2020 Finn Europeans stays on schedule

Published on August 30th, 2020

While the Olympic class fleets are missing their World Championships in 2020 due to COVID-19, the 2020 Finn European Championships remains on the schedule for September 2-6 in Gdynia, Poland.

Canadian Tom Ramshaw is among a diminished fleet of 42 entrants who were able to overcome the restrictions and regulations of the pandemic. While many of the competitors have been training in small groups across Europe, this will be the first time they have met since the 2019 Finn Gold Cup in Melbourne in December.

With the exception of those outside Europe most of the top sailors will be present, with well over half the fleet still chasing the final European place at the Tokyo Olympics, which is expected to happen at the 2021 Finn Gold Cup in Porto, Portugal.

Among the favourites are Nicholas Heiner, from the Netherlands, Max Salminen from Sweden, Alican Kaynar, from Turkey and Zsombor Berecz, from Hungary, while the defending champion is Giles Scott, from Britain.

“It’s great to be able to get racing again and having a championship regatta to go to again is a nice place to be,” said Scott. “That being said a lot of us haven’t raced since the Worlds last year in Melbourne, so it’s going to be an interesting one. I won the Europeans last year but in all honesty that feels a lifetime ago with everything that has happened since.”

Aside from his America’s Cup commitments he has managed to train regularly in the UK. “We have been doing a couple days a week over the past eight weeks after the UK restrictions opened up. So Henry [Wetherell] and I have done a reasonable amount of two-boat sailing. It will be interesting checking in with the rest of the fleet.”

But he stresses it was important for everyone to get at least one regatta in this year. “For me personally it’s a big deal getting one event in as I’m shortly off to Auckland for the America’s Cup. So this will be my last check-in with the fleet before, probably, April next year.”

The 2017 European Champion, Jonathan Lobert, of France, is also very happy to be back racing. “I managed to keep the training routine quite well on the physical side during the lockdown and then I have been sailing well with Antoine Devineau during the summer. I am looking forward to see how it goes in regatta mode.

“I tried to keep my routine going, but I trained only with Antoine in France as the other French boys were not training in France. The plan was to stay as much as possible in safe areas with good sailing conditions.”

In terms of the regatta itself, “No big deal in terms of results. I just want to feel the excitement of racing again.”

Event website: http://2020.finneuropeans.org/

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