Building on its storied history

Published on October 24th, 2021

Aspiring sailors that consider Olympic pursuits assess their skills and body type, and then select the equipment that best matches these variables. But for big body males, those options have been shrinking.

In the past half century, gone is the Soling (1972-2000), Tempest (1972-76), and Star (1932-40, 1952-72, 1980-2012). Change occurred for different reasons, with a movement by the International Olympic Committee to modernize format and equipment finding no event to fit the Finn (1952-2020).

Class organizations and suppliers thrive under Olympic status, with participation guaranteed and gear regularly updated. Following Tokyo 2020, the Finn Class is now grappling with their new paradigm, though much like the Star, which holds much history in the sport, the Finn may even thrive as they look forward.

To improve the odds, the Class Organization will enlist what many consider the finest place on earth – Lake Garda in Italy – for the 2022 Finn Gold Cup at Malcesine on Lake Garda on May 15-21.

Seeking to maintain the Finn Gold Cup as its pinnacle event, this popular venue has proven immensely successful for other one design classes, and host Fragila Vela Malcesine already has a long history of Finn class sailing.

The annual International Finn Cup is the oldest regatta run by the club, having hosted for 41 years, while the club has also twice held the Finn European Championship, in 1979 and 2001. Many will also remember the 2016 Finn World Masters held on Lake Garda which attracted 355 Finns, the largest ever Finn event.

One design classes thrive because of their community, and now without the heightened professionalism of Olympic sailors and the influence from the IOC and national federations, perhaps that community can take a breath, relax, and build on its storied history.

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