Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Yachting Range

Huge Finn fleet ready for season opener in Palma

by Robert Deaves on 30 Mar 2014
44 Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapfre Medal Race, day 6 - Finn GBR GBR-41 29 Giles Scott © Jesus Renedo / Sofia Mapfre http://www.sailingstock.com
A huge fleet of 99 Finns from 30 nations has registered for the ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca, which starts on Monday, the traditional start of the European season. The Finns have amassed the second largest entry out of all the 11 fleets in Palma and includes almost every top sailor currently in the class.

It also marks the start of a six month lead up to the ISAF Sailing World Championship in Santander, Spain, where half of the country allocations for the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition will be decided.

SWC Mallorca therefore represents an important test for the season ahead to see which of the current sailors have benefited from winter training and gear development. In effect, it is the first real test of the Olympiad where everyone who wants to be in Rio in 29 months time will be out to prove themselves.

The line up includes the new world number one Oliver Tweddell (AUS), along with the 2013 European Champion Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) and world champion Jorge Zarif (BRA). Also sailing are the winners of the SWC Miami (and last years winner here in Palma), Giles Scott (GBR), and of the SWC Melbourne Björn Allansson (SWE).

Other names to watch include 2010 world champion Ed Wright (GBR), London 2012 Bronze medalist Jonathan Lobert (FRA) and double European Champion Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO).

The Russians are fielding the largest team with 12 sailors in Palma, while the Italian team are not far behind with 10 sailors. The British are as usual here in strength and numbers also with eight sailors including Scott, Wright, Andrew Mills (GBR), Mark Andrews (GBR) and four younger sailors.

South America is well represented with not only regulars Zarif and Bruno Prada (BRA), but also sailors from Argentina, Uruguay and Venezuela.



Oliver Tweddell will be sailing his first regatta as the world No 1. He said, 'It is pretty cool to be ranked number 1 in the World as it is a reflection of a solid 2013/14 season. However, the main focus this year is qualifying the country for the Olympics in Santander, and from there continually improving my performance towards Rio. For me Palma is a training regatta where I am aiming to implement some new techniques and regatta processes in the lead up to Santander. Santander is the peak event for the season, so everything I do between now and then is all focussed at being the best prepared I can for that event.'

'Since Miami, we have had a few training camps back home, and a little bit of time off to rest and recover. I have got a new Devoti hull for this season and have been really pleased with its performance so far.' Reflecting a lot of new mast and sail development in the class, he said, 'A lot of sailors are using different makes and models now, so we are just checking in to see if there are any potential benefits for us.'

Australia has a strong and developing Finn team with Jake Lilley (AUS), silver medalist at last year's Silver Cup (Junior Worlds) also here in Palma. Tweddell continued, 'Jake and I work really well together, we both push each other hard in training on and off the water. We complement each other well with different strengths and weaknesses, which in turn will only help us both improve in the long run. Our aim is to be the best Finn squad in the world, so we will continue to work together to achieve that goal.'



Giles Scott, who took the SWC Miami from Tweddell in a medal race thriller is looking to continue his winning streak that includes the EUROSAF event in La Rochelle in October, the Copa Brasil de Vela at Rio in January and then Miami.

'There's a massive fleet here so presumably we'll be racing in fleets which will make a bit of a change to the norm and obviously with those numbers comes a lot of great sailors. For sure it seems this cycle has stepped up a gear with the ISAF Worlds only a few months away. Not too sure what the criteria is for Santander qualification but for me nothing really changes. I just want to sail well here in Palma.'

'I've done about 10 days in Palma since Miami but other than that I've not been up to too much, chilling at home in the cold. But the British Finn fleet is in a pretty good place at the moment with a good group of young lads coming though as well as the rest of us who have been doing it a while now. It's a pretty big group so James 'Dr Dre' Gray has taken on coaching the younger guys which is great as it keeps a big group working well without anyone loosing coaching attention.'

One of the new sailors to the class in 2013, Josh Junior (NZL) comes into 2014 as the new New Zealand champion after a busy season down under over the European winter.

He said, 'It's been a really good summer for me down in New Zealand. I had a great season last year, so we have just been trying to build on that. We spent a bit of the summer trying to gain a better understanding about how the rigs and sails worked, as well as competing in our local regattas.'

'The result here is not to important. but it will be good to see how far we have come over the summer, and like all events I always like to go well, so I will be looking for a good result.'

'Everyone seems to be here for this event, and I think everyone has put a lot of work in over the winter. It will be interesting to see how everyone has developed, but for sure the standard will be higher this year than last year.'

Racing for the ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca / 45th Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia starts on Monday with a 12 race series for the Finns, ending in the medal race for the top 10 next Saturday.

Clinic

Over the last few days a small group of Finn sailors and ISAF judges have been taking part in a Rule 42 clinic, organised and arranged by the Finn Class and ISAF. One of the chief objectives of the clinic was to start to build a library of video clips to train judges and sailors on the nuances of Rule 42 decisions. In all, 36 situations were outlined and attempted on the water including sculling, pumping, rocking, tacking and gybing. It is worth noting that around half of the actions outlined were permitted actions to train judges not to penalise a legitimate action.

The panel of sailors was a good mix of new, elite and experienced sailors across the age range, and representing 10 nations. The weather didn't quite play along with high winds on Saturday precluding any on the water sessions, but the clinic concluded Saturday afternoon with a lively discussion and presentation of the clips obtained on Friday. These clips will be made available through the Finn Class website in due course and will be supplemented during the year.

Follow the ISAF SWC Mallorca at: http://www.trofeoprincesasofia.org

Schaefer 2016 Ratchet 300x250Barz Optics - FloatersBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 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