sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition - Finn Class preview
London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition - Finn Class preview

'Fleet in 2008 - London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition'    Francois Richard

London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition first race for the Finn Class is now just 13 days away. The Finn fleet will consist of 24 sailors from five continents and is one of the most competitive fleets ever mustered for an Olympic regatta. The Finns are the first class to race, starting on Sunday 29 July, and finish on the first medal race day on Sunday 5th August. But before then there is a lot of sailing to be done.

It is a deep field of talent. The fleet consists of four Olympic medalists, six former World or European champions, and another seven championship medalists. In fact any of 14 sailors could arguably win a medal of any colour. There is also a healthy mix of youth and experience in the fleet with ages ranging from 19 to 48, while the average is 30.

Apart from GBR as host nation, the first 18 nations qualified for a place in Weymouth at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships. These were AUS, BRA, CAN, CRO, DEN, ESP, EST, FIN, FRA, GRE, ITA, NED, NZL, RUS, SLO, SWE, UKR and USA.

Six more places were up for grabs at the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Finn Gold Cup in Falmouth earlier this year and five of these places finally went to: AUT, CHN, CZE, POL and TUR. Though Germany qualified, the German Federation decided not to make an entry into the Finn class, and the place was lost to the class.

Ten sailors are sailing their first Olympics, seven are sailing their second, three are sailing their third, and two are sailing their fourth and fifth Olympics. The only one sailing his fifth in the Finn is Masters World Champion Michael Maier (CZE), who has probably sailed more miles in a Finn than anyone else in history.

While Maier is the oldest by nine years, the youngest is 19 year old Jorge Zarif (BRA). Three years ago he won the Junior World Championship – the Jorg Bruder Silver Cup – and is hoping that the Weymouth experience this year will stand him in good stead for the 2016 Olympics on home waters.

Ben Ainslie in 2008 - London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition -  Robert Deaves -IFA  

Without doubt the favourite once again has to be Ben Ainslie (GBR). Though he has shown everyone the occasional chink in his armour over the past year he is still the man everyone needs to beat, and beating him will not be easy. If he wins in Weymouth he will go down in history as the most successful sailor ever at the Olympic Games, taking that accolade from another Finn great, Paul Elvstrøm (DEN).

Whatever happens, Ainslie will undoubtedly be the story of the week. He has already stated that anything else but Gold would be a disaster, so he is bound to make the headlines, winning or not. He reflected, '...a home Olympics makes it very special. I was in Trafalgar Square when they announced that London had won the bid for 2012, the atmosphere was electric and that’s when I decided I wanted to continue my Olympic career and be a part of it. It is the most important regatta in my life right now, but they were all important to get to this point. I guess I have had more time to prepare for it, and I have had to as the home competition has been tougher and the venue is also tough strategically.'

But with such a talented pool of sailors victory is not a given and he will have to work incredibly hard for it. More than half the fleet are quite capable of denying Ainslie a dream result and they want to be there just as much as he does.

One man who knows that only too well is the 2008 Silver Medalist Zach Railey (USA). He was the only man who could beat Ainslie going into the 2008 Medal race but had the door firmly shut in his face by a determined Brit. Ever the optimist Railey summed up the competition, 'These are the best Finn sailors in the world going head to head at their best and that is the exact situation I want to put myself into and see where I come out in the end. It is the ultimate test and I can't wait for it to begin.'

'I race every race from a clean slate. I do not worry about the end result until the regatta takes me there. If I am beaten by someone because they were better than I was, I can accept that, but I cannot accept beating myself. The athletes always get better and better and smarter and smarter. It is amazing the progress you see over just a four year period. You have to constantly keep making improvements or you get left behind.'

The other main challenges are expected to come from Pieter-Jan Postma (NED), who took bronze in the test event and silver at the 2011 world championship; Jonathan Lobert (FRA) who took silver at the test event and always produces his best in Weymouth; Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO), double European Champion and always hovering around the top of the fleet; and Rafael Trujillo (ESP) the silver medalist from the 2004 Olympics and the 2007 World Champion, though he has had an inconsistent season so far.

Double World Champion Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN) considers himself some thing of a dark horse, though he is anything but that. Although he hasn't won anything since returning to the class in 2011, he is clearly on the pace and gunning for a third chance at a medal. He described the challenge. 'I think the whole fleet is fitter, stronger and have improved their technique a lot. I don't have a lot of pressure as I am not one of the favourites to take a medal. Probably more a dark horse, but I think this could end up playing in my favour. I am fresh and really pushing hard all the way. But seeing the last 10 months hard work come together with me performing my personal best, that will be the biggest satisfaction. I am truly blessed to have gotten another chance to do well at the Olympics and I will do my best to make to most of it.'

