Photo: Dianthe Chirino 2011

Burrell and Maier still tied

After another day of perfect conditions at the Finn Masters Worlds in Punta Ala

Tuesday June 14th 2011, Author: Robert Deaves, Location: Italy

The perfect conditions continued on day two of the Finn World Masters in Punta Ala in Italy, with eight more heats across two courses. Both Allen Burrell (GBR) and Michael Maier (CZE) keep their perfect scores, winning both their heats, while Uli Breuer (GER) stays in third after another first and second.

Other race wins went to Thomas Moerup Petersen (DEN), who took both Red fleet races, and Andre Budzien (GER) who crossed first in both his heats, but had a black flag penalty in the second.

The day started almost windless with brilliant, burning hot sunshine, but it was soon obvious a sea breeze was building and by the time the fleets reached the race areas, there was a solid 12 knots in place. Today, Oscar flag was flying on all the downwind legs, with the wind building to around 15-16 knots before easing off for the finish of the final race as an inland thunderstorm strolled past.

On course 1 in the Yellow fleet, Allen Burrell really enjoyed the excellent conditions and stamped his authority on the fleet with two great wins. Enrico Passoni (ITA) and Adrian Brunton (GBR) picked up second places while Antal Szekely (HUN) and Marc Allain des Beauvais (FRA) picked up third places.

There was drama in the Blue fleet as Andre Budzien led from start to finish in the first race after starting at the pin and crossing the fleet, and then tried the same in the second race only to get there too early and be scored BFD. In the second race, Uli Breuer had led at the first mark but Budzien passed him offwind. Breuer held on for second, which was later converted to a first, to add to his second in the first race of the day. Mihail Kopanov (BUL) finished second in the second race while third place finishes went to Nick Daniels (GBR) and Oleg Khudianov (RUS).

Blue fleet was plagued by general recalls and black flag starts with a number of sailors pulled out, and the final heat only got away by the time the fleets on course 2 were heading back to the beach.

On course 2, Red fleet was dominated by Thomas Moerup Petersen with two race wins to lift him to fourth overall. Kenneth Boggild (DEN) and Arwin Karssemeijer (NED) picked up second places while Thomas Gautschi (SUI) and Bas de Waal (NED) picked up thirds.

Likewise, Michael Maier dominated Green fleet again with two more impressive race wins. Peter Kurz (SUI) and Jan Willem Kok (NED) finished second while Laurent Hay (FRA) finished third in both races.

This championship is rapidly turning into a battle of who can win the most races, as any slip up is proving very costly. It is now at the half way stage and as yet Burrell and Maier have not gone head to head. If, and when, they do, and they may not as the heats are selected randomly, it could well decide who takes the title, though with only seven points separating the first six boats, there is still a long way to go.

One of the new faces here this week is Uli Breuer, a Grand Master at 55, who is making his presence fleet in the best possible way by sitting in third overall after winning two races. Breuer, who is here sailing with his wife Sabine, only started sailing Finns in 2010. However as a former runner up at the Europe Worlds and former Pirat European Champion, as well as winning many national titles before sailing Stars as well, he brings a wealth of experience to the Finn, which he is thoroughly enjoying.

“At first we sailed a long time together, then we took a break being Opti parents, then last year I decided that was not for me so I decided to sail more, and the only real alternatives were the Finn and the Laser, and I didn't want to sail a Laser. I had a test sail organised by the German Finn Association and it was so good I immediately contacted Jan van der Horst and got hold of a boat and all the gear and here we are.”

“It's very nice when you are this old to sail the Finn Masters as there is always a future. What is really nice in the Finn class is that as you get old you can also match with other guys your age and that is great. There is always a level. Also it is nice to race against the Olympic guys and fight with them on the water.”

On the racing so far, “It's very nice here. My opinion is that when you go to a regatta with 300 boats you must accept the chaos. I am enjoying being here very much. I have only sailed seven regattas before this one and my goal was top 10, so I am very pleased to be doing so well. I am having good battles with Andre Budzien. Downwind he is faster but upwind, I am making him fight for it.” As for his wife Sabine, who is also sailing here, her goal is to finish every race and currently she is sitting in 233rd place.

Tonight the Hungarians put on a presentation and buffet to announce the inaugural Finn Masters European Championships, to be held in Tihany on Lake Balaton for five days from 17th September. Instigator of the event, Antal Gabor, aka Pata (HUN) said, “We felt there was a need to have a second event for Masters, who are looking for other events to sail. We held an internet poll to see if the idea would be popular and there was general agreement that it was. So we will hold the first event and see what happens. I think we will get more than 50 boats and anything over 100 could be considered a great success.”

On Wednesday morning there is the Masters Meeting, which will be followed by more racing from 13.00.

Results after four races (full results here):
1 GBR 2 ALLEN BURRELL 4
1 CZE 1 MICHAEL MAIER 4
3 GER 707 ULI BREUER 6
4 DEN 9 THOMAS MOERUP PETERSEN 7
5 FRA 75 LAURENT HAY 10
6 NED 780 WILLEM KOK JAN 11
7 NED 25 ARWIN KARSSEMIJER 17
8 BUL 24 MIHAIL KOPANOV 17
9 NED 29 BAS DE WAAL 17
10 NED 60 LUUK KUIJPER 17

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