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2023 Finn Gold Cup at Coconut Grove - Day 1

by Robert Deaves 28 Jan 05:59 GMT 24-31 January 2023

The 2010 Finn world champion Ed Wright, from Britain, has taken the early lead at the 2023 Finn Gold Cup in Miami, USA, after winning both races on the opening day at Coconut Grove Sailing Club. Domonkos Nemeth, from Hungary, is second, while Italy's Federico Colaninno is third.

An overnight change in the weather brought much cooler conditions with moderate north-westerlies from 12-18 knots, and a lot of cloud cover. Both races got away first time with two windward-leeward courses for the 58 Finns from 16 nations.

Wright led around Race 1 in the strongest wind of the day with Nemeth recovering from around 15th at the first mark to place second, with Colaninno in third.

The wind had decreased and become more unstable for the second race. Initially the left was looking good then a big shift to the right changed the front. Laurent Hay, from France led from Peter Sangmeister and Colaninno. Wright rounded in sixth but gybed off down the run and was soon in the lead, extending for a comfortable win. Nemeth again finished second after a close battle with Colaninno

The furthest travelled here is Ray Hall from New Zealand. He is in 14th after the first day.

"The first day of the Gold Cup was good and solid, we had long beats, a lot of energy to put into the boat. I love sailing the Finn, this is the reason why I do it. It keeps me fit and healthy. It's my first time in Miami, I'm really enjoying the environment and I'm looking forward to day two. Finn sailing...been doing that for a couple of years, keep coming back, must be something wrong with me"

James Golden, from Annapolis, USA, only entered the event at the last moment and today was his first day ever in the Finn. He sits in ninth overall.

"I had a great time sailing. There was about 15-20 knots at the beginning of the day and then it dropped off to 10-12. I found a lot of success going to the left in the first race and in the second race hitting the right side at the right time seemed to be successful. It's a very physical boat and I had a lot of good fun pushing the limits, working hard."

He sails the Laser as part of the US Olympic development team and has represented the US in a few international events so far. "I am hoping to sail at the Olympics in 2024 and 2028."

"I signed up just a few days ago, my friend Peter [Sangmeister] gave me an opportunity to come sailing and I had to do it. I was coming down here to sail in the Clearwater OCR next weekend, in the Laser and I was given an opportunity to go sailing this weekend and I had to do it. I'm just glad to be here."

Ed Wright has not sailed a Finn regatta since the 2019 Finn Gold Cup in Melbourne, but is very happy to be back in the boat.

"We had two lovely races today, maybe 10-15, maybe sometimes more. I scored two bullets, so starting the week off well.

"It's lovely to be back in the Finn, I did some training last week and then I entered the Finn Gold Cup and I'm enjoying every minute so far.

"It's very tricky out there. By the second race it was getting trickier with lots of shifts, lots of pressure differences and it was quite interesting to see those little bands going down. Actually, it adds to the fun, doesn't it? I wouldn't mind if we had a little more waves."

"Miami is a great city, the sailing is great and I can't complain about that."

After two races there are eight nations in the top 10, with close racing throughout the fleet. Similar conditions are expected for Saturday, though slightly warmer.

Two more races are scheduled for Saturday. The event concludes on Tuesday.

Results after Day 1: (top ten, 2 races)

1 GBR 111 Ed Wright 2pts
2 HUN 80 Domonkos Nemeth 4pts
3 ITA 171 Federico Colaninno 6pts
4 ESP 161 Miguel Fernández Vasco 8pts
5 FRA 75 Laurent Hay 13pts
6 AUS 22 Paul Mckenzie 15pts
7 BRA 32 Pedro Lodovici 16pts
8 USA 16 Rodion Mazin 18pts
9 USA 186 James Golden 19pts
10 BRA 53 Pedro Trouche 24pts

Full results available here.

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