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2023 Finn Gold Cup opens at Coconut Grove in Miami

by Robert Deaves 27 Jan 02:06 GMT 24-31 January 2023

It's been a long time in the planning and a dream for the Miami fleet for an even longer time, but finally the 2023 Finn Gold Cup has been opened at Coconut Grove Sailing Club as a single canon was fired on the dock at the club.

The practice race was scheduled for 14.00 and despite the light and unstable winds, around 35 boats made the start and the race committee got in four starts before letting the fleet away. Federico Collanino, from Italy, made the best of the pin end and tacked away to lead round the first mark from Marc Allain des Beauvais, from France and Marko Kolic, from Italy. Most of the fleet carried on and sailed back to the club. A few went downwind only for the race committee to abandon the race.

In the evening the opening ceremony commenced with the Bacardi Bar and a flag parade from the club's youth sailors, who had given up their sailing to make space for the Finn Gold Cup.

Marc Allain des Beauvais, Vice President of the International Finn Association, began by saying. "The Finn class is a family. We have members everywhere in the world and we are honoured, pleased and glad to be hosted by the Coconut Grove Sailing Club."

The Commodore of Coconut Grove SC, Dave Martin, said, "I want to start off by thanking the club. We had to make a lot of changes and the club has been transformed into a world class regatta event and I would like to thank everyone who's been part of it. Thank you to the Board and everyone that made this possible, and all the volunteers."

Finally, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez made a very refreshing, encouraging and positive speech to the club. "I grew up sailing in this bay. I didn't sail the Finn, I sailed puffer boats. I had so many wonderful moments and memories about this bay and I can tell you that sailing is one of the most chill and recreational sports that anyone can engage. For me to be here with all of you at CGSC, which has been here since 1946 is thrilling. I really hope this is a wonderful Finn Gold Cup and hopefully one day my son and daughter will be sailing in this club and will enjoy the wonderful memories that I've enjoyed."

With a few late entries, the registered fleet now numbers 58 Finns from 16 nations. There are also five U23 sailors taking part in addition to the older generation. The age range is huge from 17 to 87. As always the Finn Gold Cup is a celebration of life as well as of sailing.

Racing is scheduled to begin on Friday with two races each day for five days.

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