After years of waiting and preparation, the 2024 Finn World Masters finally got underway at the at PuntAla Camp & Resort. In total, eight group races were sailed, in four fleets over two course areas, with Finns filling the Gulf of Follonica from one side to the other. 

Masters President, Andy Denison commented “It doesn't get much better than this.” Nearly 300 Finns enjoying sublime sailing in 30 degrees, 8-12 knots, launching from a gorgeous beach is about as good as it gets, and though the racing was challenging, it was a spectacular day to remember.

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Yellow and Blue groups are sailing on the North course area. The races were won by three-time champion, Andre Budzien, Enrico Passoni, two-time champion, John Greenwood and Rudolf Lidarik.

Red and Green groups sailed on the South course area with a more unstable wind resulting in a race abandonment and delay. Again there were four race winners with Nanno Schuttrups, Laurent Hay, Akos Lukats and Nick Craig.

All eight groups races were won by different boats, setting up what looks like a fascinating championship.

Highlights from Day 1 at the 2024 Finn World Masters

Rudolf Lidarik, from the Czech Republic is at his first ever Finn World Masters. “In the first race I was lucky, and I finished fifth and in the second race I made some mistakes on the start line so I was lucky and I won the last race. This is my first Master Worlds and I feel happy right now. Today it was quite tricky but nice sailing nice waves and beautiful.”

Martijn van Muyden, from The Netherlands placed second and third. “It was a pretty nice day actually. We had more breeze than expected. I was out on the north course in the yellow group and on first start it was quite shifty and also the wind went up and down, so really tricky conditions but we had a nice day. For me personally the trickiest thing was the start. I did not so good starts but I managed to get up there again in the top three.”

Sebastien Godefroid, Olympic silver medalist from 1996 is in 26th after a 14, 3. He said, “It wasn't easy. The wind was going in all directions, but I think the race committee did quite a good job in kind of getting the middle of it but yeah for the sailors it was very difficult with big shifts and big changes in pressure. It was very difficult. I thought I would have it a bit easier but the fleet is really competitive.”

Two more races are scheduled for Tuesday with a similar forecast.

Follow the event using the links here.

Results: https://www.manage2sail.com/en-US/event/FinnWC2024#!/results?classId=Finn

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