Maier, Gubi, Budzien and Burrell chased hard but Buglielli held on to the lead to win. Maier, who rounded the first mark in fourth came through to second by the finish, while Allen Burrell (GBR) placed third.
It was a similar picture in the RED fleet. Though Christoph Christen (SUI) led round the top mark, it was Peter Mosny (SVK) who took the lead on the first downwind to lead throughout. He was followed over the line by Geza Huszar (HUN) and Christen.
Interestingly, in addition to Maier, two of the other main favourites were also in BLUE group today. Allen Burrell (GBR) placed 11th and third to end up seventh overnight while defending champion André Budzien (GER) struggled to catch the leading group in each race and opened his series with a seventh and fifth to sit in sixth place overall.
Buglielli is a member of CV Roma and has raced Finns for 18 years. This is his third World Masters. Maier meanwhile is a seasoned professional with 24 Gold Cups and four Olympics behind him. Buglielli also leads the Grand Masters fleet, while Alan Tucker leads the Grand Grand Masters.
Richard Hart (GBR) – runner-up Legend last year - leads the Legends category with placings of 40th and 37th on day one. There are 15 Legends competing in Split this year.
So after day one, Marco Buglielli and Michael Maier are both on three points with a four point lead over Michael Gubi, and six points over David Potter. Two more races in groups are scheduled for each day until Friday 28th May.
Results after two races
1 ITA 2 Marco Buglielli, 47, GM(50-59) 3.0 2 1
2 CZE 1 Michael Maier, 2, M(40-49) 3.0 1 2
3 AUT 7 Michael Gubi, 91, GM(50-59) 7.0 3 4
4 GBR 65 David Potter, 54, M(40-49) 9.0 3 6
5 DEN 6 Lars Hall, 128, GM(50-59) 10.0 2 8
6 GER 711 Andre Budzien, 168, M(40-49) 12.0 7 5
7 GBR 2 Allen Burrell, 83, M(40-49) 14.0 11 3
8 RSA 540 Alan Tucker, 81, GGM(60-69) 16.0 5 11
8 CRO 6 Armano Zekan, 147, M(40-49) 16.0 5 11
10 AUS 3 Jake Gunther, 97, GM(50-59) 18.0 12 6
11 NED 2 Wouter Molenaar, 41, GGM(60-69) 18.0 8 10
12 GBR 665 Julian Smith, 127, M(40-49) 19.0 6 13
13 NED 29 Bas de Waal, 69, M(40-49) 22.0 10 12
14 ITA 4 Francesco Faggiani, 50, M(40-49) 25.0 9 16
15 RUS 41 Felix Denikaev, 112, M(40-49) 25.0 12 13
16 SVK 1 Peter Mosny, 71, M(40-49) 28.0 27 1
17 HUN 211 Attila Szilvassy, 84, M(40-49) 28.0 23 5
18 ITA 5 Francesco Cinque, 37, GM(50-59) 29.0 25 4
19 SUI 12 Franz Buergi, 143, M(40-49) 29.0 20 9
20 HUN 5 Zsombor Majthenyi, 67, M(40-49) 29.0 14 15
Day two - Long day with nothing to show at Finn Masters
There was a late breeze and a late start at the Finn World Masters in Split, Croatia but it was all to no avail as the wind failed on the second lap of the only race started,
and the fleets were sent home with no more races on the board.
Francois Richard wrote, “The Croatian national flag hoisted on top of Marjan Hill is a landmark. Most people and even more sailors check that flag every morning to know how their racing day might be. But for this second day the National colours were rather low with a bright sunny sky but no wind in sight.”
After a two hour postponement Tuesday morning, the Race Committee sent out the fleet with the course set more to the west, trying to have more stable conditions, close to Ciovo island. Racing finally got underway just before 16.00 in 5-6 knots of wind, with both RED and BLUE fleets making clear starts.
In the RED group, regatta leader Marco Buglielli said, “Almost everybody went right hoping for the wind bend off the island, I only just managed to cross in front of a small group, led by the French, Pierre Mondeteguy and François Richard, who came from the left corner and were second and third at the top mark.”
However, “The wind progressively decreased and the situation stayed the same until the downwind mark and the start of the second upwind, when the wind became almost absent and the RC decided to cancel the race.”
