sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Finn Gold Cup - How it came to Tallinn Bay
Finn Gold Cup - How it came to Tallinn Bay


'Ants Vainsalu, Gus Miller and Lauri Vainsalu'    Robert Deaves/Finn Class©

The story of how the 2013 Finn Gold Cup came to be in Tallinn is a long story, but one worth telling. It involves friendships nurtured under the controlling glare of Soviet rule, of an American sailor's immediate affinity with the Estonians of the Soviet times, his determination that the sailors would have their day and how those friendships shaped his life for the next 30 years, of iceboats and sailmakers and reciprocal hospitality, of class divisions in Soviet society, and of KGB subversion. The story begins more than three decades ago.

The Finn has been an active class in Estonia’s sailing scene for a long time with names such Alexander Chuchelov, Jüri Saraskin, Aare Kööp, Tõnu Tootsi, Aare Taveter senior, Tammo Otsasoo, Imre Taveter, Harles Liiv and now Lauri Väinsalu and Deniss Karpak. In the Soviet era it was not easy for an Estonian to make it to major regattas, never mind get the opportunity to win a Olympic medal.

2013 Finn Gold Cup - Olympic flame cauldron -  Robert Deaves-Finn Class©  

However, Alexander Chuchelov from Tallinn won the silver medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics for the USSR. Later, Imre Taveter twice represented Estonia at the Olympics and today Deniss Karpak is Estonia's most successful sailor and a former world number one. Jüri Saraskin, twice Estonian champion, has been the international class chief measurer for 21 years and is respected worldwide for his knowledgeable and diplomatically firm approach to equipment inspection at Finn championships, as well as transforming the process into education as much as enforcement. This small nation of just 1.3 million people has had a major effect on Finn sailing worldwide.

In the late 1960s a group of Soviet DN Iceboat sailors travelled to Detroit, USA for the World DN Championships. Local sailmaker Howard Boston, gave the visitors the run of his shop to fix up their iceboats. Those DN sailors returned the favour to the group of USA pre-Olympic Finn sailors during the 1978 and 1979 Baltic Regattas in Tallinn, which is where our story really begins.

August Miller (USA), who had worked for Howard Boston in the 1960s, was in the middle of his second Olympic Finn campaign. He started campaigning Finns late in life and narrowly missed the USA spot in 1976. He had travelled to travelled to Tallinn to test himself and the waters ahead of the ill fated 1980 Moscow Olympics.

Miller explains, 'Estonia had good Finn sailors but because they were Estonian and not from Moscow, they had little chance of going to big international regattas. Because of this, while walking the streets of Tallinn early one morning in 1978, the Soviet Finn officer, Viktor Hendrikson, and I came up with a plan to bring the Finn Gold Cup to Tallinn Bay. However, Jimmy Carter’s 1980 boycott put the plan on hold until after Ted Turner’s 1986 Goodwill Games regatta in Tallinn, and it was not until 1994 that the Finn Gold Cup finally came to Estonia, at Pärnu.'

Gus Mller - 2013 Finn Gold Cup -  Robert Deaves-Finn Class©  

'Getting the 1994 Finn Gold Cup to Estonia was a major undertaking for a chaotic and financially burdened country starting from scratch in climbing its way out of 52 years of Soviet control. But it also inspired the nation in what could be accomplished.'

'I have probably made more than 20 visits to Estonia involving the Finn. Additionally, I have been with them at numerous international regattas. It all started with friendships formed in 1978 and 1979 at the Pre-Olympic Regattas when I felt an affinity with the Estonians of the Soviet times.'

'When the iceboat sailors came to Detroit, chief among the introductions was Maija Imelik who had led the delegation of Estonian iceboaters, some of whom were also Finn sailors. In Soviet times, as the chief of sports in Estonia, she was the woman to please if you wanted an international Finn career. A classic multi-faceted Estonian woman, it is not enough to say she was smart, beautiful, an accomplished athlete, feminine, KGB playing a double game, a party member, powerful, generous and dangerous. She was a woman about whom a great piece of literature could be written. She was born the exact same day that I was.'

