JM Finn, Finn UK National Championships gets underway this Friday on the UK's south coast at Christchurch Sailing Club. Held over the long weekend of 6-8 May, it is neatly scheduled between the Semaine Olympique Francais and the Delta Lloyd Regatta to encourage overseas sailors to acclimatise to the British conditions ahead of the Sail for Gold event in June.
The JM Finn, Finn UK Nationals is expecting an entry of upwards of 50 boats. Already there have been more than 40 pre-entries, including sailors from France and Australia.
The British Finn Nationals is now in its 55th year, having been started back in 1956 after Vernon Stratton persuaded the Sunday Times to donate an unused pigeon racing trophy to the Finn class for its National championship.
The Gold Cup, as well as the numerous other trophies on offer at the championship, contain the names of many sailing heroes down the generations, and there is expected to be some fierce competition to take home the Sunday Times Gold Cup this year, especially as it is the second event in the JM Finn Gold Cup Qualifier Series to select the British team for the 2012 Finn Gold Cup, which is being held in Falmouth, UK.
JM Finn and Co is one of the UK’s leading privately owned investment managers. Andy Denison, Chairman of the British Finn Association said, 'JM Finn and Co has been a great supporter of the British Finn Association since 2007, as the title holder sponsor of the British Open Championships, and we are very pleased that it has been extended through 2011.'
'As well as being the major sponsor of the 2011 British Nationals at Christchurch, JM Finn is also the title sponsor of the qualification series for the British Team for the 2012 Finn Gold Cup, our world championship, which is being held in Falmouth, during the Falmouth Finn Festival in May.'
Finn UK National Championship 2009 - JM Finn Finn UK National Championship
'In 2012 there is the Olympics in Weymouth and in May the UK is also hosting the Finn World Masters in Pwllheli, which attracts upwards of 250 boats each year. All in all, the next two years will be the best Finn Sailing the UK has experienced for a long time.'
'This is the third time the British Nationals has visited Christchurch Sailing club in recent years. The club has a strong Finn fleet and is a favourite venue for the national fleet. We are all looking forward to great three day's racing on Christchurch Bay, and are hoping to attract a sizeable international contingent.'
Like most domestic Finn fleets the British class has a very strong and competitive Masters component, and these sailors are likely to figure high in the results come Sunday evening. The championship will be a main component in the preparation of many of the British Masters for the Finn World Masters next month in PuntAla, Italy. So far there are 21 British entries for the Masters world championship, out of a total entry of more than 280.
The JM Finn, Finn UK National Championship begins with unofficial training on Wednesday followed by a full day's training with the British Olympic Finn coach, Matt Howard, on Thursday. Racing starts on Friday, 6 May with two races scheduled. Three more are planned for Saturday with the final two on Sunday. A full social programme befitting a Finn championship has also been arranged.
Finn UK website