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Sixty years of heritage and heroes at the Finn Gold Cup

by Robert Deaves on 5 May 2016
2015 Finn Gold Cup, Takapuna Robert Deaves/Finn Class http://www.finnclass.org
2016 Finn Gold Cup - Sixty years ago the inspiration of two men set in motion the beginnings of a pinnacle sailing event, the enormous challenge of which has transcended generations and remains to this day one of the most coveted trophies to win in the sport of sailing.

The Finn Gold Cup was offered to the Finn class by Frederick G. 'Tiny' Mitchell of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in Burnham-on-Crouch in the UK on the suggestion of Vernon Stratton, a later President of the International Finn Association and also winner of the Finn Gold Cup in 1960. Neither man could have envisaged that this diminutive trophy would have such a high stature and still be hotly contested by the world’s best young sailors six decades later.

The first event was in fact sailed at Burnham-on-Crouch and won by André Nelis (BEL), with the great Paul Elvstrøm (DEN) beaten into second.

Over the past sixty years the Finn Gold Cup has been a beacon for supreme accomplishment in the sport of sailing, and one of its incontrovertible assets has been its inclusiveness. It is controlled by a Deed of Gift, which states the objective is to bring the maximum feasible number of young sailors from as many countries as possible for a week of racing.

Each year, young Finn sailors race against old Finn sailors. The highly experienced Finn sailors compete against the novices. It is part of the journey and tradition of the Finn class that Olympic medallists are able to line up alongside starry-eyed youngsters and compete on an even footing.

To compete in a Finn Gold Cup is to compete against some of the best sailors in the world. It is an education and a privilege.

The Cup, which was replaced in 1975 after the original was lost in an air crash in 1973, along with the holder, Jorg Bruder of Brazil, on his way to defend his title in France, has been presented every year except one when it was withdrawn for political reasons.



Over the years the Finn Gold Cup has been held in most corners of the world, helping to develop and encourage local fleets: Rio, Moscow, Bermuda, Tallinn, Toronto, Long Beach, Auckland, Mexico have all witnessed the Finn Gold Cup, taking sailors to places that the normal regatta circuit often doesn't touch.

In 2016 for the 60th Finn Gold Cup the class returns to Italy for the first time in 27 years. Gaeta will be the fourth time the championship has been sailed in Italy after Anzio (1972 and 1984) and Alassio (1989). It might also be interesting to learn that Italy has only ever medalled twice in the Finn Gold Cup. Adelchi Pelaschier won bronze in 1958 and Luca Devoti won silver in 1997.

No conversation about the Finn Gold Cup would be complete without mentioning some of the many legends that have looked the ultimate challenge square in the eye, and taken their place in sailing heritage.

The most successful sailor in the Finn Gold Cup was Ben Ainslie (GBR), who won the Cup six times between 2002 and 2012, including an unbeaten four-year run. Fredrik Lööf (SWE) won three times and also picked up three silver and bronze. His medal tally is only matched by Nelis who won twice, has three silver and two bronze medals.

Jorg Bruder (BRA) picked up six medals, and his three consecutive wins remained unbeaten until Ainslie won his fourth title in Moscow in 2005. Giles Scott (GBR) also has three wins as well as a bronze to his name and is the only three-time winner still sailing. Lasse Hjortnæs (DEN) won three times and was twice runner up, while Willi Kuhweide (GER) also won three titles.

Of the other current sailors Ed Wright (GBR) has picked up five medals, including a title win in 2010, while Jonas Høgh-Christensen (DEN) has four medals including two titles.

By the end of next week there will be one more hero on the famous Cup.

The 60th Finn Gold Cup begins on Thursday 5 May. Racing begins on Sunday 8 May with a 10 race opening series before the final race and medal race on Friday 13 May.

Finn Gold Cup Results 1956 to present

 

 

Venue

Entries

Nations

Gold

Silver

Bronze

1956

Burnham,

UK



Andre Nelis, B

P. Elvstrom, D

B. Roswell, K.

1957

Karlstad,

Sweden



J. Vogler DDR

H. Eriksen, N

A. Nelis,B.

1958

Zeebrugge,

Belgium



P. Elvstrom, D

A. Nelis, B

A. Pelaschier, I.

1959

Hellerup,

Denmark



P. Elvstrom, D

A. Nelis, B

P. Poullain, F.

1960

Torquay,

UK



V. Stratton, UK

A. Nelis, B

D. Stratton, UK.

1961

Travemunde,

Germany



A. Nelis, B

H. Fogh, D

F. Miller, US.

1962

Tonsberg,

Norway



A. Akerson, S

B. Jacobsson, S

A. Nelis, B.

1963

Medemblik,

Holland



W. Kuhweide, G

B. Jacobsson, S

H. Willems, H.

1964

Torquay,

UK



H. Raudaschl, OE

H. Kellner, S

R. Creagh-Osborne,

K.

