The Open Finn European Masters Championship begins in Spain next week, the final major Finn championship of the year and a healthy entry list shows 72 Finn sailors from 16 nations, competing for the Masters and Open titles over a four-day event.
Hosted by Club Nàutic Hospitalet-Vandellòs, at Hospitalet de l’Infant, just south of Tarragona, it has been 26 years since the Finn class last held a major championship at the Club and the return has been greeted with much anticipation. What better antidote to today’s world than a week of Finn sailing on the Mediterranean.
Portugal’s Filipe Silva, the 2019 champion is the only former European Masters champion taking part, though there are plenty of big names competing, including 2022 Finn World Masters runner up, Laurent Hay, from France. Last year’s European Masters runner-up, Bas de Waal (Ned), and local sailor David Terol, bronze medallist at last year’s Finn World Masters will also be there.
Other names to watch include former Laser world champion, Lawrence Crispin (GBR), Christoph Burger (SUI) from Switzerland and 1996 Olympian, Paul McKenzie (AUS) – the only entrant from the 1996 Europeans that was held here.
The largest team is unsurprisingly from Spain, with 14 entries. They include Open entry Miguel Fernandez Vasco, who placed sixth at the Finn Gold Cup in May this year. There are also sizeable teams from The Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Germany, and Italy, including Open entrant, Matteo Iovenitti, who placed 10th at the Finn Gold Cup this year.
In the fleet too are a swathe of non-Europeans from Australia, Chile, Brazil and New Zealand. While the European title is only open to European sailors, the Masters titles are open to any nationality.
The forecast for the coming week shows a lot of high temperatures, sunshine and a mix of wind conditions.
However, before the European Championships start next Wednesday, there are the Spanish National Championships to decide, with 56 entries from 11 countries taking part.
The Spanish Championship runs from 9-11 September, while racing for the European Championship is from 14-17 September, with eight races scheduled over four days.
Full results for the Europeans will be here: https://www.cnhv.sailti.com/en/default/races/race/text/finn-european-masters-eng-en