Viktor Potapov bronze 1972, Finn twice world champion in Tornado Aleksander Tsutselov, Silver in Rome Finn and Gus Miller -  Robert Deaves-Finn Class©  

'In 1986 I raced in the Baltic Regatta during the Goodwill Games after the boycott. I returned in 1988 to do a big multinational training clinic that included most of the active Estonian Finn sailors during the Sporticade Regatta

where all the Soviet Republics were present along with many socialist countries like Cuba, Cyprus and North Korea. It was part of the IFA pre-Olympic series of clinics that included Miami, Brisbane, Barcelona and Pusan. To help with the physical training there was the chief aerobics instructor from the Moscow Central Stadium.'

'I returned again in 1990 for another clinic with primarily Estonian Finns. Afterwards I went to the Greek Embassy in Helsinki to obtain visas for the Estonians to attend the Finn Gold Cup in Porto Carras, Greece but the KGB intercepted Margus Kukk when he had all the passports and the Estonians never got to Greece.'

'Then in 1991 four Estonians (Imre Taveter, Tammo Otsasoo, Meelis Männik and Margus Kukk) stayed at my house for six weeks along with Luca Devoti for training and regattas including the Finn Gold Cup in Kingston, Canada. After the Gold Cup we drove to Marblehead for the CanAm regatta. During the drive the radio news said that the Soviet parliament had just given the Estonian Republic its freedom. So the Estonians took the Soviet ‘SR’ off their sails and replaced it with a ‘C’, the pre-Second World War country code of a free Estonia. They thus became the first athletes to represent a free Estonia in international competition in 52 years.'

Imre Taveter remembers, 'As Estonia was part of the Soviet Union from 1939 [when the Molotov - Ribbentrop secret codicil divided up control of the Baltic States and Poland] to 1991, there were many Estonian sailors who first used SR on their sails and later EST. I was one of them. It was an interesting time, sailing the Finn in the wind of social and political changes.'

'Later, Estonia got an historic chance to move step by step towards its independence. The process started in 1987 and finished with the Soviet coup in August 1991. Our team was in Kingston, Canada at the Finn Gold Cup in August 1991. Gus Miller took fantastic care of us there and put a lot of effort to realise the dream of the Estonian sailors to sail at the Finn Gold Cup.'

When the sailors left for the USA in August 1991 they left behind the Soviet Union, but when they arrived back in September it had become the independent Republic of Estonia. Imre Taveter said, 'It was an indescribable feeling for Estonians, to get back their independence and freedom. However, from a sporting point of view it was tough for active athletes. My coach was forced to leave his profession; there were few options for training clinics or to buy new equipment or to participate at international regattas. The Soviet sport system was professional and quite well financed. Coaches had great support teams, including scientists from different fields. However, despite these difficulties, the 1994 Finn Gold Cup was organised in Pärnu.' This was of course won by Fredrik Lööf (SWE).

Miller said, 'In 1994 I spent a month in Parnu before the Finn Gold Cup training with the Estonians. Margus Kukk had become a principal of Eesti Kutus the Estonian National Oil Company which primarily funded the event. I later lent Imre my Finn and coached him, among others, at the Savannah pre-Olympic Regatta but Estonia later refused to send him to the Games. I also coached Imre at both the Sydney and Athens Regattas with IOC credentials.'

The Race Director this year Ants Väinsalu, first met met Miller during the Goodwill Games in Tallinn in 1986 following the two Olympic boycotts in 1980 and 1984. He said, 'I got the idea to bring the Finn Gold Cup to Tallinn from Lauri [Väinsalu] when he took part in the 2010 Finn Gold Cup in San Fransisco. Lauri stayed together with Gus on a yacht and asked Lauri Gus if it good idea to have the Finn Gold Cup in Tallinn in 2013. Gus was very positive and supportive. Also Juri [Saraskin] was very supportive and helped a lot. And then I decided to go for it. We did the presentation in 2011 at the Helsinki AGM and got the event.'

