Never too old to live in the limelight

Published on June 30th, 2022

The popularity of dinghy one design classes often lead to the launch of events dedicated to the older members who remain actively competing. For the Finn Class, its World Masters Championship is hugely popular, with the 2022 event on July 4-8 in Helsinki, Finland.

But with the Finn no longer in the Olympics, many of the young bucks have moved on. Considering the resurgence of the class in the USA amongst the mid-life crisis crowd, and the event open to anyone born in 1982 or before, the ‘masters’ title has become nearly redundant.

In addition to a women’s award, age categories are established to share the limelight:
• Master (40-49 years old)
• Grand Master (50-59)
• Grand Grand Master (60-69)
• Legend (70-80)
• Super Legend (80+)

With about 125 sailors from 22 countries expected to take part, the 2022 Finn World Masters will be celebrating how it was 70 years ago the Finn put in its first appearance at the Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland. Throughout the regatta there will be many occasions to remember that first Olympics when the great Paul Elvstrøm won the first of his three Finn Gold medals.

Noted Finn World Masters President Andy Denison, “I for one am really looking forward to visiting Helsinki for the first time, which coupled with the unique heritage of this year’s anniversary of the first time the Finn was sailed at the Olympics means this year is definitely one not to miss.

The entry includes a lot of new names for the Finn Masters and no recent winners. The most recent winner will be John Greenwood from 2002, who has been training hard with Tim Tavinor, who is making a welcome return to Finn sailing. Also from Britain, Lawrence Crispin and Allen Burrell should figure well.

Last year’s Grand Master champion Laurent Hay from France is still looking for his first overall win, but will be up against last year’s European Masters champion, Akos Lukats from Hungary, Christoph Christen from Switzerland, and the ever strong Dutch team led by Bas de Waal and Karel Hellemond.

However, the new name everyone will be watching is the Belgian 1996 Olympic silver medalist Sebastien Godefroid, who while sailing domestically, has not sailed an international Finn regatta since 2004. And while not yet showing on the entry list, it is rumored that another Olympian is on his way to Helsinki.


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