Laurent Hay, the World No.1 sailor from France, recently achieved a significant milestone by winning the 2024 Finn World Masters at the PuntAla Camp & Resort in Italy. This victory marked his first major championship in the class after finishing second three times and third three times in the past. The intense competition came down to a thrilling moment when Hay made a split-second decision just 50 meters from the finish line to overtake two boats and secure second place.

The final day of the competition was both exciting and challenging for the race teams and sailors. Despite facing unstable wind conditions, the competitors gave it their all, with the final race starting just minutes before the time limit expired. In a tightly contested battle, Valerian Lebrun needed to win the race to have a chance at the title, which he did in impressive fashion. Meanwhile, Hay had to finish in the top two to secure the championship but faced difficulties early on in the race. However, a remarkable performance on the final downwind leg saw him make a dramatic comeback, ultimately crossing the finish line in second place by a margin of less than a second.

Reflecting on his win, Hay acknowledged the high level of competition and the support he received from his training partner Valérian. The event also celebrated the achievements of other top sailors in various categories, including Grand Masters, Masters, and Legends. The prizegiving ceremony honored the Super Legends and showcased the camaraderie and sportsmanship that define the Finn class.

Overall, the 2024 Finn World Masters in Punta Ala was a resounding success, thanks to the efforts of the organizers and the participants. The event provided a platform for sailors to showcase their skills, experience tight racing, and enjoy the unique atmosphere of Finn regattas. Looking ahead, the competition will head to Medemblik, The Netherlands next year, with plans already underway to accommodate a larger fleet of 400 boats.

In conclusion, Laurent Hay’s triumph at the 2024 Finn World Masters exemplifies the spirit of perseverance, determination, and sportsmanship that define competitive sailing. His victory serves as an inspiration to aspiring sailors and underscores the thrill of international sailing events.