The Finn and the culture of its sailors have an incredibly long reach for those who become involved. It has been a long road to get the Finn Gold Cup to Tallinn Bay but it is finally here. Miller concluded, 'The Estonia hosting this 2013 Finn Gold Cup is a mature, modern country after starting from very little beyond structureless post Soviet rubble 22 years ago. Now a member of the European Union, the inventors of Skype, providing troops in Afghanistan, a leading producer of gifted musicians, home of some of the most attractive women in the world and always at the Olympics, with surprising number of outstanding athletes for such a small country.'

Event website


by Robert Deaves

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=113717

8:15 AM Tue 27 Aug 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2013 Finn Gold Cup

Related News Stories:

27 Aug 2013  Finn Gold Cup - Impressive start for Australia’s Oliver Tweddell
27 Aug 2013  Finn Gold Cup - Light winds mix the fleet on day 1
22 Aug 2013  Finn Gold Cup challenge awaits GBR sailors
22 Aug 2013  2013 Finn Gold Cup - Sailors make final preparations in Tallinn
21 Aug 2013  2013 Finn Gold Cup Preview - Tallinn beckons world's best sailors






News - USA and the World

Groupe Beneteau today announced its sponsorship of the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider and ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami. Groupe Beneteau is the world's leading yacht builder, and will now become a significant presence in high-performance sailing with its support of both the US national sailing team and North America's premier Olympic and Paralympic classes regatta. ... [more]  

The 2014 RS:X Youth Worlds kicked off on October 20th in Clearwater, USA, and it was hard work from the start: in 5-6 kt of breeze, offshore to start the day and side-on to close it, pumping was in order for the 54 boys and 28 girls gathered here for the 2014 RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championships. ... [more]  

In spite of Hurricane Gonzalo's thrashing of the Onion Patch last week, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and the people of Bermuda are ready to host the 2014 Argo Group Gold Cup, Stage 6 of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT). All 20 teams have arrived safely from their corners of the world and will practice for a day and race on Wednesday. ... [more]  

While the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup always offers opportunities for young people to have new experiences, coping with Hurricane Gonzalo offered the 14 competitors traveling from overseas to Bermuda a hurdle that strengthened their respect for this island nation. Many of the 14 competitors spent layover time in either hotels or airports and some are now guests in homes without electricity. ... [more]  

Dynamic Stability Systems welcomes last week’s decision by IMOCA to place no further restrictions on its class rule. This permits both the six new IMOCA 60s currently under construction, as well as the existing fleet, to be fitted with the lateral lifting foils which DSS has spent the last decade pioneering. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. It’s the place where the northern and southern winds meet, where a sailing race can be won or lost in an instant. And with its complex and confusing conditions, lack of breeze, and stifling heat – it’s also a place that most sailors can’t wait to see the back of. But there is one good thing about the Doldrums. ... [more]  

The Atlantic has proved to be a test for the VO65s in the Volvo Ocean Race and their teams as a battle of gybing down the west coast of Africa broke out, keeping all boats in a relatively tight-knit pack for much longer than expected. Having passed Morocco and the Canaries, we were drawn to the tricky-to-handle magnet of Cape Verde. ... [more]  

It’s the dawn of a complicated day in the Volvo Ocean Race. Let’s face it: we’re not having a very good time on Dongfeng. We lost distance last night, and our leading position. The day got dull afterwards. Sailing straight ahead, with the spinnaker up, in light winds. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day 10 onboard Team SCA. Two days, eight hours, thirty-four minutes, and ten seconds, nine seconds, eight, seven, six, five… over the last few days the clock has gotten louder and louder as it counts down to October 23rd at noon—the time when we cross the equator and the time when myself and six other sailors join the rest of our crew in King Neptune’s court. ... [more]  

For Pablo Arrarte Elorza, the Volvo Ocean Race is a tough challenge. Not as far as physical effort is concerned because this likeable Spaniard is a very strong guy. For Pablo, the race is mostly a culinary war of attrition because the food that the team has bought with it on the race does little to please his gourmet palate. ... [more]  

