Finn Class eNews – February 2020

Finn sailors across Europe are deep in training and gearing up for a busy season ahead. This eNews looks at the majority of the early season events and the major championships this year.

Last week the class launched a short survey of Finn sailors worldwide to produce some demographics and get feedback on a number of ideas and initiatives. The more than 250 responses received so far will make interesting reading when the final report is published later in the year. If you are a Finn sailor, please take the time to have your say – it will only take a few minutes. Find it here.

The season begins with the traditional events at Cannes and Torbole ahead of the first major event, the Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Palma at the end of March. While some of the fleet will stay in Palma for training until the Finn Gold Cup in May, many will travel to Genoa for the final Olympic Qualification event. The stark realities of the Olympic continental qualification system, and a fleet size of just 19 at the Olympics, mean that approximately 30-35 sailors from about 16 European countries will be trying to win the final place available in Tokyo. It is no exaggeration to say this will be a fierce battle.

Three weeks later the Finn Gold Cup, combined with the U23 World Championship for the Finn Silver Cup, will be held in Palma. For many sailors it will be the final event in their national selection trials, so by mid-May the line up for Tokyo should be more or less complete.

In the recent 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami, USA, 2016 bronze medalist, Caleb Paine dominated the small fleet to win with a day to spare counting five race wins and four second places. Canada’s Kyle Martin also sailed an exceptional regatta to place second while Luke Muller took bronze after a week of different conditions. The event also acted as the Tokyo North America Continental Qualifier and leg 2 of the USA Olympic Trials. While Paine recovered some ground on Muller is the US trials, Juan Perez Soltero secured the North American Olympic place for Mexico after a tough battle with Bermuda’s Rockal Evans.

After the Finn Gold Cup most Olympic sailors will head to Tokyo, or at least ship their equipment there. But there are two other important events to get past first. The Finn World Masters has been a firm fixture on any discerning, and aged, Finn sailor’s calendar for many years now, but this year is special with it being the 50th Anniversary of the first event in 1970. Entries are already approaching 200 and there is a lot to look forward to with an extensive hospitality and social programme arranged, including the opportunity to win a brand new Finn, which has been kindly sponsored by Devoti Sailing and Dinghy Racing Centre.

Gdynia in Poland will be the focus either side of the Olympics with the Open and U23 European Championship being held from 3-11 July and the Finn European Masters from August 31 to September 5.

All in all there is a lot to look forward to and with a busy and exciting season ahead. As usual the Finn class will bring you all the news and highlights every step of the way.