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Displaying items by tag: Finn

It has been a busy and successful few months for Uruguayan Finn sailor Alejandro Foglia. As well as joining the newly established Finn class development team FINNTEAM, he also became a Vice-President of the International Finn Association and to cap it off, qualified his country and himself for the 2016 Olympic Games.

Back in 2013, Foglia was one of the first recipients of Finn class funding to train at the Dinghy Academy in Valencia and says that was a crucial step for him to be able to reach his goal. “It is a big achievement. The Finn Class doesn’t exist in Uruguay and it was a completely new boat for me. Thanks to Luca Devoti and the Dinghy Academy I could make big steps in a short time to achieve my goal. To compete again in my fourth Olympic Games in this class is something very special and I am really looking forward to it.”

His qualification also makes him one of his country’s most outstanding athletes. “I am only the second athlete in the history of Uruguay to qualify for four Olympic Games, so this was something big, because Uruguay is a very small country of three million people, where the only big sport is football and the media talks only about football. Is also difficult to find funding to make a decent campaign. Very few private enterprises want to invest in individual sports.”

“The day I qualified for Rio 2016 there was some noise in Uruguay about me, and I made some interviews when I was there. The Federation doesn’t have the budget to support the sailors from Uruguay, but they help us to present our projects to the Government to get some funding from them.”

Qualification
Foglia qualified for Rio at the 2015 Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna, last November. It was also a huge relief for the Uruguayan. “I really wanted to do the job in Takapuna and relax my head for the next year. Although before going to Takapuna I had to organise another boat to be shipped to the Sailing World Cup in Miami in case I didn’t qualify in New Zealand. Luca played a key role in this matter because he helped me to find another Fantastica to send with the Brazilian team to Miami. But it was a huge relief to qualify in Takapuna.”

“It is also very important for Uruguay because I am also only the fifth athlete to qualify in all sports, so it means a lot for me for all my family, my friends, my coaches and the people who support me in this career. Last year was a difficult year for me because I had two injuries and had to quit two major regattas, but I managed to come back to be strong and prove to myself that I can do it and be in the front with the top guys, so I am very happy with that.”

Season ahead
Following the Gold Cup in Takapuna Foglia took a well-earned rest, “After a long season I like to make a big rest, to reset and start the Olympic year with full energy. I went with Simone Ferrarese and Victor Gorostegui to Bali to surf in the paradise. After that I went home to spend Christmas and New Year with my family and friends.”

“For 2016, with Luca Devoti, we made a plan to compete in three regattas, the Europeans (starting in Barcelona on March 4), Palma and Finn Gold Cup (in Gaeta, Italy). For training I will be in Valencia at the Dinghy Academy with the whole team. Luca is also organising a training regatta in Valencia from 18-20 February, just before the Europeans in Barcelona. Then the last three weeks in June and the first in July I will be training in Rio.”

FINNTEAM
As well as being a member of the FINNTEAM development programme, Foglia became the International Finn Class Vice President for Development in 2015 and will play a crucial role in developing the class worldwide.

The concept of the FINNTEAM is to create a team of sailors from around the world who are in need of coaching and funding to develop skills and train together, and then source the funding that allows each of them to succeed and achieve their goals. Its principal source of funding is a crowdfunding campaign set up on gofundme.com to raise awareness of the team and its needs.

Speaking of his new role, Foglia said, “I am very happy to develop the class to get more countries into the Finn. The FINNTEAM also needs more activation. It's been a bit quiet so far and we need to get more people involved in the crowdfunding to support these guys. The FINNTEAM is currently a group of five sailors who don't have much support to travel to events and buy equipment.”

The motto of the FINNTEAM is ONE TEAM, ONE DREAM, highlighting the multi-national teamwork that is at the core of the initiative.

Irish sailor Oisin McClelland is part of the new FINNTEAM. Read more HERE

Published in Olympic
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Five years ago the Olympic Finn class carried out a wide ranging survey of its top sailors to accumulate data regarding the weight, height and age of its sailors.

A new survey published in October 2015 reveals that the trend is for younger, taller and stronger sailors than five years ago.