1965

Gdynia,

Poland



J. Mier, DDR

B. Dehmel, DDR

R. Hart, UK.

1966

La Baule,

France



W. Kuhweide, G

J. Bruder, BL

B. Straubinger, G.

1967

Hanko,

Finland



W. Kuhweide, G

V. Mankin, SR

U. Mares, G.

1968

Whitstable,

UK



H. Wind, D

U. Mares, G

J. Bruder, BL.

1969

Hamilton,

Bermuda



T. Lundquist, S

J. Bruder, BL

P. Barrett, USA.

1970

Cascais,

Portugal



J. Bruder, BL

H. Sprague, USA

B. Andre, USA.

1971

Toronto,

Canada



J. Bruder, BL

C. van Duyne, USA

S. Maury, F.

1972

Anzio,

Italy



J. Bruder, BL

J. Bertrand, AUS

L. Gustafsson, S.

1973

Brest,

France



S. Maury, F

M. Olin, S

G. Liljegren, S.

1974

Long Beach,

USA



H. Sprague, USA

G. Liljegren, S

K. Carlsson, S.

1975

Malmo,

Sweden



M. Olin, S

B. Binkhorst, H

J. Farmer, KZ.

1976

Brisbane,

Australia



C. Law, UK

J. Farmer, KZ

J. Bertrand, AUS.

1977

Palamos, Spain

(World Week)



J. Blanco, E

J. Doreste, E

C. Biekarck, BL.

1978

Manzanillo,

Mexico



J. Bertrand, USA

J. Blanco, E

C. Buchan, USA.

1979

Weymouth,

UK



C. Lewis, USA

J. Bertrand, USA

M. Neeleman, H.

1980

Auckland,

New Zealand



C. Lewis, USA

J. Bertrand, USA

L. Lemieux, CAN.

1981

Gromitz,

Germany



W. Gerz, G

L. Hjortnaes, D

M. Rychcik, PZ.

1982

Medemblik,

Holland



L. Hjortnaes, D

H. Blaszka, PZ

B. Reynolds, USA.

1983

Milwaukee,

USA



P. van Cleve,

USA

W. Gerz, G

M. Neeleman, H.

1984

Anzio, Italy



L. Hjortnaes, D

T. Neilson, KC

J. Lindhardtsen, D.

1985

Marstrand,

Sweden



L. Hjortnaes, D

O. Khoperski, SR

I. Bengtsson, S.

1986

El Arenal,

Spain



S. Westergaard, D

B. Ledbetter, USA

J. Doreste, E.

1987

Kiel,

Germany



J. Doreste, E

L. Hjortnaes, D

B. Ledbetter, USA.

1988

Ilha Bela,

Brazil



T. Schmid, G

R. Heiner, H

G. Anderson, CAN.

1989

Alassio,

Italy



Stig. Westergaard,

D

Eric Mergenthaler,

MX

Oleg Khoperski, SR.

1990

Porto Carras,

Greece



H. Lammens, CAN

L. Lemieux CAN

E. Mergenthaler, MX.

1991

Kingston,

Canada



H. Lammens, CAN

B. Ledbetter, USA

O. Khoperski, SR.

1992

Cadiz,

Spain



E. Mergenthaler, MX

G. Bourke, AUS

H. Spitzauer, OE.

1993

Bangor,

N. Ireland



Philippe Presti, F

Fredrik Loof, S

Richard Clarke, CAN.

1994

Parnu,

Estonia



Fredrik Loof, S

Hank Lammens, CAN

JoseMaria. van

d.der Ploeg, E.

1995

Melbourne,

Australia



Hans Spitzauer, AUT

Fredrik Loof, SWE

Philippe Presti, FRA

1996

La Rochelle,

France



Philippe Presti, FRA

Hans Spitzauer, AUT

Fredrik Loof, SWE

1997

Gdansk,

Poland



Fredrik Loof, SWE

Luca Devoti, ITA

Xavier Rohart, FRA

1998

Athens,

Greece



Mateusz

Kusznierewicz, POL

Fredrik Loof, SWE

Xavier Rohart, FRA

1999

Melbourne,

Australia



Fredrik Loof, SWE

Mateusz

Kusznierewicz, POL

Richard Clarke, CAN

2000

Weymouth,

Great Britain



Mateusz

Kusznierewicz, POL

Sebastien Godefroid,

BEL

Emilios Papathanasiou,

GRE

2001

Marblehead,

USA



Sebastien Godefroid,

BEL

Mateusz

Kusznierewicz, POL

Emilios

Papathanasiou, GRE

2002

Athens,

Greece



Ben Ainslie, GBR

Mateusz

Kusznierewicz, POL

Emilios

Papathanasiou, GRE

2003

 

Cadiz,

Spain



Ben Ainslie, GBR

Rafael Trujillo, ESP

Andrew Simpson,

GBR

2004

 

Rio de Janeiro,

Brazil



Ben Ainslie, GBR

Richard Clarke,

CAN

David Burrows, IRL

2005

 

Moscow,

Russia



Ben Ainslie GBR

Emilios

Papathanasiou GRE

Chris Cook CAN

2006

Split, Croatia



Jonas Hoegh-Christensen, DEN

Emilios Papathanasiou, GRE

Edward Wright, GBR

2007

Cascais, Portugal



Rafael Trujillo, ESP

Pieter Jan Postma, NED

Gasper Vincec, SLO

2008

Melbourne, Australia



Ben Ainslie, GBR

Dan Slater, NZL

Jonas-Hoegh-Christensen, DEN

2009

Vallensbaek, Denmark



Jonas Hoegh-Christensen, DEN

Zach Railey, USA

Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic, CRO

2010

San Francisco, USA



Edward Wright, GBR

Rafael Trujillo, ESP

Giles Scott, GBR

2011

Perth, Australia



Giles Scott, GBR

Pieter Jan Postma, NED

Ed Wright, GBR

2012

Falmouth, UK



Ben Ainslie, GBR

Ed Wright, GBR

Jonas Hoegh-Christensen, DEN

2013

Tallinn, Estonia

85

30

Jorge Zarif, BRA

Ed Wright, GBR

Pieter-Jan Postma, NED

2014

Santander, Spain

78

32

Giles Scott, GBR

Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic, CRO 

Ed Wright, GBR

2015

Takapuna, New Zealand

 75

 31

 Giles Scott, GBR

Jonathan Lobert, FRA

 Vasiliy Zbogar, SLO

2016

Gaeta, Italy







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