Another strong challenge could also come from the double Laser medalist Vasilij Zbogar (SLO). Having moved into the class in 2010 he made an immediate impact, culminating in a silver medal at this year's Europeans. He has focussed on training rather than regattas since the early season, so remains a a bit of an unknown quantity in Weymouth.

Other potential race winners could include Hyeres winner Brendan Casey (AUS), Kiel Week winner Deniss Karpak (EST), Tapio Nirkko (FIN), Dan Slater (NZL) and Daniel Birgmark (SWE), while some of the youngsters such as Greg Douglas (CAN), Ioannis Mitakis (GRE), Piotr Kula (POL) and Alcian Kaynar (TUR) have all made their mark this year in one way or another and could upset the apple cart if things go their way.

Mitakis is the current European Champion, but is realistic about his chances. He said, 'I only started sailing the Finn in 2009 after realising that I became too big for the Laser, so it was really demanding to qualify both my country and myself in only two years. I would be quite satisfied with a place in top ten.'

Greg Douglas at mark - London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition -  Francois Richard  

One of the youngest is Greg Dougas (CAN) at 22, though he is sailing his second Olympics; the first was in a Laser for Barbados in 2008. 'It means so much to me to be sailing at the Olympics this year. I have been working very hard for this over the last three years. My goal is just to sail my best and show these guys what I can do. I am very excited for the event because anything can happen and it will be a great all round test of sailing.'

At 36, Florian Raudaschl (AUS) is finally sailing his first Olympics, following in his father's footsteps. [Hubert Raudaschl won Silver in 1968.] 'I tried it before [in 2004 and 2008] and was not sent because of our tough national criteria. I am very proud of my father, especially when I hear the different stories of him from other sailors. But to be honest when you sail yourself and try to do a good regatta you do not think of this at all.'

'My goal is basically trying to do my best at the Olympic regatta. For the first time I have spent nearly as much time training as the other sailors do. That feels very good and even when the weather and wind situation in Weymouth are not my favourite ones I really start liking the place. The whole Olympic atmosphere seems to come closer and closer and I try to enjoy this great time.'

Over the next three weeks we'll be bringing you more of the sailor's stories, the trials and tribulations, the emotions and the struggles. The full texts of the interviews with Ben, Zach and Jonas will be released over the coming week, as well as others. Tomorrow we'll look at all of the Finn sailors in a little more depth.

The Finn programme begins on Sunday 29 July and ends with the medal race on Sunday 5 August. Reserve days are scheduled for Wednesday 1, Saturday 4 and Monday 6 August.

International Finn Class Association 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=99753

11:00 AM Mon 16 Jul 2012GMT


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

Click for further information on


Related News Stories:

16 Jul 2012  London 2012 Olympics - The Portland and Weymouth Military Base??
16 Jul 2012  The Road to Weymouth continues for the New Zealand team
16 Jul 2012  Good luck send-off for U.S. Olympic Sailing Team + Video
16 Jul 2012  Olympic 470 sailors Belcher and Page in Weymouth
15 Jul 2012  The Road to Weymouth continues for the Australian team
15 Jul 2012  The Road to Weymouth continues for the US team
14 Jul 2012  London 2012 Olympics – Aussie Krystal Weir prepares for battle + Video
14 Jul 2012  2012 Olympics: A New Zealand team Form Guide for Weymouth
14 Jul 2012  London 2012 Olympics - Heritage Reception at WPNSA
13 Jul 2012  London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition - Brief history of Finn Class
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

SCYA's E.E. Manning Regatta 2015 – They had never sailed together until six months earlier when they stepped onto a boat that neither had ever sailed, but skipper Joseph Hou, 15, and crew Skylar Jacobsen, 14, squeezed out a remarkable victory Sunday in the Southern California Youth Yacht Racing Association's Shadden Series ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race – After the limits of the southern oceans imposed by the combination of the weather systems and the safety barrier of the Antarctic Exclusion Zone, the Atlantic is opening up for the top trio. ... [more]  

Images from Auckland of the media conference on Sunday and prizegivings for Leg 4 ... [more]  

At the media conference held the morning after the finish of leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Mapfre skipper Xabi Fernandez announced that regular skipper Iker Martinez will be back on board for the next leg and most of the remainder of the race. Fernandez had taken over the role, skippering Mapfre to a 4th place on Leg 3 and a win on Leg 4. ... [more]  

Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank will kick off with 173 boats traveling to Coconut Grove to compete in the 88th Bacardi Cup ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 finishes at night after a tense day *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
The finish was more like that of a short 100nm race around the Hauraki Gulf. Instead, the first three boats to cross the finish line at the end of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race arrived mid-evening. ... [more]  