The survey points out that this can be attributed to both the increasing average body size of the world's population but also highlights the increasingly athletic nature of internationally competitive Finn sailors.

Details of the survey are included in the International Finn Class magazine here

Published in Olympic
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The highlights from the medal race at the 2015 Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna, New Zealand video can now be seen. For the Finn Gold Cup Medal race the international class association added a GoPro to the back of each of the 10 Finns. For the first time ever all ten cameras worked as intended so they class now has a record of all the action in the medal race – close up.

Published in Olympic
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An Irish Finn sailor is part of a new Olympic sailing team initiative set up by the International Finn class. The idea is to establish a multi-national sailing team promoting synergy, collaboration, fair play, tolerance and cultural diversity.

The concept of the new team is simple: create a team of Finn sailors from around the world, who are in need of coaching and funding, enable them to develop their skills and to train together, with a high-quality coach, while sourcing the funding that allows each of them to succeed and achieve their goals – reaching the Olympic podium.

As part of the Finn class’s development programme, it has identified a group of aspiring athletes who have specific needs for coaching, training and funding and brought them together as the FINNTEAM and Ireland's Oisin McClelland from Donaghdee in County Down is one of them.

McClelland, says the class, has the makings of a top class Finn sailor. He towers over most of his contemporaries and enjoys the intense physicality of sailing the Finn, comparing a hard day’s sailing in high winds as more demanding than a tough rugby match.

“When you come off a rugby pitch and you have given absolutely everything you have and you’ll not be able to walk the next day, after a long day on the water in the Finn in windy weather with free pumping you pretty much get the same feeling, if not worse.”

“Since I started sailing I always had the Olympics as the goal as the pinnacle of our sport. In the Laser I never quite got there because I grew out of it quite quickly. With my age, I have a long-term goal of Toyko 2020, not just to qualify for but to do well, given the amount of time I will have to prepare myself properly. With the right funding and help from the Dinghy Academy I do believe that’s definitely possible.”

ONE TEAM, ONE DREAM

There has been a significant amount of young Finn talent lost in the past by them not having access to appropriate coaching and training opportunities, along with the lack of funding required to mount a serious Olympic campaign. The objective of this campaign is to turn this around and within a few years develop FINNTEAM members who have a real shot at gold. It's all about the dream.

Some have dreams of qualifying for, and performing well, in Rio in 2016. Some have longer-term dreams of Tokyo in 2020. All are committed beyond measure.

CROWDFUNDING

The backbone to the team funding is a crowdfunding campaign that has been launched on GoFundMe. The team will largely be based at the Dinghy Academy in Valencia. The Finn Class already part-funds up to four sailors each year to train at the ISAF-recognised Academy, under the coaching leadership of Luca Devoti, and this new scheme will ramp up both the funding available and the number of sailors eligible to receive funding.

The funded sailors will form part of the new Olympic racing team, FINNTEAM, with shared branding and shared logistics. Each sailor is committed to the programme, but is also required to give back in the form of media content for the new website at finnclass.org/team to support the sponsors and supporters. FINNTEAM will be complemented by a full media package on the back of the existing Finn Class media platform.

Corinne McKenzie (FRA), Executive Director of the International Finn Association, said of the initiative, "There is so much that an Olympic class can do to help development and individual dreams. I hope that we can be the lever to motivate our Finn supporters and sailing community to contribute to a common objective and make these sailor's dreams a reality."

Luca Devoti (ITA), chief coach at the Dinghy Academy in Valencia, said, "Sailing the Finn is the ultimate challenge, mastering the mind under immense effort and keeping one absolute focus....I could make my dream become reality. Helping these guys to do the same, sharing their passion and seeing how much they put into it is one incredible experience. I am proud to be their coach."

The FINNTEAM has been launched with five sailors from Argentina, Ireland, Uruguay and USA.

Alejandro Foglia (URU) is the oldest member of the team and is trying for his fourth Olympic Games, after competing three times in the Laser. He switched to the Finn class in 2012. His first task is to qualify his country for Rio and hopes to do this at the Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna, New Zealand in November, or at the Sailing World Cup Miami in January. He said, “It will be hard. Everyone is training hard for the qualification. But I am quite confident with myself, my sailing and my preparation, so now I am quite calm with that. If I sail well and do what I have done in the regattas so far then I will qualify.”

