by Richard Crockett
The fleet has completed 3 races, so one is now able to get some idea as to how our local RSA contingent are faring.
Greg Davis is 58th. Philip Baum is 72. Arend Van Wamelen is 107. Alan Serritslev is 169. Leon Ferreira is 209. David Kitchen, a former South African is sailing under the UK flag, is 152.
Now bear in mind that this is a fleet of 236 boats, so Grand Grand Masters Davis and Baum being in the top 100 is no mean achievement, especially in a fleet packed with massive talent, Olympic medals and more. And let’s not overlook Ali Serritslev who is sailing in the Legends division – that’s for those over 70. What’s even more impressive is that Serritslev has had a double knee replacement! They make Finn sailors very tough!
Regrettably our RSA sailors have an uncanny knack of hiding from the cameras as there are no pics of them in action, with Philip Baum being the exception.
Double Finn World Masters Champion, Vladimir Krutskikh, from Russia, has yet to put a foot wrong with three races wins from three races. He picked up two wins on Day 2 to lead the 246-boat fleet, from 28 nations. At his first Masters, Anthony Nossiter, from Australia, is second, while Laurent Hay, from France, is third.
You need patience and plenty of it in sailing, and after losing the final group race on Monday in an unstable wind, the first fleet race on Tuesday was the catch-up race for Blue group. Despite forecasts of strong wind, the fleet waited afloat for more than two hours in sweltering sunshine and almost zero wind before finally getting the race underway. When the wind finally arrived from Sweden, it built quickly to more than 12 knots.
Highlights from Day 2
The fleet got away first time, though nine boats were disqualified with a UFD. Krutskikh led at the top and extended on the fleet for a comfortable win as the breeze built to 15-16 knots, though it was still very shifty. He rounded ahead of Filipe Silva, from Portugal and Uli Breuer, from Germany, and they finished in that order.
As they crossed the finish, the rest of the fleet arrived on the race course, which had been moved a long way offshore to find some breeze.
Krutskikh was fastest to the top mark in Yellow group in Race 3, to lead round and win his second race of the day, this time from Taras Havrysh, from Ukraine, and Christoph Christen, from Switzerland.
Blue group was a battle between old adversaries, Nossiter and Mike Maier, from Czech Republic. Nossiter rounded the top mark in the lead, with Maier in the chasing pack. Up the second beat Maier applied pressure, but Nossiter remembered what to do and stayed ahead to take the race win. Maier took second with Felix Denikaev in third.
After three Olympics, Anthony Nossiter is sailing in his first Finn World Masters.
“We had a great race today in the last race with Big Czech and myself. It felt like a time warp back to 2007 in the America’s Cup when we used to train together. But it was good fun out there and the wind was all over the place. It was nice to use your instincts and get it right for a change.”
‘I feel old myself, but relatively; there are a lot of legends out there sailing around and it’s impressive to see. The Finn is still very strong, I must say.”
In the age categories, Krutskikh is leading the Masters, Hay is leading the Grand Masters, Thomas Schmid, from Germany, in fourth, is leading the Grand Grand Masters, while Henry Sprague is the top Legend (over 70) in tenth place. Richard Hart is the leading Super Legend (over 80) in 179th overall.
Jan Willem Kok, from The Netherlands, is sailing his fifth Masters. “We sailed the Finn like it should be sailed, this afternoon. It was nice.”
“I like to sail the Finn and I like to sail with people who like to sail the Finn. It’s the only opportunity where so many people and so many boats from around the world at this level are sailing together. There’s no class in the world that can provide that. It’s very nice.”
58 Greg Davis 25; 58; 25
72 Philip Baum 46; 23; 61
107 Arend Van Wamelen 60; 28; 76
169 Alan Serritslev 72; 84; 87
209 Leon Ferreira – DNC; 95; 94
152 David Kitchen 67; UFD; 33