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

There are so many ways that the Dongfeng Race Team could have lost the chance to win the light-air marathon from Abu Dhabi to Sanya in China. Leading from the first 24 hours to the finish, 23 and a half days later, 5,403 nautical miles sailed and eight different gulfs, oceans and seas, is not necessarily the most advisable way to try and take the spoils. ... [more]  

At ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, if the Chamber of Commerce had stayed up all night working at it, they could not have served up a better day for racing. ... [more]  

On day 2 of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, the rainstorms of yesterday vanished but the excellent wind conditions remained in place on Biscayne Bay. A more conventional day of racing saw US Sailing Team Sperry athletes finish the day in the top 10 in 5 Olympic classes and 2 Paralympic classes. ... [more]  

Bringing Dragon Sailors from around the world to Antigua. Harmony Hall Yacht Club, with the support of the Antigua Yacht Club Marina and the Inn at English Harbour, will host the second Annual Antigua Dragon Yacht Club Challenge with nine races scheduled to take place over five days in fantastic Caribbean conditions on identical Petticrow Dragons. ... [more]  

Sydney photographer, Michael Chittenden was on Sydney harbour last Sunday and captured these images from Race 4 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championships ... [more]  

New Zealand short-handed sailor, Conrad Colman is on his second two handed round the world race, this time aboard the Spirit of Hungary with Nandor Fa sailing in the Barcelona Round the World Race: I had noticed a couple of chafing zones on the mainsail so I prepared some patches and the Dr. Sails flexible epoxy glue so we could drop the main quickly ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami- Photos provided by Ocean Images. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on the water at 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - It may have been a day late for Australia Day, but on the second day at the Sailing World Cup Miami, the Australian Finn sailors were on a charge with some sparkling performances. Giles Scott (GBR) still leads after winning the opening race of the day, while Jake Lilley (AUS) won the second and moved up to second overall. Ed Wright (GBR) is in third. ... [more]  

2015 Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race is set to begin Friday, February 6. The 32nd edition of the venerable Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race will start in Port Everglades, Florida, and send its 12-boat fleet on a challenging 811 nautical mile course to Montego Bay, Jamaica. George Sakellaris’s (Framingham, Mass.) 72-foot Shockwave will be the largest boat competing, so it should be interesting to ... [more]  

VX One momentum is growing with ever larger fleets showing the pure fun and easy performance of this true thoroughbred one design. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: A warm and colorful welcome for Team SCA into Sanya by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL, Auckland, NZ
The all-female crew, Team SCA, arrived to a warm and colorful welcome including fireworks, Chinese dragons, orchid garlands and traditional costumes into the city of Sanya on Hainan Island in southern China early Tuesday evening (local time). 'It was a really different leg. I wouldn’t say it was hard in terms of the physical side but it just had lots of things coming at all angles ... [more]  

Touch2Play had the great fortune of participating in what would be the largest yet gathering of J88’s to date. Quantum Key West Race Week would serve as a chance to see how boats lined up against one another in conditions that covered the full range. For this event we had Rob and Sandy Butler, Steve Leibel, Keven Piper, Coleen Walsh and myself, Larry Huibers. ... [more]  

As the Barcelona World Race leaders race to the Crozet Islands, once again their paths have diverged – Neutrogena around 200 miles to the south-west of first-placed Cheminées Poujoulat on the water, and gaining around 40 miles in the past 24 hours. ... [more]  

For the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will announce on Saturday (31 January) at 10:00 CET the final line-up of sports. ... [more]  

On a high octane first day of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami on Monday (26 January) Giles Scott, Alison Young and the Paralympian Sonar trio of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas saw the best possible start to their 2015 sailing seasons with double race victories. ... [more]  

On the opening day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, it was sunny and bright. It was storming and raining sideways. It was sunny and bright. ... [more]  

On the opening day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, it was sunny and bright. It was storming and raining sideways. It was sunny and bright. ... [more]  

RC44 World Championship Leg 1 gets underway on 24th March until 29th March 2015. The RC 44 Class is unlike any 40 foot sailing yacht ever designed, and the reason for that is simple. She is a high performance one design yacht created for top level racing in international regattas. If one was to compare this concept to racing cars, then we would be talking about the F1, NASCAR or similar. ... [more]  

On Day 1 of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, America's premier Olympic and Paralympic classes regatta, featured the full range of what sailing in Miami has to offer. Over 850 sailors enjoyed strong breeze for the duration of the day, in addition to a brief but powerful rainstorm. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Giles Scott (GBR) said last week that he hoped his unbeaten run would continue, and based on Monday’s form at the Sailing World Cup Miami, the 2014 World and European Finn Champion is giving it a pretty good shot ... [more]  

ISAF Olympic classes regatta Miami 2015 images provided by photographer Ingrid Abery. ... [more]  

Team Alvimedica won a Leg 3 podium place in China after some of the closest racing ever seen in the history of the Volvo Ocean Race. The Turkish-American team protected their position in the final stretch to Sanya, carefully navigating a course peppered with fishing boats along the Vietnamese coast and across the South China Sea to cap off a well-sailed leg to clinch third. ... [more]  