He recently carried out a crowdfunding campaign to buy a new mast but sees the potential of this much bigger campaign. “So now FIDeS is doing a bigger crowdfunding campaign. It is for the sailors who don’t have much support from their countries. This crowdfunding is a good thing to help all the sailors.”

Facundo Olezza (ARG) may be one of the youngest members of the FINNTEAM but he dreams big. He started in the Finn in early 2015 after a move from Argentina to the Dinghy Academy in Valencia. His commitment to the task ahead is unstinting and courageous.

He said, “This boat is wonderful. Every day that I sail, I don’t regret any decision I made to come here, leaving my home, my family and my friends. It’s just amazing to have this wonderful shot of making my dream come true, which is winning an Olympic medal.”

“It’s really hard to achieve that on my own so if people make the crowdfunding possible it would be my chance to achieve my dream, my Olympic dream. I always wanted to go to an Olympics and hopefully win a medal. That’s all what I dream about. Every day when I go to sleep I always think about the medal. I don’t think of anything else.”

Luke Muller (USA) comes from a background of Laser and college racing in the USA and says his claim to fame is being the youngest ever US Laser National Champion. He made the transition to the Finn at the beginning of 2015 and has set himself the goal of Gold in Tokyo in 2020.

“There is a dynamic between finesse and power and strength and details. I really enjoyed the dynamics of it. Some people say the Finn is just a brute boat but I really think there are a lot of aspects of it that are really detailed oriented and finesse points, and that really makes me excited.”

“One way that crowdfunding can help is to create opportunities for the young guys. Having this package that says, yes we can support you and this is how. That would really make the transition and the opportunity more available to sailors wanting to come into the Finn.”

Santiago Falasca (ARG) has been sailing the Finn since early 2014. He is already a recipient of funding through the FIDeS programme as one of the four athletes helped each year to train at the Dinghy Academy.

“I think crowdfunding has begun to very important for athletes in the last years. I think it’s the best way so everybody gets a chance of doing their best in their sports. I think you can level the field for everyone and you give everyone the chance of success.”

“In my particular case, and for Argentina, it’s so really important because here we have the chance to qualify our country for the next Olympics in Rio. We have the qualifier in Takapuna and the continental qualifier in Miami. I think for Miami and Takapuna we have to be 100 per cent prepared if we want to qualify for the Olympics. That’s what we want and that’s what we hope.”

These five sailors are just the start. Over the coming months the Finn Class will identify other sailors who are in need of support to mount their Olympic challenge and achieve their Olympic goals. Not having the financial means to achieve those goals should no longer limit their potential.

Published in Olympic
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#finn – These top Olympic sailors sure sure make it look easy but this is heavy weather Finn dinghy sailing at its finest. The six minute vid – complete with a head bashing sound track –  shows the level of skill required to make it to the top of the Finn dinghy rankings.

Sailed in La Rochelle, France, this month, in winds of over 20 knots, this was filmed using stern cameras on each Finn. Giles Scott had already won the championship but went on the lead round the medal race for a seventh race win that week. Vasilij Zbogar did just enough to win the silver while Ed Wright (whose camera failed to work) took the bronze.

The film shows Finn sailing and Finn sailors at their best. The conditions were extreme, with exceptional competition among great athletes.

Published in Olympic

##benandrita – Ben Ainslie has a lot of expectation sitting on him this summer. If he wins a fourth gold in Weymouth he could make history and become the World's most successful Olympic sailor since sailing was introduced at the 1900 Games in Paris.

Every boat Ben has ever owned has been called Rita, and his current Rita is very special. Having sailed her since 2003 she has won two gold medals – no easy task for an old girl! To do their bit to support Ben in the massive challenge ahead, the British Finn Association and J.P. Morgan Asset Management are asking you to show your support for Ben and Rita by tweeting a message of support with #benandrita.

Bens spare 'Rita' is currently on tour and you can see her on display at the National Maritime Museum, Cornwall 2nd – 20th May. It's an interactive display on which you can use iPads to tweet your support for #benandrita.

The display then moves to London. Ben and Rita will be at Canary Wharf station on Monday 21st May and Exchange Square, Liverpool Street station on 22nd May.

You can meet Ben and Rita at the following times:

Monday 21 May – Canary Wharf Station, 1200 – 1400 and 1700 – 1830

Tuesday 22 May – Exchange Square, Liverpool Street, 1200 – 1400 and 1700 –

1830

#benandrita Port and Starboard socks

Exclusive #benandrita Port (left) and Starboard (right) socks have been created to encourage people to show their support for Ben and Rita. Some of the British Finn Association members have sported a pair of the red and green socks whilst competing at the Finn World Championships in Falmouth.

Andy Dennison Chairman of the British Finn Association is keen to get the country behind Ben and Rita. "Ben is a great ambassador for sport, sailing and in particular the Finn Class – we're keen to get the nation behind him and his boat Rita in this key period. The socks are a bit of fun which we hope will catch on and get people out buying red and green socks this summer."

How you can show your support:

Twitter: You can show your support by tweeting a message of support to Ben @ainslieben followed by #benandrita

Facebook: Or post a photo or message on Ben's Facebook page www.facebook.com/benainslie1977

There are 100 pairs of socks to give away in the coming weeks, follow www.facebook.com/benainslie1977 for you chance to grab a pair

Published in Olympics 2012
Tagged under

#FINN GOLD CUP – In Cornwall, Irish Olympic campaigner Ross Hamilton has placed 45th and 58th in his two races at the Finn Gold Cup. He currently lies 53rd overall in a 95 boat fleet that is led by Britian's Ben Ainslie. The event marks the last chance for the Dun Laoghaire sailor to secure a nomination for the Irish Olympic team.

It was a great day for the British sailors on the second day for the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Finn Gold Cup in Falmouth. Ben Ainslie (GBR) won the opening race to take the overall lead while Ed Wright (GBR) dropped to second and Andrew Mills (GBR) had another good day to move up to third. The second race of the day was won by Chris Cook (CAN).

The big question for the sailors today was whether to favour the left or the right. With dark clouds, moderate to strong winds and intermittent rain all day, there were some big gains to be made by choosing the correct side. Race officer Peter Reggio was delighted that the 94 boat fleet got away cleanly on both starts at the first attempt, perhaps an indication that they didn't want to hang around any longer than necessary in the inclement conditions.

The left side was favoured on the first beat with overnight leader Ed Wright (GBR) leading round the top mark from Andrew Mills (GBR) and Anders Pedersen (NOR). Jonathan Lobert (FRA) then found more pressure on the right on the first downwind to take the lead at the gate from Ainslie and Wright.

On the second upwind, Ainslie and Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) favoured the right side and rounded the top mark in the lead. Mills moved from third into second on the final downwind with Ainslie extending for a second race win to the the overall lead of the championship.

Race four started very quickly with the left side again proving popular. This time Mark Andrews (GBR) led Ainslie round the top mark, but they went the wrong way on the first downwind, while Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) found more pressure in the right to round the gate ahead of Lobert and Chris Cook (CAN).

The second upwind sealed the fate of many with a big right hand shift as the clouds cleared. Cook was just under the leading bunch and lifted up to the mark to lead down the final run. Lobert went high and Postma went low, but Ainslie found a way through in third. At the finish, they were separated by no more than 20 boat lengths, with Cook taking a well deserved win from Lobert and Ainslie.

Ainslie said, "It was really tough out there today, it was quite windy, a lot of rain and low visibility so it was a difficult day for everyone and physically a real challenge. In the first race a front came through with quite a big wind shift to the right hand side, and made it a little bit difficult, but that's part of the challenge of sailing in these conditions. In the second race I went the wrong way, there was a big clump down the right hand side and also the wind shifted a little bit to the right. It was a difficult run but I managed to contain the loss and then catch up with the rest of the race so I overall I'm happy with my day. It was great racing out there despite difficult conditions."