The French were also having a good day in the BLUE group with Marc Allain des Beauvais (FRA) leading from Peter Kilchenmann (SUI) and Gerhard Vellusig (AUT) until the abandonment.
Shortly after the race was abandoned, the RC boat raised AP over A and sent the fleet home. It was all over for the day.
Tuesday night the 167 Masters have the official dinner, while Wednesday morning at 10.00 is the annual Masters Meeting, with the first start scheduled for 13.00.
Day three - Maier takes slim lead at Finn Masters after evening race
It was situation normal at Split again on Wednesday. The 167 sailors at the Finn World Masters sat onshore until 17.00 before finally going out to sail just one race. Race wins for Michael Maier (CZE) and Attila Szilvassy (HUN) leaves Maier with a one point lead over Marco Buglielli (ITA), who picked up a second. A sixth for Michael Gubi (AUT) leaves him in third overall.
The business of the day started with the annual Masters meeting with the principal job being deciding future championship venues. The meeting voted to make the UK the centre of Finn sailing in 2012, with the World Masters being awarded to Pwllheli in North Wales. Also in 2012, the Finn Gold Cup is being held in Falmouth, UK, and, of course, the Olympics are in Weymouth. For the 2013 event, the current candidates are Cannes and Balaton.
After a long wait for the sailors, the breeze finally filled in very late at about 5 pm and the RC called the fleet onto the water. One race was sailed in a nice 10 knots westerly which decreased to 8 knots in the outer loop.
In the RED fleet Michael Maier started at the committee boat and immediately tacked to port and went all the way to the right followed by Michael Gubi. They rounded the top mark followed by the Francesco Cinque (ITA), who found a nice lift from the left and showed good speed, and Allen Burrell (GBR).
Downwind Marco Buglielli was making gains and rounded in fourth, but on the second upwind Burrell and John Heyes (GBR) went to the right and made up ground to round in second and fourth just a few boat lengths behind Maier, while Gubi lost few places on the left and rounded sixth.
On the final downwind and the reach to the finish Buglielli again showed good speed and rounded in second, followed by fellow Cinque, Heyes and Burrell.
In the BLUE fleet, sailing the inner loop, it was Attila Szilvassy (HUN) who made the best of the first upwind to round in front of Lars Hall (DEN) and Christen Christoph (SUI).
On the first downwind, race two winner Peter Mosny (SVK) came through to take the lead while Szilvassy slipped back to third. Mosny held the lead until the final reach to the finish when Szilvassy slipped past to retake the lead and win the race. Mosny crossed in second while Christoph finished third.
The fleet went in after 8 pm as the sun was setting.
Maier and Buglielli are now separated by just one point but have a clear lead at the top. Gubi is eight points back in third. Hall climbs one place to fourth and Burrell also climbs one place to fifth. The defending champion Andre Budzien (GER) placed 11th on Wednesday to sit in sixth place.
After three days the Masters have sailed just three races, though the coffee shop is doubtless raking in lots of profit. Four races are required to make a series and that will hopefully happen Thursday when stronger winds are forecast. The championship concludes on Friday.
Day four - Maier extends lead at Finn Masters with double win
In sharp contrast to previous days there was finally some solid wind at the Finn World Masters in Split, Croatia. Following two tough races with a 'Jugo' blowing up to 20 knots, Michael Maier (CZE) took a commanding lead after two emphatic race wins. Marco Buglielli (ITA) holds onto second place while defending champion Andre Budzien (GER) moves up to third.
The RC called the fleet out at 10:30 and tried to set the course Alpha just outside the harbour, but a 20+ wind and steep waves forced them to move the course to the protected channel between Ciovo island and the land.
The RED group had a clear start in 18 knots and almost everybody went to the right to Ciovo island, which proved to be the right choice.
John Mackie (GBR) led at the first mark in front of Cees Scheurwater (NED) and Armano Zekan (CRO), but Scheurwater found good gusts on the right of the outer loop downwind and rounded the bottom mark well ahead. On the second upwind the top mark was close to Marjan mountain and the situation became very tricky, with strong gusts, big lulls and 50 degrees shifts. A small group from the left corner gained about 30 boats, but Zekan, Mackie and John Heyes (GBR) managed to cross from the right and finished in this order.
Maier was sailing in the BLUE group and led from start to finish to win by a large margin, clearly enjoying the increased wind. Attila Szilvassy (HUN) trailed round behind him to place second while third place finally went to Andre Budzien (GER), climbing from sixth at the first mark.
Race five started with a shortened course which helped to avoid the influence of Marjan mountain on the outer loop.
BLUE group started first and again Maier led all the way to record his fourth win of the championship. Lars Hall (DEN) and Arwin Karssemeijer (NED) followed him round the top mark, but by the second upwind mark, Budzien had cruised into second place which he held to the finish, with Hall keeping his medal chances alive with a third.
In the RED group Marc Allain des Beauvais (FRA) had a good fast start on port in the middle of the line and led the fleet to Ciovo island and round the top mark, followed by Zekan and Scheurwater. On the second upwind Scheurwater passed Allain des Beauvais and led to the finish, with Bas de Waal (NED) in second and Allain des Beauvais in third. Zekan capsized on the downwind and finally crossed in eighth place.
This leaves Maier with a seven point lead over Buglielli going into tomorrow's final two races. The much lighter Buglielli, who placed 11th in the first race, struggled in the windier conditions. He commented, “I had, as expected, a lack of speed upwind, and also very bad luck upwind in the outer loop in first race. But luckily all the top guys were in the Blue fleet.”
Behind the leading pair, the fleet really mixed it up with just 10 points separating the next 10 boats. Third placed Michael Gubi (AUT) placed 21st and sixth to drop to seventh. The big climber of the day was defending champion André Budzien who moved up to third overall.
Barring major mishaps, Maier looks set to take the title he last won in 2006, however the other medal places and top ten positions are still wide open.
In the Grand Masters fleet (50-59 years old) Buglielli is leading but both Gubi and Hall are within striking distance.
In the Grand Grand Masters (60-69 years old) Wouter Molenaar (NED) has a 12 point lead over Graeme Macdonald (GBR) and Luksa Cicarelli (CRO).
Richard Hart (GBR) is dominating the Legend category (70 years +) in 62nd place overall, some 70 points and 40 places clear of John Ulbrich (SUI) and Andras Schomer (HUN).
The final two races are schedule for Friday. Follow the racing live through the event website at www.jklabud.hr/finn-world-masters-2010
Results after 5 races, one drop
1 CZE 1 Michael Maier 4
2 ITA 2 Marco Buglielli 11
3 GER 711 Andre Budzien 16
4 HUN 211 Attila Szilvassy 17
5 SVK 1 Peter Mosny 18
6 SUI 5 Christen Christoph 18
7 AUT 7 Michael Gubi 19
8 DEN 6 Lars Hall 20
9 GBR 2 Allen Burrell 23
10 CRO 6 Armano Zekan 25
11 NED 29 Bas de Waal 26
12 FRA 99 Marc Allain des Beauvais 32
13 HUN 7 Antal Szekel 33
14 AUS 3 Jake Gunther 33
15 GBR 65 David Potter 35
16 GBR 61 John Heyes 41
17 GBR 68 John Mackie 42
18 HUN 5 Zsombor Majthenyi 50
19 NED 27 Paul Kamphorst 51
20 ITA 4 Francesco Faggiani 52
Day five - Exciting finale to Finn World Masters
One race was all he needed and that was the way it turned out. A fifth race win for Michael Maier (CZE) gave him his second Finn World Masters title, after first winning it back in 2006. Silver goes to the defending champion André Budzien (GER) and a last minute charge from Christen Christoph (SUI) gave him the bronze.
Michael Gubi (AUT) wins the Grand Masters after a great last day while local hero Luksa Cicarelli (CRO) pulled out all the stops to snatch the Grand Grand Masters title on the final race and Richard Hart (GBR) continued his absolute dominances of the 15 Legends to take the title that all Finn sailors aspire to win.
On the final day, the last two races were sailed in an ESE wind in front of Sustipan hill, close to shore on course Alpha. The wind increased during first race from 10 to 12 knots,and later in race 7 to more than 12 knots so Oscar was displayed for free and fun pumping.
