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Valerian Lebrun leads after Finntastic opening day of Finn World Masters

by Robert Deaves 12 Oct 10:51 NZDT 8-15 October 2021

Finn racing doesn't get much better than the opening day of the 2021 Finn World Masters on Mar Menor, in Murcia, Spain. With 12-18 knots of wind and in 25 degrees, two races were sailed in near perfect conditions. France's Valerian Lebrun took both race wins to take the early lead from Filipe Silva, from Portugal, and Anthony Nossiter, from Australia. 108 Finn Masters from 20 countries are taking part in the 50th Finn World Masters.

Reading the wind today was the key with frequent shifts and lots of pressure changes. Karel von Hellemond, from The Netherlands led at the top in Race 1, but by the gate Paul McKenzie, from Australia, had taken the lead. He maintained that lead at the second top mark but both Silva and Lebrun were close behind. Lebrun has just come from two years of training for Olympic selection and was clearly the best downwind, moving ahead of McKenzie on the final leg.

Extending to the finish, he took the win, with McKenzie just holding off Silva to take second. After just two hours sleep following an overnight drive from the Sail GP in Cadiz, Nossiter crossed in fourth place.

Enthusiastic starting in the second race left quite a few boats with a black flag disqualification, including a few of the top boats, elevating many of the top 20 higher than they expected.

Bettering his first race performance, Lebrun put on a master class to lead all the way for a large win. Behind him places were changing but in a slightly reduced breeze though still with a tricky chop, Silva came through for second with Nossiter in third.

Extending away for a big win, Lebrun stamped his authority on the fleet in the biggest breeze expected this week. It remains to be seen whether he can maintain this level during the rest of the week when lighter winds are forecast.

Exhausted sailors reached the shore, just 15 minutes from the race area, to be greeted by a wonderful paella served in the boat park, with, you guessed it, more free beer. The Finn Masters are being well and truly spoiled by the locals and their fantastic hospitality.

Racing continues until Friday with six more races scheduled. Two more races are scheduled for Tuesday.

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

1 FRA 111 Valerian Lebrun 2pts
2 POR 21 Filipe Silva 5pts
3 AUS 221 Anthony Nossiter 7pts
4 NED 41 Karel Van Hellemond 10pts
5 ESP 7 David Terol 11pts
6 NED 148 Peter Peet 15pts
7 SUI 7 Christoph Burger 19pts
8 GBR 74 Lawrence Crispin 24pts
9 NZL 15 Greg Wilcox 26pts
10 NED 29 Bas De Waal 29pts

Full results available here.

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