After a good day, Jonas Hogh-Christensen (DEN) moved up to fourth overall. "It was pretty shifty out there, but actually pretty good racing. In the last race we got a big shift in the end and that kind of ended the race for most but I think pretty much the both races were fair. I got a terrible start in the first race but I managed to claw my way back and finished in fourth. The second race was pretty much the same story, but I lost a couple because of that big shift and had a sixth so it was a pretty good day, could have been a little better, but I'm pretty satisfied."

Someone who also had a better day was Postma. "Today we had two good races; it was interesting. I haven't found my rhythm yet, but today was better. On the last run I let Ben through, sometimes you have to be gentleman! When the wind changed they put a change of mark but it was not clear where we should go so it was not really clear where the finishing line was, so I had a little bit of difficulty to find it."

Race four winner, Cook said, "On the first beat I thought that the right side was going to have something in it, I think it's the typical thing that's been happening in all the races is a little bit of left and a little bit of right, it's just how you play your side. So I got to the top in decent shape, and I got to the right side of the run as fast as I could and the pressure filled in from there and it sort of set up the opportunity to round with the top guys. Then the second beat again I was worried about the right side and I was forced to the left gate, I was up quite a bit on the right so I just had to wait. I got in front just in time for that big right shift and then it was a nice easy reach on the way in."

Lobert is up to fifth overall, "In the first race I was leading at the downwind mark and on the second beat I didn't manage very well. I lost a lot of places so I finished sixth. In the second race I was leading again, so I said this time I need to take care and not miss the shift, so I was playing more on the right hand side. I saw this rain coming on and then this light, stopping the rain so it means that usually it's going to the right hand side so I was playing more on the right. But I was a little bit too much on the right so two guys managed to pass me at the top mark, then on the last downwind it was freaky because we didn't see the finishing line so we were all looking around wondering where the finishing line was. I managed to end up second though so I am very happy with that."

So after day two in Falmouth, The British team fill the top three places, while behind them the form is beginning to establish itself. Several top sailors had better results today so there could be a significant change after Tuesday's two races, again scheduled for 11.00. The forecast is for some sunshine, and strong winds. At least some in the already tired fleet will be thankful for the sunshine,

Published in Olympics 2012
Tagged under

There was big news yesterday from the ISAF events committee meeting in Athens. The conference blog reports A 'packed session' heard the Events Committee's recommendation on the provisional Olympic events and equipment for 2016. 

The Events Committee recommends:

- Board or kite-board for men and women - equipment evaluation
- One person dinghy men - Laser Standard
- One person dinghy women - Laser Radial
- Two person dinghy (skiff) men - 49er
- Two person dinghy (skiff) women - equipment evaluation
- Second one person dinghy men - Finn
- Two person mixed multihull - equipment evaluation
- Two person mixed dinghy with spinnaker - 470
- Women's keelboat - Elliott 6m

In so doing the committee's voting recommends taking out the men's keelboat. The second one person dinghy for women was the other option not to be selected.

The Committee's recommendations are of course just that. They will go to the ISAF Council for consideration this weekend. After Council vote they are then subject to confirmation at the ISAF Mid-Year meeting in May 2011.

Published in World Sailing

After the Finn class released its video 'Sailing at its best' on YouTube last week, the response has been nothing short of phenomenal say the class officials. The video is part of a campaign to ISAF to keep the class an Olympic dinghy and the chips are down. To date more than 17,500 views have been recorded from more than 110 countries.

According to YouTube Insight statistics it is the second most viewed sailing video over the past month.

If you haven't seen it yet then check it out on the Afloat home page, scroll down to the bottom of this post or click HERE

The video is just a small part of the classes enhanced media plan. Class President Balazs Hajdu wrote earlier this year, "Today the sailing community realises that media appeal is not only about what you broadcast but also about how you broadcast. By making footage and coverage on Finn races so comprehensive, continuous, available and ground breaking, the International Finn Association brings a message that the Finn is not only a great Olympic class showing close, tactical and fair competition for fit, healthy and heavier elite sportsmen at the top of their game but also that the sport of sailing is able to deliver the media requirements of the IOC and the broadcasters."

Comments posted online about the 2 minute and 40 second video have backed this up

- Outstanding video. This is the pinnacle of dinghy sailing captured on video.