Farr 40 International Circuit - Alex Roepers doesn't like to dwell in the past. However, when prompted, the New York businessman will talk about the magical run he and the crew aboard Plenty enjoyed during the 2014 Farr 40 International Circuit. To the contrary, the thrill of victory only made Roepers and the Plenty team hungry for more. ... [more]  

Coast Guard crews continue the search Monday for Richard Byhre, the 76-year-old sailor who did not return from his sailing trip as expected. ... [more]  

The International Sonar Class is pleased to announce that Shumway Marine, with the cooperation of designer Bruce Kirby has made arrangements to have the Sonar built by Rondar Race Boats in the U.K., with plans eventually to have the boat built on both sides of the ocean. The American Rondar facility is in Peabody, MA. Rondar, expects to launch its first Sonar in April. ... [more]  

Rio de Janeiro's state environmental agency says it is investigating a fish die-off that has left thousands of carcasses floating in waters where sailing events are to be held when Brazil hosts next year's Olympics. ... [more]  

This year's 35th edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is nothing less than an island-wide effort. Besides the sponsors, countless volunteers and the numerous local organizations that offer their excellent services, the Regatta Organizers would like to say special thanks to the hotels which are so generous to donate complimentary hotel rooms for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Images ashore after Leg 4 by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water and ashore for the finish of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, and provided this gallery of images after the first three boats had docked. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Images from the finish of Leg 4 by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water for the finish of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean race, and captured these images from the final few miles of the race, and on the dock. ... [more]  

O MAPFRE conquistou de maneira emocionante a quarta etapa da Volvo Ocean Race, disputada entre a China e a Nova Zelândia. Na manhã deste sábado (28), o barco espanhol cruzou a linha de chegada em primeiro após quase 21 dias de navegação. ... [more]  

RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show - a British tradition by Rob Kothe and Jedda Murphy
Our favourite boat show in the whole world is the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show. It is like no other, with a large percentage of eight to 15-year olds, with many young siblings often dragging their parents down the aisles. Its a dull overcast day in Lonon with rain showers, but inside the heated halls of the Alexandra Palace, the fabled 'Ally Pally' , around 5,000 visitors will gaze at touch and feel ... [more]  

MAPFRE (Xabi Fernández/ESP) emerged victorious despite a pair of major setbacks in Leg 4 following one of the tightest-fought finishes in Volvo Ocean Race history on Saturday night. The victory gives the 2014-15 edition its fourth winner in four legs following successes for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR), Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED), and Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA). ... [more]  

Mapfre took the gun, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing was second and Dongfeng third. Photographer Ainhoa Sanchez was in the air over Auckland for 2014 – 2015 Volvo Ocean Race, and provided these images. ... [more]  

Photographer Ainhoa Sanchez was in the air as the fleet approached Auckland for the end of leg 4 for the 2014 – 2015 Volvo Ocean Race, and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

The wind has switched half turn and boats are now beating upwind to the finish, MAPFRE has held their lead and with the change in direction look quite safe. Team Alvimedica who was catching up at speed has slowed right up, caught in light winds behind Tiritiri Matangi island. With less than 10nm to go to finish and a fair 10kt wind holding, the slow patch looks to have been removed from equation ... [more]  

2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Hap Fauth's American JV72, Bella Mente has been declared the overall winner. Whilst several yachts are still racing, by the morning of Friday 27th February none of the remaining teams had the ability to better Bella Mente's corrected time under IRC. It was third time lucky for Bella Mente as the Maxi 72 has finished second overall for the past two years. ... [more]  

Catch the live coverage of the Leg 4 Finish in Auckland. Check the video timer for a countdown to the start of coverage and the expected race finish time. Sail-World is updating the on the water action and weather - which has compressed the lead four boats ... [more]  

Racing in second place in the Barcelona World Race, the Barcelona sailor Guillermo Altadill and Chilean José Muñoz passed Cape Horn (67° 17' 35 W) this morning at 2h12 UTC (3h12 am in Barcelona, 11h12 pm of the 27th of February in Chile), after 58 days, 14 hours and 12 minutes of racing since their start from the Catalan capital on 31 December 2014. ... [more]  

On Sunday March 8th 2015, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will close out the final night of music with one of the most distinctive performances to date. DJ Natty Rico will be the final act to grace the regatta stage during the 'Legendary Party' following Kool and the Gang. His unique blend of saxophone playing and DJ skills will have your jaw dropping in amazement. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - Cape Horn beckons for second and third placed Neutrogena and GAES Centros Auditivos. While the two IMOCA 60s are expected to pass at speed with around six hours of separation, in what might be considered favourable conditions for one of the most inhospitable and complicated corners of the Barcelona World Race, amidst the long hours of stress and fatigue ... [more]  

