Andy Maloney wins Finn Gold Cup
Published on May 12th, 2021
Porto, Portugal (May 12, 2021) – It took 63 years for New Zealand to win its first Finn Gold Cup in 2019, and after the pandemic cancelled the 2020 world title, the Kiwi nation has done it again. Andy Maloney led the 2021 Finn Gold Cup since Day 1, and though he lost the lead briefly during the final three races today, he did just enough for victory.
Joan Cardona (ESP) takes the silver and wins the European Continental Qualifier and selection for Spain in Tokyo, while 2019 champion Josh Junior (NZL) took the bronze. Leo Davis also qualified South Africa for Tokyo in the African Continental Qualifier.
The racing was again held over huge waves and constant wind shifts. A rainstorm in the opening race mixed the fleet and kept everyone guessing. In the second race, the skies had cleared while the final race was more tricky with several lead changes.
For top North American Luke Muller (USA), his 6th overall finish is a career-best at the highest level of Finn competition, and comes on the heels of a 34-day training and racing session in Europe.
Muller’s finish represents not only a positive step forward in his development as a competitor, but a successful effort to safely train and compete against the world’s best during the global pandemic. Due to COVID-19, the previous Gold Cup was held in December 2019, where Muller finished 17th out of 60 in Melbourne, Australia.
“It feels wonderful to have a successful week,” said Muller. “It’s a culmination of a lot of hard work after staying home, staying determined, working closely with a new coach, and trying new things.”
A year of training in the U.S., much of that while international travel restrictions were in place, enabled Muller to maximize time on the water with his training group in Florida.
“I couldn’t have done it without the team around me, especially US Sailing Team Head Coach Luther Carpenter and my training partner, Eric Anderson,” continued Muller. “Our careful and continued work during COVID allowed us to make the most of the months stateside. This was essential to staying sharp through the unexpected final year leading up to the Games. I’m just so grateful for the people who pushed me and continue to support me.”
Muller will now head home to Florida for two weeks of rest before returning to Porto. He will then train for 20 days with his Finn coach, Mark Andrews, taking the opportunity to log a final round of training before the fleet moves to Japan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Racing was held May 8-12.
Source: Robert Deaves