- Fantastic sailing video. This is really promoting Olympic Sailing
- Without a doubt one of the best sailing videos EVER.
- This is simply awesome! Never thought Olympic and small boats sailing is so cool. GREAT GREAT GREAT GREAT
- This is just fantastic! This is actually what we want to see from Olympic Sailing.
- The more I watch it the more I love it.

Die hard Finn fans will also be pleased to know that a longer version is in production and will be released later this month.

Published in World Sailing
Next week at the ISAF Annual Meeting in Athens, the Olympic Commission recommendations and guidance will be debated and discussed with decisions to be taken by Council for Olympic classes for the 2016 Olympics.

The Council are going to be asked to confirm six core events and these it is understood will most likely will be Men and Women Boards, Laser and Laser Radial and Men and Women Skiff.

Once these are selected the other four events will be considered and the Olympic Commission has suggested that 4 of the following 6 be picked:

Men's Heavyweight (Finn)
Women's other weight division in singlehanded
470 mixed
Multihull mixed
Men's Keelboat
Womens Keelboat

With the commission recommending equal gender balance, the Finn is unlikely to stay on its own and would need another women's singlehander to be selected.

The multihull is almost certain to get in, and there probably will be strong support for men and women's keelboat leaving it to be fought out between the Finn, the 470(mixed) and a Women's single handed dinghy.

Many believe the second decision will be deferred until May, but as one ISAF insider told Afloat.ie "I would be selling my Finn now if I had one".

Meanwhile the Finn class association don't see it that way at all. Under the threat of possible deselection the heavyweight men have been mobilising for a fight. Below are details of its recent campaign to stay an Olympic boat. Scroll down for nice Video too.

International Finn Association Press Release

The Finn - an outstanding display of sailing skills and athleticism

 The Olympic Commission set up by ISAF delivered its preliminary report at the ISAF Conference in May 2010. Based largely on the Olympic Commission report, the ISAF Executive has since published two submissions which outline an exciting new future for the selection and decision making process for Olympic sailing events and equipment. The Finn is positioning itself to be part of that future.

Among the submissions are proposals for two sets of single-handed dinghies for both male and female sailors, to represent the weight and size distribution of modern youth of both genders in the most popular and low-cost type of dinghy sailing. The Finn class supports this idea.

Here are some of the arguments why Finn sailors think the Finn should remain part of the Olympic sailing equipment.

Tough challenge
The Finn is widely regarded as one of the toughest physical challenges in sailing. Sailors have to be tough, strong, fit, agile and athletic, while managing the mental aspects of racing at the highest level. The current world champion has a VOR max comparable with marathon runners and cross country skiers. Winning takes dedication, commitment and performing at the limits of fitness and endurance.

Appealing racing visuals
Modern looking rigs and hulls. Beautiful boat to sail with athletic, fit, muscular sailors. Requires extreme physical effort to sail well. Golden sail insignia for former world champions from 2011. Continuing research into sailor identification and country flags on sails. The free pumping rule has transformed downwind sailing into an absorbing display of skill, strength and athleticism.

Standard boats
Finns can be bought 'off-the-shelf' and be winning the next day. Hulls, masts and sails have all evolved into a level plateau of standardisation that means boats can compete on a level playing field. The strict class rules limits any experimentation into 'super' boats. Boats that are sold year after year are identical within reasonable limits and do not change perceivably over time.

Low costs
The Finn has one of the lowest running costs of any Olympic equipment. Average campaign costs from 35 sailors was just EUR 7,500 a year. One boat can last at least two Olympic cycles. Gear standardisation has meant reduced development costs. Gear is fast and ready to sail 'out of the box'. Increasing IHC and building control is reducing regatta measurement requirements, while 99% of checks at regattas pass first time.

Consistent equipment
Today's Finns are the most consistent, accurate and reliable Finns ever built. A modern Finn can be expected to be competitive for 6-8 years. The Finn is one of the most consistent hulls made today, thanks to very professional builders and strict measurement rules. Modern materials and new technologies means that boats supplied all over the world are as alike as possible in almost every way.

