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2022 Open Finn European Masters at Club Nàutic Hospitalet-Vandellòs - Overall

by Robert Deaves 17 Sep 21:26 BST 13-17 September 2022

Fernandez and Giovanelli take European Finn titles in Spain

Miguel Fernandez Vasco, from Spain, has won the 2022 Open Finn European Championship after one final race was possible on the final day at Club Nàutic Hospitalet-Vandellòs, at Hospitalet de l'Infant, Spain. Italy's Giacomo Giovanelli won the 2022 Finn European Masters title, while Laurent Hay of France dropped to third overall and second in the Masters.

With an early start planned to get two races ion the forecast finally proved correct and 25-35 knots of wind delayed racing until early afternoon, and then promptly died when the fleet was sent out. Finally, a sea breeze developed, and the final race was started just 15 minutes before the 15.00 cut off.

With only one race possible and only three points between then Fernandez went on the offensive and after 10 circles, Hay bailed out and went back down the line and the had to play catch up. Both were deep at the top mark but Fernandez still kept tabs on Hay. Hay finally got past on the final downwind, but ran out of race track to make enough of an advance to overcome the Spaniard who had led the regatta from Day 1. However, it was heartbraking for Hay as Giovanelli was clear of the trouble and ahead of both to cross the line in fourth to end on equal points with Hay and take the European Masters title on countback.

Lawrence Crispin, from Britain, led the race all the way to the end of the second downwind, when Florian Faucheux, from France, found the best side to sail through and take the win. Crispin crossed second with Italy's Matteo Iovenitti, sailing another great race to cross third.

Fernandez described the race, "It was an intense race. The fight with Laurent was hard because there were only three points in between us, hence, we fought through all the race. In the end, he finished in front of me, but it wasn't enough to beat me.

"So I am the new European Champion and it's so important for me because 26 years ago, Jose Maria van de Ploeg won Finn Class European Championship here, the last time a Spanish sailor has won the title, and I am so happy for this.

"The Spanish nationals was a very good test event leading to the Europeans. We got to check the racing area, we had some good days with 10-12 knots, sometimes a bit less, but I think it's a very good racing area for the Finn Class."

What next? "The intention is to continue my training towards Miami; there's a possibility to rent a boat there. The Finn is a part of my life and it's a fantastic boat all around.

"The conditions were good, the wind was a little shifty, but at the end I've always figured out which side paid off the most. My speed is similar to the others fighting in the top 10. Laurent also had a very good speed.

"I finished the Gold Cup in sixth position and after that result, I felt that I needed to compete in more races. I wanted to race the Europeans in Kiel, but the event was cancelled. So this title is so special to me. There are a lot of people that sailed the Olympics in the past, and the level is high and hopefully it will continue in the next years."

Iovenitti said of the event, "The place is really cool, and we got lucky, even if the weather has been a bit uncertain for the whole event. We managed to do nearly every single race scheduled. The environment is always nice and friendly and here we are all friends. I've finally managed to race well after a long time."

Giovanelli added, "As Matteo said, the Class is always friendly. On the water we are all a little bit more competitive, but onshore the environment is always very good."

On growing the class he said, "It's a tough question. For a younger individual it's hard to begin with the Finn Class because of the cost but it has to be said that it's a long lasting boat. Once you invest the first time then the boat lasts forever."

They said the Italian class has a bought a new promotion boat to encourage new sailors into the class by lending it out for a season. "I'm sure that whoever will try it, will stay within the class, it's just amazing, the boat is fantastic."

The close of this championship brings to an end a fantastic international championship season and 2023 already beckons with the Finn Gold Cup in Miami, the Open Europeans on Balaton the World Masters in Greece, The Silver Cup on Como and the European Masters on Garda. There is a lot to look forward to in the coming year.

Overall Results:

1 ESP 161 Miguel FERNANDEZ VASCO 21pts
2 ITA 202 Giacomo GIOVANELLI 28pts
3 FRA 75 Laurent HAY 28pts
4 FRA 96 Florian FAUCHEUX 38pts
5 NED 29 Bas DE WAAL 42pts
6 SUI 7 Christoph BURGER 45pts
7 POR 21 Filipe SILVA 51pts
8 ITA 1071 Matteo IOVENITTI 56pts
9 FRA 61 David HUET 56pts

European Masters Champion

Open European Championship
3 Laurent HAY FRA

Super Legends


Great Grand Master
1 Kristian SJOBERG, FIN
3 Fernando BELLO POR

Grand Master
1 Laurent HAY FRA

2 Christoph BURGER SUI
3 Filipe SILVA POR

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