Future of the Finn Class looks good
Published on May 16th, 2022
When the Finn Class was not selected for the Paris 2024 Olympics, the anguish followed for no event existing for large sailors. What began at the 1952 Games had come to a close after 18 Olympics, but would the class suffer too?
“We are a class of 2,000 sailors worldwide, with at least 500-600 nationally and internationally active sailors,” said Dr. Balazs Hajdu (HUN), past President of the International Finn Association. “I know many of you feel let down by this process, but I would encourage everyone to move on and direct their energies to build and support the class.”
In a well-received message, 109 Finns from 19 nations have gathered for the 2022 Finn Gold Cup (aka Class World Championship) to be held May 17-21 on Lake Garda in Malcesine, Italy.
At the opening ceremony, newly elected president Rob McMillan (AUS) encapsulated the mood of the gathering, “It’s special moment for us all to be here to compete for what is undoubtedly the greatest trophy in single handed sailing in the world – The Finn Gold Cup.”
McMillan closed by saying, “It’s great to see us all together and we are the future of the Finn class, and I have to say it’s looking pretty good.”
While the only former Finn Gold Cup winner competing is Germany’s Thomas Schmid, who won in 1988, there is a strong list of contenders to try and become the 66th winner of this legendary cup.
The lineup includes several former Olympians, with Dutchman Pieter-Jan Postma headlining the list of favorites, though for sure it will be a tough competition through the fleet.
Also sailing will the 2021 World Masters champion Valérian Lebrun from France, and former Olympians Paul McKenzie and Florian Raudaschl. In addition there are a number of former Masters champions including Portugal’s Filipe Silva and John Greenwood from Britain. Current Grand Masters Champion Laurent Hay from France is also sure to be figure well.
Italy is fielding the largest team and on home waters should do well. Though it was hoped that the event would start to see the return of sailors from around the world, only the Australian team are fielding entries, though other non-European nations are gradually returning and many more will take part in the Finn World Masters in July.
The field will all sail together for ten races over five days to determine the 2022 Finn World Champion.