The team at The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta are very happy to announce that entries are now open for the 2015 Regatta, taking place March 5 - 8. The team hopes to see lots of return entries as well as new ones this year, all coming to celebrate the event's 35th year. In order to celebrate this milestone year, there will be some new features this coming season. ... [more]  

After three complete days at sea only three boats competing in the 2014 Rolex Middle Sea Race have passed the northwest tip of Sicily, roughly the halfway point of the race. The prevailing wind remains weak, but is expected to strengthen this afternoon coinciding with the arrival of bulk of the fleet t the Egadi Islands. ... [more]  

Last week the Volvo Ocean Race was all about VMG downwind sailing, with Dongfeng being the star performer. After DFRT took the lead, they shortly lost it again 36 hours later after hitting something in the water and losing their rudder. Two hours later they were up and running again with the spare in. Impressive stuff. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 9 plus Videos *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.nz/com
Several of the On Board Reporters aboard, provide their unique views of Leg 1, Day 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race - in text, images and video. ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Fight to the finish by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
Igor Simicic's maxi, Esimit Europa 2 is expected to finish the Rolex Middle Sea Race in the early hours of tomorrow morning. However the 100ft carbon fibre canting keel Maxi is under serious pressure to secure their fourth Line Honours victory in the race. ... [more]  

Italy won two races (windward-leeward race (ninth race) and coastal race (11th race), Switzerland won the second race of the day (10th race) and Ireland the last one (12th race). A lot of tactics was required to make best use of the little wind. The first race (windward-leeward race, 0,8nm) started at four knots. A second start under black flag happened. ... [more]  

PredictWind have made significant improvements to the swell forecasting models and added new locations. Integrating the new 50km global wind forecast with ocean current data has created the most advanced swell modelling available online. By combining PredictWind forecast data with ocean current data, the effect of the wind on swells can be accounted for ... [more]  

The battle continues for the lead in the Volvo Ocean Race, with the front running being taken up by different competitors on a regular basis. With the first boats about to enter the Doldrums, anything can happen - with the outcome being decided by navigational skill and experience, rather than being resolved on a computer. ... [more]  

The Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup, now in its 12th year, is known around the world as an international championship of junior champions. It runs parallel to the penultimate event on the World Match Racing Tour, the Argo Group Gold Cup. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet charges the door of the Doldrums Casino *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
The Volvo Ocean Race has lifted intensity again on Day 9 with the fleet spread across 100nm of ocean and charging in a line for the turning point of Fernando de Noronha, 220nm off the Brazilian coast. ... [more]  

As expected the third day of the 2014 La Torche PWA Grand Slam proved to be a quiet affair with very light winds throughout the day. After a chilly and overcast start, the sun eventually broke through to produce another beautiful afternoon in La Torche. ... [more]  

The first eight days of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race have been filled with more excitement and tighter racing than anyone could have anticipated. Up until Saturday morning, Leg One has left the fleet with few tactical options and therefore has kept everyone tightly packed as one unit of seven boats. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. The sun’s out. It’s warm – not too hot, but warm enough for just a tee shirt. Ian Walker is stood at the helm of his Emirati boat, generous Atlantic trade winds whistling past his ears. 'We’re going straight through,' he claims, confidently. 'What Doldrums? - they’re going to say. Azzam isn’t even going to slow down.' ... [more]  

At 1700 CET in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, 113 yachts had rounded Stromboli, the active volcano that marks the most northerly point of the course. Race leader on the water, Esimit Europa 2, was less than 20 miles from Favignana and preparing to turn south with 289 miles to go and is expected to finish the race in the early hours of Wednesday 22 October, which would be well outside the course record ... [more]  

