Young guns close gap on Ed Wright at Finn Gold Cup

After two days of very cloudy conditions, the Sunshine State started to live up to its name again on Bacardi Race Day, the third day of the 2023 Finn Gold Cup in Miami. Britain’s Ed Wright continues to lead the regatta, though race wins from both Domonkos Nemeth, from Hungary, and Federico Colaninno, from Italy, have closed the gap on Wright, and created a fascinating three way battle at the top with two days of light winds expected.

Ed Wright
Ed Wright

Sunday’s forecast was for less wind, more sunshine and higher temperatures. On arrival at the race area there was a nice 13-14 knots warm breeze, which shifted and decreased through the day, Race 5 was sailed under Oscar for free pumping, but this was removed for Race 6 as the wind dropped to 8-9 knots and much more cloud cover.

Domonkos Nemeth
Domonkos Nemeth

Pedro Trouche, from Brazil, led at the first top mark in race 5, but Spain’s Miguel Fernandez Vasco moved from second at the top to a nice lead by the gate, He held it up the second beat, but on the final downwind Nemeth closed the gap and moved into the lead just before the finish. Wright crossed in third.

Start race 6
Start race 6

Colaninno was the undisputed winner of Race 6, leading all the way for his second win of the week. Much of the fleet including Wright overstood on the left and though he rounded around seventh, was up to second by the gate, but couldn’t match the Italian’s pace. France’s Laurent Hay was also quick around the course in the lighter winds, to secure third place and end the day in fifth overall.

Nemeth said, “Today we had two good races, the first one was free pumping. I managed to do a good start and keep my pace. I scored a first by beating Miguel on the last downwind. I surfed pretty good, so it was nice. The second race was a bit more challenging because the wind dropped to 8-10 knots, so we didn’t have pumping. It was very shifty, and you had to find pressure all the time. I didn’t do very well in the first upwind, but I was very lucky because everyone was passing by and going over the lay line on the left line, so in the end I got fourth. I am not very happy with that one, but it’s not a bad score. This day was quite good, I really enjoyed the first one.

“Miami is really cool. At home now it is really cold now, it’s two degrees, I’ve never been in the US. And the organizers here are really putting their hearts in, everything is really good. I can’t say anything bad.”

On the lighter winds forecast for the coming days, “In the lighter breeze it will be definitely more challenging for me and for Ed and Federico, as everyone else can be very good in the lighter breeze. It’s going to be more challenging, but I am looking forward to it, this is what sailing is about.”

Pedro Trouche, from Brazil, is in eighth place and thoroughly enjoying his return to Finn sailing this week.

“I sold my boat in 2016 and I had the opportunity to sail this championship because my skipper in the Star class, Jack Jennings, let me use his boat, as he has two. I am super happy to be back in the class. I have a lot of friends in Miami, it’s a kind of second home for me and I am still learning about the racing area, which is very good for me as we have a lot of Star class events during the winter here, it’s a very nice combo.

“It was a great day for me. I had a fifth in the first race and an 11th in the second one, I hope I am still in top 10, which is the goal for me. I was really trying to push as much as I could these three days because I know I am super heavy for the Finn, like 112 kgs, which is quite challenging, but I kind of like the light wind too. We are going to have 8-10 knots and hopefully it is not going to be too choppy because when it’s choppy it’s not too good for me, but if it’s flat water, it will be nice.

“I like Miami a lot, I have my family close-by, a lot of friends and the weather is super nice. I am kind of getting more knowledge about the racing area, which is super tricky, there’s a lot of current, shallow water, we have the breeze, the islands…it’s good to know more every day.”

After three days of good wind, the next two days look challenging with forecast predicting under 10 knots. Two more races are scheduled for Monday before the event concludes on Tuesday.

Results after 6 races
1 GBR 111 Ed Wright 7
2 HUN 80 Domonkos Nemeth 11
3 ITA 171 Federico Colaninno 12
4 ESP 161 Miguel Fernandez Vasco 18
5 FRA 75 Laurent Hay 26
6 USA 16 Rodion Mazin 34
7 AUS 22 Paul Mckenzie 39
8 BRA 53 Pedro Trouche 40
9 USA 186 James Golden 45
10 BRA 32 Pedro Lodovici 48

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