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Australian Finn fleet looking forward to bumper 2019 Nationals

by Robert Deaves 20 Nov 2018 15:58 PST 7-12 January 2019
Finns racing off Black Rock YC © Lara Blasse

The Ronstan 2019 International Finn Australian Championship will take place at Black Rock Yacht Club, on Port Phillip, from 7-12 January.

It will mark the beginning of a busy year for the Australian class with a large fleet expected to take part, as the sailors look forward to the 2019 Finn Gold Cup at the Royal Brighton YC in December next year. The 2019 nationals will be a key qualifier for that event.

The Australian class is expecting to welcome a strong overseas contingent to its national championship to join the ever-growing national fleet. Many Finn sailors from Japan, Bermuda, Great Britain and New Zealand are already in Australia for the summer season there, training and getting ready for the important season coming up where the majority of the remaining places for Tokyo 2020 will be decided.

Black Rock YC has a proud history of holding events for the Finn class. In 1995 the club held the Finn Gold Cup, which was an historic occasion, being the first event that was won using a carbon wing mast. Then in 2008 it held the Finn Gold Cup again, with Ben Ainslie winning his fifth Finn world title.

For the Australian fleet, the 2019 nationals takes on a special significance as it marks the beginning of the journey towards the 2019 Finn Gold Cup. The 2019 Finn Gold Cup is also expected to be used as a national qualifier for a number of nations in selecting athletes for Tokyo.

The first event of the busy Australian season was held last week with the New South Wales Finn Championships at Cronulla. The Australian Finn coach, Rafa Trujillo, showed his squad how it should be done with a narrow victory over the ever improving U23 sailor Jock Calvert, with Rockal Evans, from Bermuda in third. With Sail Melbourne running from 12-16 December at the Royal Brighton YC, a few miles to the north of Black Rock, there is a full summer programme available for Finn sailors on Port Phillip.

Black Rock YC Commodore, Gary Lokum said, "We are delighted to be hosting the Ronstan 2019 International Finn Australian Championship next year, especially as it is a key event for many sailors in their preparation for the Finn Gold Cup and ultimately Tokyo. Coming straight after the OK Dinghy nationals, it positions Black Rock as one of the foremost clubs in Victoria, and Australia, that runs racing for these iconic and popular singlehanders. We hope everyone will enjoy Black Rock hospitality, and the great conditions we enjoy on Port Philip."

Located adjacent to the iconic waters of Port Phillip, the conditions are near perfect for sailing at this time of year, with reliable breezes giving great racing and fantastic wave conditions. These conditions make it one of the most famous sailing areas in Australia.

He continued, "We are hoping there will be at least 8 to 10 international sailors as well as all the top Australians as it is the qualifier for the Finn Gold Cup. All this should mean we will have a top event at an iconic location."

Registration at the club opens on Monday, 7 January, with two races scheduled per day for five days, concluding on Saturday, 12 January.

The Notice of Race, Entry Form and current Entry List can be found here: bryc.com.au/news/11046.

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