It is with great pleasure that the Star Sailors League announces that two more top Brazilian sailors will be joining the fleet of 20 super-champions taking part in the Star Sailors League Finals 2014 being held for the second consecutive year at Nassau Yacht Club in the Bahamas between December 1st and 7th. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day Nine onboard Team Alvimedica. It’s hard to explain the complexity of the weather in this part of the world. No computer model or forecaster can accurately predict the winds because the air here is dry and warm, 23c now, and the typical barometric pressure gradients that generate them become very weak. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day Nine onboard Team SCA. We’re a boat on a mission: catch the fleet. And they’re getting closer by the mile. The first time I sailed past Cape Verde islands was in 2010 when I was helping deliver a catamaran from Gibraltar to Antigua, W.I. ... [more]  

Thailand bids for 2016 IODA ‘Optimist’ World Championships by Jordan Rumsby, Royal Varuna Yacht Club
Pattaya's Royal Varuna Yacht Club has submitted a bid to host the 2016 International Optimist Dinghy Association World Championships, offering the world's most talented junior sailing teams a chance to experience the steady wind, sunshine, smiles, great food, and family-friendly attractions of Thailand's top dinghy sailing destination ... [more]  

Photographer Ellen Hoke was on the water at the Farr 40 Worlds sailed from the St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, and provided this second gallery of images from the Final Day - Day 4 Prizegiving ... [more]  

Bill Green - builder and sailor passes on by Malcolm McKeag, Scuttlebutt Europe, Lymington, England:
Bill Green, San Francisco-born sailor, Navy jet jockey (not a lot of people know that); US Coastguard; shrimp-boat hand (not a lot of people know that either); One Ton Cup winner and most latterly proprietor of Green Marine slipped quietly away from this life ... [more]  

Tom Burton (AUS) retained World #1 in the Laser after a tremendous fight back at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao where he picked up bronze. The Australia had a tough opening day, finishing down the pack in both races but as the week progressed he worked his way up and sealed bronze on the final day to keep hold of World #1. ... [more]  

Photographer Ellen Hoke was on the water at the Farr 40 Worlds sailed from the St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, and provided this gallery of images from the Final Day - Day 4 ... [more]  

Photographer Ellen Hoke was on the water at the Farr 40 Worlds sailed from the St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - A hard day's night
34th Student Yachting World Cup 2014 - Second race day
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng loses lead, anyone's race ahead of Doldrums *Feature
Flying Dreams 'An Ocean Story': The Movie
New super maxis gear up for Rolex Sydney Hobart
Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 8 plus Videos *Feature
Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One Design Challenge - Youngerman wins
2014 Off Valparaíso Race - Santander team victorious
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Waves continue to pound on day 2
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng consolidates lead on Day 8 *Feature
RS:X Youth World Championships - All set for Clearwater action
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Slow road north
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 – Dongfeng Race Team - A risky call
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - Escaping the shroud of Mount Etna
Farr 40 Worlds: Day 4 Image and Video gallery *Feature
Australian 18 Footers League’s Major A. Frizelle Trophy
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Leader gambles on Island windshadow
2014 Sailing World Cup Qingdao - Final day video highlights
2014 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - Plenty of time
Coast Guard rescues two near Wachapreague
2014 Off Valparaíso Race - Day 2   
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Massive swell on day 1   
Volvo Ocean Race: Welcome to Al's Ocean Cafe   
Argo Group Gold Cup survives Hurricane Gonzalo   
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng regains lead after incident packed Day 7 *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race: Dramatic video of Dongfeng rudder replacement   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica bounces back   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA expecting the expected + Video   
Rolex Middle Sea Race - New record for Mediterranean classic   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - Medallists decided across six fleets   
Volvo Ocean Race - Impressive turnaround for Dongfeng Race Team +Video   
Volvo Ocean Race: Race closer than leaderboard suggests - Leg 1, Day 6   
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng Race Team break rudder after collision   
2014 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - Famous breeze frustrates   
2014 Off Valparaíso Race - Day 1   
Sunfish World Championship - Victory for Argentina's Francisco Renna   
Volvo Ocean Race - Feeling the pressure six days in   
Volvo Ocean Race - Alvimedica cautiously cruising down coast of Africa   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel still within striking distance   
Volvo Ocean Race - Testing times for Team SCA + Video   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT