Michael Maier wins fifth Finn World Masters Title

The final day of the Finn World Masters in La Rochelle was made more difficult by the strong winds and early rain showers that swept through the area. Michael Maier (CZE) took the World Masters title after winning the the medal race in style, while Andre Budzien (GER) took silver and Erik Lidecis (USA) the bronze.

The medal race got away at 15.30 after one general recall in well in excess of 20 knots. Sailed in the narrow channel just off the marina it was a gusty, shifty race that generally favoured the right side under the town.

Regatta leader Michael Maier escaped from a poor start on the first attempt but made the best of the second start to lead round the entire race. Karel van Hellemond (NED) was flagged out of the start for infringing another boat's water and started last.

However he was back in contention at the top mark and moved into a comfortable second place on the second upwind. Third place in the race finally went to Andre Budzien (GER) after a close battle with the chasing pack.

Maier took a well deserved and record equalling fifth World Masters title after undoubtedly the toughest of all his five Masters titles. Budzien, the three times champion, took the silver while newcomer Erik Lidecis (USA) took the bronze after not really figuring in the medal race.

This year has featured the largest ever entry at a Finn World Masters, with more and more sailors both qualifying by getting older and being attracted to the fleet by the level of competition. Next year the Finn World Masters heads to Sopot in Poland.

Finn - Finn World Masters - Final Leading positions (285 entries)
1.  CZE   1 MAIER Michael YCR ROUDNICE 10 pts
2. GER  711 BUDZIEN Andrea SCHWERINER YC 17 pts
3.  USA  505 LIDESIC Erik BCYC ABYC 20 pts
4.  LTU   7 RYMONIS Tauras LFA/NAUTIKUS 25 pts
5.  NED   41 VAN HELLEMOND Karel HWH KWVL 34 pts
6.  GER  193 SCHMIDT Thomas NRV 34 pts
8.  FRA   75 HAY Laurent Y C ILE DE FRANCE 38 pts
9.  DEN   80 STAAL Michael DRAGOER SEJLKLUB 47 pts
10.  GBR  642 BRUNTON Adrian HAYLING FERRY SC 59 pts
Other Leading GBR:
21.  GBR  665 SMITH Julian MRSC 63 pts
27.  GBR  679 ROBINSON Neil MRSC 77 pts
34.  GBR   86 FERGUS Allan ABU DHABI SC 111 pts
44.  GBR  635 PERCIVAL Simon CHRISTCHURCH SC 126 pts
49.  GBR   10 DEAVES Robert WALDRINGFIELD SC 132 pts

Full results available here