The finish of Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race in Sanya, China just before noon on January 27, 2015 marked an unbelievable end to a magnificent leg for Dongfeng Race Team. After leading the fleet virtually all the way from Abu Dhabi to Sanya in China, over more than 5,000 miles of intense ocean racing, Dongfeng finally crossed the finish line in first place ... [more]  

Winner of Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Dongfeng, have released footage taken from a drone launched from the Volvo Ocean Race yacht, as she sails in light airs on the last days of Leg 3 of the race. It is believed to be the first time a drone, launched from a competitor, has been used in a major ocean race. ... [more]  

World sailing history was created earlier today when Dongfeng Race Team became the first Chinese yacht to have a win in a premier trans-ocean racing event. Her win was also a first in the 41-year history of the Volvo Ocean Race. At 1131hrs UTC the Chinese flagged entry emphatically won Leg 3 in their home port of Sanya to take the overall leadin the 40,000nm event with six stages to go. ... [more]  

On the morning of the 26th of January, the Maersk Line ship MV Stockholm delivered the Team Vestas Wind's damaged VO65 to the port in Genoa, Italy. From here she will be taken to the Persico building facilty where the rebuild of the wrecked boat will be undertaken. The team's goal is to rejoin the race in Lisbon, Portugal in June, 2015. ... [more]  

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is considering backing Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup bid, in a move that would propel the fortunes of the Olympic gold medallist yet further. Sir Ben is believed to have asked the Virgin billionaire to consider backing the venture when he and his new wife, Georgie Thompson, spent time on Sir Richard’s Necker Island in January. ... [more]  

To the 91st 2015 Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race significant changes have been made in order to enhance the race experience, and by the looks of it, sailors are embracing them wholeheartedly. ... [more]  

Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Monsoon Cup preview by Alpari World Match Racing Tour
The final event of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour, Monsoon Cup Malaysia, is to take place in its new home of Johor, the southernmost state of Malaysia, over 10th-14th February. In addition to being the grand finale of the Tour, the event will also see the 2014 ISAF Match Racing World Champion crowned. ... [more]  

In the Barcelona World Race the two lead boats are preparing for a gruelling 3,500-mile game of chase across the Southern Ocean, until the next natural gateway of the course, Cape Leeuwin in south-west Australia. ... [more]  

Quantum Key West Race Week provided the opportunity for the GC32s to make a spectacular debut in the USA. During the five days of racing held in balmy temperatures off the southernmost tip of Florida, crews experienced a range of conditions. ... [more]  

40 year old Charles Caudrelier the skipper of race leader Dongfeng was a major figure of the winning French team Groupama in 2011-12 . With the Dongfeng team now approaching Sanya, almost unstoppable, its worthwhile hearing from Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad who is hugely pleased with the current on water situation. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Last day drag race to Sanya
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - Tense onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - Dongfeng Race Team pushing hard!
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 3 Finish - Video - Delayed feed
2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Countdown begins
Volvo Ocean Race: Donfeng set to create a piece of sailing history
Barcelona World Race - First of the iconic Great Capes has been passed
Classic 18fters racing on Sydney Harbour
Volvo Ocean Race - Can Dongfeng still hang on for a Sanya win??
Stephanie Roble, 2014 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year
Barcelona World Race - Taking advantage
Oakcliff Awarded Joe Prosser Award at US Sailing NSPS 2015
20 Nations head for 2015 St.Maarten Heineken Regatta
Volvo Ocean Race - Less than 500 miles to go
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Fantastic finish
Barcelona World Race: Weather beacons launched midrace
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 5
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race – Gala prizegiving marks end of event
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 5 images by Ingrid Abery
Volvo Ocean Race Leader - Dongfeng - the right place at the right time
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Notice Of Race online   
Currently doing scheduled maintenance.   
Volvo Ocean Race: Changes to Team Vestas Wind crew   
McDougall+McConaghy Moth Worlds: Highlight video released   
America's Cup: Oracle crew mate lodges complaint against Tienpont   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 4 images by Ingrid Abery   
2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - US Sailing Team preview   
Quantum Key West Race Week 2015 - A great day   
Volvo Ocean Race: Jump seat and Pro-Am race spots up for auction   
Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta overall   
Volvo Ocean Race - Dongfeng? Race Team suffer? damage   
America's Cup: Italy to host first America's Cup World Series regatta   
Breeze and Sunshine at Quantum Key West Race Week   
Images of the Millennium Cup and Bay of Islands Sailing Week - Day 1:   
2015 Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race – Three records broken   
St.Maarten Heineken Regatta - Simplified logistics and fun themes   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 3 images by Ingrid Abery   
Millennium Cup: Racing in the picturesque Bay of Islands   
Volvo Ocean Race - Up up and away   
Barcelona World Race - 'Haves' and 'Have Nots'   


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 WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT