More than 70 Finn sailors from 21 nations are heading to Lake Balaton in Hungary for the 2023 Open and U23 Finn Europeans, which opens on Saturday after two days of equipment checks and registration.
Lake Balaton is the traditional home of the Hungarian Finn fleet with many of the clubs around the lake home to Finn fleets and a lot of experience in hosting Finn championships. After the 2007 Europeans and the 2017 Finn Gold Cup were held the other side of the lake at Balatonföldvár, next week for the first time, Procelero Sport Club (PSC) in Csopak, in the north-east of the lake, will host the 2023 Open and U23 Finn Europeans.
The pre-entry line up in Csopak includes 73 boats from 21 nations, the largest entry for this event since pre-pandemic times. It will also produce a new European champion, with last year’s winner, Miguel Fernandez Vasco, from Spain, absent after taking a sabbatical from Finn sailing this summer.
Unsurprisingly the home fleet have entered in strong numbers and include double U23 world champion and 2023 Finn Gold Cup runner-up Domonkos Németh, and 2021 Europeans Masters champion, Akos Lukats.
Another local taking part in his first major Finn event in a long time is South Africa’s Ian Ainslie, who lives by the lake. In recent weeks, Ainslie and Tokyo 2020 silver medalist, Zsombor Berecz, have run a series of clinics targeted at improving the skills of competitors heading into this event. Berecz is the club manager at Procelero SE and has been closely involved in the organisation of the championship.
Also taking part is France’s Laurent Haÿ, bronze medalist at last year’s Europeans and fourth at the Finn Gold Cup, Filipe Silva, from Portugal, the 2019 European Master champion and Lawrence Crispin from Britain.
Competitors have travelled as far afield as Argentina, Australia (James BEVIS and David Champtaloup) and USA to take part. The International Finn season started early in 2023 with the Finn Gold Cup in Miami but in the coming three weeks there is a double bill of both the Europeans and the Finn World Masters, which starts in Kavala, Greece on May 26, with 157 entries so far.
Measurement and registration in Csopak are taking place from 11-13 May with the practice race and opening ceremony on the 13 May. A series of 10 races is scheduled from 14-18 May.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE 2023 OPEN FINN EUROPEANS
The 2023 Open and U23 Finn Europeans is taking place in Csopak, Hungary, from 11-18 May, organised by Procelero Sport Club in conjunction with the International Finn Association.
RESULTS & ENTRY LIST
Thurs 1 – Sat 13 May –
Sat 13 May – Practice Race and Opening Ceremony
Sun 14 May – Racing (2 races scheduled)
Mon 15 May – Racing (2 races scheduled)
Tues 16 May – Racing (2 races scheduled)
Weds 17 May – Racing (2 races scheduled)
Thurs 17 May – Racing (2 races scheduled) followed by Prizegiving