RED group started on time with Cees Scheurwater (NED) the early leader. Maier soon worked his way to the front to take his final winner’s gun and the title. Scheurwater finished second with Christen Christoph in third. In the BLUE group HUN5 rounded first ahead of Felix Denikaev (RUS) and Richard Hart. Budzien, who had rounded fourth took the lead on the next leg to record his first win of the championship with Allen Burrell (GBR) moving up to second and Francesco Cinque (ITA) in third.
The final race started soon after. With Maier heading in for an early shower, the next nine places were still wide open, as were the Grand Master and Grand Grand Master titles. The BLUE group was off first with Burrell leading Budzien and Bernd Moser (AUT). However Budzien was soon back in the lead to record his second win of the day. Burrell picked up another second place with Peter Mosny (SVK) in third.
The final RED group race was critical as it was here that the bronze medal and the Grand Masters title was decided. Of the five sailors fighting for the bronze, Christoph came off the best leading round the first mark to take his first win of the championship, ahead of Michael Gubi (AUT) and Attila Szilvassy (HUN), to secure the bronze medal.
Gubi's third place was enough to take the Grand Masters title from Marco Buglielli (ITA) at the last possible moment. Until the final day Buglielli had never being below second overall and had to settle for seventh overall and second Grand Master.
One gold medal and Grand Grand Master title (60-69 years old) will stay in Croatia. Luksa Cicarelli (CRO) from YC Labud picked up a sixth in the final race to take the title from Wouter Molenaar (NED), who had also led the most of the week.
Cicarelli said, “I was not able to fully concentrate on sailing, however conditions were excellent so I could catch and overtake opponents in my category. And I have to say that this year the competition was stronger than before.”
Richard Hart capped a remarkable week with a 9-23 to end up 44th overall and take the Legend category (70+) by a country mile. Second Legend Victor Kozlov (RUS) finished in 101st place with more than twice Hart's points total.
The prizegiving giving held outside YC Labud on Friday evening brought to an end the Finn classes long and fruitful occupation of Split. With the Europeans and then the Masters, the club has been a Finn base for most of the last month and the club members will no doubt be pleased to get their dinghy park back. YC Labud has been the perfect host and has put on some great and fair racing in perhaps some trying and unusual conditions over the past three weeks.
In the end it turned into a week of two halves. The start of the week was light and favoured one part of the fleet, while the end of the week was windier and favoured the heavier and stronger sailors. With sailors of Maier's calibre now a fixture at the regatta, the standard is improving all the time.
Budzien continues to make records – he has now taken the podium eight years running – four times second, three times winner and now silver again, while Christen Christoph takes the bronze at his first Finn World Masters.
This year, as ever, there were many new and old faces and the nature of the competition is that more sailors qualify every year just by being a year older. Next year the championship is being held in Punta Ala in Italy and that is sure to be a very popular venue.
Final results (top 20 out of 167)
1 CZE 1 Michael Maier 7
2 GER 711 Andre Budzien 18
3 SUI 5 Christen Christoph 22
4 AUT 7 Michael Gubi 25
5 HUN 211 Attila Szilvassy 26
6 GBR 2 Allen Burrell 27
7 ITA 2 Marco Buglielli 28
8 SVK 1 Peter Mosny 31
9 DEN 6 Lars Hall 35
10 CRO 6 Armano Zekan 37
11 NED 29 Bas de Waal 43
12 GBR 65 David Potter 46
13 GBR 61 John Heyes 54
14 AUS 3 Jake Gunther 55
15 HUN 7 Antal Szekely 63
16 ITA 5 Francesco Cinque 68
17 GBR 68 John Mackie 79
18 NED 27 Paul Kamphorst 70
19 HUN 5 Zsombor Majthenyi 71
20 ITA 4 Francesco Faggiani 72
Grand Masters (50-59yr)
1. Michael Gubi (AUT)
2 Marco Buglielli(AUT)
3. Lars Hall (DEN)
Grand Grand Masters (60-69yr)
1. Luksa Cicarelli (CRO)
2. Wouter Molenaar (NED)
3. Marin Mrduljas (CRO)
1. Richard Hart (GBR)
2. Viktor Kozlov (RUS)
3. John Ulbrich (SUI)