Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Finn Open and Junior European Championship - Action absent on day 1

by Robert Deaves on 23 Jul 2013
No racing - 2013 Finn Europeans Robert Deaves/Finn Class http://www.finnclass.org
The 2013 Finn Open and Junior European Championship got off to a slow start in Warnemünde, Germany, as the sailors waited patiently onshore all day as the wind failed to stabilize at anything more than a paltry four knots. It was finally abandoned for the day at 17.00.

On the plus side it was a beautifully sunny and hot day, but there is little that is more dangerous than 100 Finn sailors with nothing to do. The sailors were given regular updates all day but were told to be prepared to go afloat at any time in case the wind arrived. There was a light breeze in the harbour but it was clear that outside the situation was different with a maximum of four knots recorded and an average of 2-3 knots. Finally at 17.00 the wait was over and the sailors sent home with no racing.

Rob Lamb (GBR), the PRO said, 'We had a light breeze with three knots – but there were spots without any wind at all', said Robert Lamb 'I hoped until the end to get a sea breeze, but we didn’t. But tomorrow we are stepping it up – we are supposed to get a Force 3, which is ideal.' Filippo Baldassari (ITA) commented, 'The decision has been absolutely right. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. In this case we prefer to wait here onshore.'

Defending Champion Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) added, 'I have waited for wind at several regattas, that’s part of this sport.' About his chances this week he was cautious, 'I have studied a lot this year, and have had some exams lately. We will see what will happen here. But this wind is good for me, since I am the specialist for those conditions.'

Several of the coaches here are former Finn sailors now passing on their experience to the younger generation. John Bertrand (USA), silver medalist at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 is coaching the Australian team of Jake Lilley (AUS) and Oliver Tweddell (AUS), while John Culter (NZL), bronze medalist at the 1988 Olympics, is coaching Josh Junior (NZL) and Andrew Murdoch (NZL).

Cutlter said, 'I'm only in the coach boat but it's good to be back in the Finn fleet. It's great to see what's happened in the past 25 years, and it's all looking pretty positive for the class actually. Josh and Doc are both new to the class, and we just take it as a methodical process, so we rig it up, make a few changes one at a time and see what seems to work best. We're not trying to be super clever, we're just running a methodical programme stepping through the controls and the tuning and seeing what works.'

On his return, 'I always had a good time in the class and always look back with good memories of my time sailing the Finn and the Olympic campaign, so I thought well, if I can fit this is with my other sailing and things I am doing, it would be a good thing to do and especially having two sailors who are good and motivated, it's good to be involved again.'

On his two sailors, 'I think there is a lot of potential left. They are both new to the class and this is their first season and they've done pretty well already, so the good thing is they both have good skill set and they had good results in the Laser class, so they know how to start and sail, so it's just about getting a better understanding of the equipment and how to sail a Finn really quickly.

'Just looking at the results, Josh is a little bit younger and probably doing a little bit better, but it's still early days at the moment, and I think the important thing is that as a group we keep learning about what makes the boat go fast.'

New Zealand is bidding for the 2015 Finn Gold Cup, a decision that will take place at the 2013 Finn Gold Cup in Tallinn, Estonia next month. 'It would be great if we can get the Gold Cup down to Takapuna. We all know there are great sailing condition there, and it will be in the European winter. I am sure there will be a couple of lead up regattas such as Sail Auckland and the Nationals beforehand, so rather than sitting in Europe freezing away, come down to New Zealand and do some sailing.'

When was the last time he sailed a Finn, 'Surprisingly I sailed one for about five minutes here last week and I quite liked it. Before that it would have been when I sailed against Craig Monk leading up to Barcelona for about a month and then before that the last race of the Olympics in 1988.'

In contrast John Bertrand started coaching Finn sailors three years ago and now coaches the Australian team. He said, 'It's great to see our generation come back in and help the younger generation. I think we have a fair bit to offer plus it's nice to see it from a new perspective as well so I think it's a good combination.'


Bertrand won the Europeans in 1979 and then, 'I got invited to the East German Nationals here in Warnemünde and I managed to beat Jochen Schümann in his home town. I was quite a popular winner. It was back when it was the DDR, and behind the Iron Curtain and it was quite an adventure for me to come here. I hadn't been exposed to any Communist nation before. My impression when we rolled in was that it was pretty grey, drab and very controlled and I stayed at the hotel by the beach and I remember at night the spotlights scanning the beach for boats coming ashore and people trying to leave so it was quite an experience. Coming back now, wow, what a difference. It's fabulous. It's a beautiful spot.'

'Here I am coaching Jake and Oli and it's a been a great experience. I am really excited about this new generation coming into the class since the 2012 Olympics. I predicted there would be a lot of interest with some sailors coming out of the Laser class, and some of the old guard is going to see some new talent come in. It's almost like what happened when I came into the Finns [in the late 1970s] because we came out of the Laser class and then it was the new guard and the old guard, and I suspect that this generation is going to rise to the top in the next couple of years. And they are all a lot bigger than we ever were.'

With more wind forecast for Tuesday, the race committee now plans to attempt three races but at the earlier start time of 11.00. The championship continues until Saturday when the final race and medal race will be Finn Europeans website

Related Articles

So, thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 4 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
Pantaenius – Smooth sailing is more than a favourable weather forecast
Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia As Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia, we get to see why they continue to grow their happy crew of customers. Sitting down with Pantaenius Australia’s MD, Jamie MacPhail, you immediately get a sense that the smooth sailing is a direct result of both their unique product and the marketplace’s willingness to embrace the better mousetrap
Posted on 27 Apr
100 days to Rio, are there potholes and bumps ahead?
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for most crews.
Posted on 26 Apr
Is George Lucas a sailor?
He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic, which has been instrumental in the making of many of the special effects that have made the digital world so impressive. Gone are the smears of Vaseline along the bottom edge of the clear filter to hide the trolley that was actually transporting Luke Skywalker’s Speeder, for instance.
Posted on 25 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Pantaenius - Worldwide SupportNaiad/Oracle SupplierInSunSport - NZ