Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

2013 Finn Gold Cup Preview - Tallinn beckons world's best sailors

by Robert Deaves on 21 Aug 2013
Action during the Finn Europeans championship Robert Deaves/Finn Class http://www.finnclass.org
Estonia holds a special place in the hearts of Finn sailors and the opening of the 58th Finn Gold Cup in Tallinn this Sunday, 25 August, will be a momentous occasion for many reasons, and for many people.

It has been 19 years since the Finn Gold Cup was last, and first, held in Estonia. In 1994 it was sailed at Pärnu, but next week it heads to the country's capital to be raced from the Tallinn Olympic Yachting Centre at Pirita, which was originally built for the 1980 Olympics. Estonia has only ever hosted four Olympic discipline world championships, and two of those will have been in the Finn.

The organising yacht club, Kalev Yacht Club, is situated on the left bank near the mouth of the River Pirita, and is one of the oldest and most respectable clubs of its kind in Estonia. The large complex at the yachting centre also includes the iconic Olympic SPORT hotel, which was built for the 1980 Olympics and has been renovated and renmed the Pirita Top Spa Hotel. Many of the sailors are staying there. The race area is just a 10-15 minute sail outside the harbour in Tallinn Bay, which is a closed bay within the Gulf of Finland.


The large pre-entry list includes 97 sailors from 30 nations and is the first time that virtually all the top Finn sailors have raced together this year. With last year's winner Ben Ainslie (GBR) leaving the class and the 2011 world champion Giles Scott (GBR) sailing on Luna Rossa in San Francisco, the only former world champion competing this week is the 2010 winner Ed Wright (GBR), who is on top form after picking up the silver at the European Championships last month.

Wright leads a strong British team that have won all the major European events in the early part of the year and includes Mark Andrews (GBR) and Andrew Mills (GBR), as well as the young Peter McCoy (GBR) who will be looking to capitalise on his recent Junior European title win. However he will now have to reckon with Jorge Zarif (BRA), who won the Finn Junior world title in July.

Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) has had an eventful few weeks, which started with him winning the 2013 European championships, his first major title in the class. 'I had a rest for a week, and then another Finn sailor, my son, was born on the 6 August and I spent a few days with my family and the kid.' Back home in Slovenia, 'My result made headline news, so that was really good, for me and my supporters. I asked them to not make a big party as usual after a good result, so they made a small one. After that I went to Valencia for some training.'

'It is going to be hard for the worlds, a few things happened that took away the focus for the Gold Cup. I hope in the few days to the start I can push myself so I will be ready for it.'


The line up also includes several sailors from North and South America who were absent at last month's European Championship. Caleb Paine (USA) will be sailing his first event as the new ISAF ranked world number one, while Olympians Greg Douglas (CAN), Jorge Zarif and Bruno Prada (BRA) are also competing.

The Kiwis Andrew Murdoch (NZL) and Josh Junior (NZL) have performed well so far this year and are now joined by New Zealand's top ranked sailor sailor Matt Coutts (NZL). Murdoch was the surprise bronze medalist at the Europeans. He said, 'It has been a great season for me so far. I was aiming for top 10s this year, so to place third at the Europeans motivates me to keep learning and working hard to make gains.'

Looking ahead to the Finn Gold Cup, 'I know it's going to be tough, but I'm really looking forward to the challenge. The more time I spend in the class the more I hear some of the great stories from times past. The Gold Cup has been won by some big sailing names over the many years it has been contested. I'm sure I'm not the only person wanting to add their name to it.'

Will the addition of Coutts to the team add further motivation? 'Everyone wants to be the top performer for their country but getting caught up in that doesn't help your regatta. He's just like anyone else in the fleet, another boat to beat.'

Estonia's number one Finn sailor Deniss Karpak (EST) is very excited about the prospect of racing the Finn Gold Cup in his home town. He said, 'The 2013 Finn Gold Cup is only the fourth World Championship in any Olympic discipline in Estonian history. So it's a big sporting event and the largest this year I think. To me personally it's a huge opportunity to show my best on my home water. I feel so proud to see the top Finn guys sail in our gulf, it's awesome.'

Staging the event has also done a lot to promote sailing in Estonia. 'The organisers are trying to promote this event in all the newspapers, making a momentous occasion from it. It's cool to have this mass attention.'

On his own preparations, he said, 'This year has been a post Olympic year, which is always a hard year for getting back in shape. After six months out of professional Finn sailing, it was hard to come back, but now I feel ready to show some speed during the Gold Cup. But my goal is just to sail my best, to be consistent.'

Other top sailors lining up in Tallinn also include double European Champion Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO), London 2012 bronze medalist Jonathan Lobert (FRA), Pieter Jan Postma (NED), long time world number one, Brendan Casey (AUS), Thomas Le Breton (FRA) and Piotr Kula (POL), while Double Olympian, Gasper Vincec, (SLO) also returns for his first regatta for more than a year.

New talent continues to emerge and after some great performances earlier in the year names to keep an eye on include Zsombor Berecz (HUN), Alican Kaynar (TUR) and Oliver Tweddell (AUS).

More interviews will follow over the coming days and of course during the event next Event Class website

Related Articles

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
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. 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 many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 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
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
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Laser creator Ian Bruce passes away (1933 - 2016)
Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. His legacy to our sport, Canadian sailing and his beloved Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club will be praised and honoured for years to come.
Posted on 24 Mar
Rio 2016 - Kiwi women sailors jump to escape Olympic Selectors' axe
Two New Zealand sailors will head overseas on self-funded campaigns to gain selection in the New Zealand Olympic team Two New Zealand women sailors will head overseas on self-funded campaigns to gain selection in the New Zealand Olympic team in what is expected to be the final round of announcements.
Posted on 18 Mar
Schaefer 2016 660x82T Clewring One DesignNorth Technology - Southern Spars