Easier rules
A proposal was passed at the 2010 AGM to lower the free pumping limit to 10 knots. This was aimed to make Rule 42 enforcement easier for judges and sailors. Under 10 knots there are much less opportunities for pumping and surfing. Identifying illegal activity is much easier, so less emphasis on judging decisions. Sailors are educated in Rule 42 – frequent clinics with the active involvement of judges and website coverage.

Worldwide culture
Local builders are producing low cost Finns for regional competition. Having been on the Olympic Programme since 1952, the Finn has the deepest culture and traditions of any dinghy class. Semi-professional class organisation oversees all activities. All levels of competition from Juniors (U21) to Masters (40+) and everything in between. Many countries are developing Junior programmes to fast track talented sailors.

Global spread
Finns are now built in the UK, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Brazil, USA and South Africa, and there are other countries to come. Elsewhere, suppliers and dealers feed local fleets with new and used equipment. There are National Finn associations in more than 50 countries, while between 35 and 40 countries have internationally active sailors. Sailors from six continents attend major regattas. It is truly a global fleet.

Pinnacle event
The Finn is the pinnacle of singlehanded dinghy sailing for men, and the Olympics is the pinnacle event for the Finn. It provides a single step pathway from Optimist to Laser to Finn as the sailor's weight increases, but also allows the development of similar technical and physical skills in the sailor through a natural progression of similar equipment.

What the sailors say:

Jonas Høgh Christensen (DEN), 2006, 2009 World Champion, "The Finn is the most fun, challenging boat for strong, athletic sailors."

Giorgio Poggi (ITA), 2008 Finn Olympian, "The Finn is the class where the sailor must be complete."

Zach Railey (USA), Silver medalist, 2008 Olympics: "For single handed sailing the Finn is my only option given my weight and height to pursue my Olympic sailing dreams. With the technical and physical demands of the boat, the Finn is a pure test of a sailor's ability to react to the changing conditions on the race course under intense physical exertion."

Rob McMillan (AUS), "There is no other boat like it. The advent of free pumping brings a level of athleticism that is unique to the Finn."

Daniel Birgmark (SWE), 4th 2008 Olympics, "Sailing the Finn puts very high demands on the sailors athletic capacity as well as tactical and strategic skills. It's the perfect singlehander for sailors over 85kg."

Tomas Vika (CZE), one of many Finn sailors in their early 20s, "If you are more than 180cm tall and you want to work on your physical condition in a gym you will always weigh more than 85kg and that is the reason why Finn has to stay as an Olympic dinghy in future years."

Gus Miller (USA), Finn legend: "It's a very powerful demanding boat and you need a lot of initiative and attitude that you're going to do it yourself. Everyone realises the challenges is yourself not the other guys. The challenge is the boat and that understanding is the old idea "I love my competitor because he makes me better". The guys here have enormous respect because the challenge of sailing the boat is so great. If one guy figures it out then the others guys are glad for him that he's been able to do it."

Caleb Paine (USA), first Junior, 2010 Finn Gold Cup: "The Finn is the best class I have sailed in. There isn't I class I know of that has such a great sense of camaraderie. After my first international regatta I knew all the best Finn sailors in the world on a first name basis because they were open, friendly and supportive of the new kid. I think that this coherence of the class stems from the fact that the sailors often train together. This builds friendships as well as making everyone better."

Tapio Nirkko (FIN), 2008 Finn Olympian: "The Finn is already well developed in many areas. We're now in a situation when all the Finn equipment (hull, mast, boom, rudders, centreboards) are good quality and last  a long time. When the market is competitive, the price of the equipment is also fair and resale value is good. That's an important factor to make a competitive Olympic project from a small country with a small budget. Now the actions made in the class to make equipment issues more transparent is important to keep Finn as a class where it's possible to make it to the top without having a monster budget."

Ed Wright (GBR), 2010 World Champion, on what makes the Finn class special for him: "For a start it's visually pleasant. The cost is low. I still use my first mast and it's still fast after five years. .... You can gain little advantages everywhere, but you have to treat the Finn with finesse, respect and grunt to keep it up to speed. The people in the class are great people and all hard competitors. Also there is so much history in the class, and never forget the many legends coming from the Finn."

Read more from these interviews and more about the Finn in the latest issue of FINNFARE out now

Published in World Sailing
Page 6 of 6

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