SCYA Manning Regatta – The youth-heavy event is the fourth and last stop of the Shadden Series for teenagers under 19 not yet in college and is also a move-up regatta under the advancement guidelines of the International Naples Sabot Association. ... [more]  

US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year Awards 2015 ceremony celebrated the sailing accomplishments of Terry Hutchinson (Annapolis, Md.) and Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wisc.) as it returned to the iconic Model Room at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan after having moved to the west coast for the past three years. ... [more]  

For the Finn World Masters in Kavala, Greece pre-registration is open. So far 130 Masters have entered. 2015 will be the first time the Worlds Masters have been held in Greece. ... [more]  

The website for the 2015 Finn Open and Junior Europeans in Split, Croatia, is now live, with online entry open. The last time the Finns had an event there the wind did not cooperate and the fleet ended up sailing some races as the sun set. ... [more]  

RORC Caribbean 600 – Four Figaro II teams, all from the Guadeloupe Grand Large sailing academy, are racing in this year's event. 18 sailors from the offshore racing academy are racing on four identical yachts and have high aspirations for the future; the Solitaire du Figaro, Route du Rhum or the Everest of offshore solo-sailing, the Vendée Globe. ... [more]  

After having moved to the west coast for the past three years, US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards ceremony returned to the iconic Model Room at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan to celebrate the sailing accomplishments of Terry Hutchinson (Annapolis, Md.) and Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wisc.). ... [more]  

If, in the end, the Pacific gave up race leaders Cheminées Poujoulat without too much of a fight and since Wednesday morning the Atlantic, in turn, has opened its fastest toll-free lane north east to Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam, the Pacific seems rather more keen to hold on to second and third placed Neutrogena and GAES Centros Auditivos. ... [more]  

America's Cup Defender Oracle Team USA and Challenger, Artemis Racing lined up for a series of try-outs on San Francisco Bay. Videographer John Navas was shoreside with a new high resolution video camera and provided these videos of the training sessions and hook-ups. ... [more]  

The HPYD conference is jointly organised by The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (NZ) and The University of Auckland and will be held at the Marine Event Centre in Auckland to coincide with the Volvo Ocean Race stopover. It attracts some of the world’s most preeminent yacht designers and is recognised as one of the top three conferences in this area internationally. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Ryan Houston - How Alvimedica's chemistry works *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race: Dave Swete - Alvimedica's race so far *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – No sleep until Auckland
Etchells NA Midwinter East Series - Schoonmaker Cup preview
RORC Caribbean 600 day 4 – Close competition – 43 yachts still racing
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica hopes to use Coastal Classic tricks *Feature
AC45 Turbo Training - Oracle Team USA images by pressure-drop + Video
America's Cup: Emirates Team New Zealand gears up on less money *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race – The race tightens as New Zealand looms
AWT Goya Pro Cabo Verde kicks off in style!
Barcelona World Race - Two different worlds separated by Cape Horn
America's Cup: Barker offered non-sailing role by Emirates team NZ
2015 CYC Midwinters Race – Pictures by pressure-drop.us
CYC Midwinters Racing – Bring On The Breeze! – Overall
Laser World Championship – Over 2000 sailors to race in Kingston
Volvo Ocean Race: Barkow and Lush - from the Olympics to the Volvo *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – Its anyone's race - Leg 4 to Auckland
Barcelona World Race - A time for extra care and caution
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Phaedo3 breaks record
Barcelona World Race - Cheminées Poujoulat pass Cape Horn
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Records predicted to tumble + Video   
2015 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship - NOR released   
Asher Otto and Itchy Feet to open up the Caribbean Jam night   
RS Sailing and BIC Sport North America team up for sailing programs   
RORC Caribbean 600 – Record pace on Day 2   
Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup - About to begin   
10 tips from BoatUS for owners and renters   
Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta – Notice of Race online   
2015 CYC Mid Winters images by h20shots   
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: News and interviews from February 23 show   
Volvo Ocean Race: Ryan Houston looking forward to his Kiwi home   
Volvo Ocean Race: Wislang expected to lead Kiwis home after fast ride   
Volvo Ocean Race – Now the race to Auckland is truly on   
America's Cup: Spooner fails in attempt to have Oracle AC45 arrested   
2015 505 Midwinter Championship - Final race   
Barcelona World Race – Renault Captur resume, Spirit of Hungary stuck   
2015 ISAF Youth Sailing World – Emerging Nations Programme announced   
Barcelona World Race - Spirit of Hungary to make surprise pit-stop   
US Sailing Match Racing Committee launches The Dial Up Newsletter   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Michael Chittenden's images from Race 7   


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