Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik 2018 Kollition 728x90

Ancient Athens sets scene for spectacular Finn Europeans opening

by Robert Deaves 12 May 18:06 PDT 13-18 May 2019

The 2019 Finn Open European Championship has begun to a spectacular opening ceremony, incredible hospitality and fantastic conditions for the practice race on Sunday afternoon, which heralds the start of one of the most important regattas of the year for the Finn class.

With four places to be won for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the competition has many facets. Those who have already qualified for Tokyo will be more interested in laying down markers, and aiming for the European title.

Measurement and registration began on Friday with the opening ceremony on Saturday evening, attended by Ambassadors from most of the competing nations, along with government ministers and NOC members. It was an emotional and very vocal statement about the Finn and all that Finn sailing represents to the world of sailing and to the world of sport, with vivid images, striking video and incredible live music.

The audience was astounded by the artistry, the content and the poignant message that the performance contained. The evening was completed with local children as flag bearers, Olympic medalists on stage and a closing rendition of 'Sailing'.

This event marks second time that the Hellenic Sailing Federation has stepped in to host a Finn championship at short notice, after the withdrawal of the original host in January due to damage. In 1998, Greece also organised the Finn Gold Cup at short notice, and for this, the Finn class has been extremely grateful. However the level of detail and hospitality afforded the Finn fleet so far has been beyond measure. The welcome has been nothing short of awesome.

On Sunday the practice race was held with around 25 boats on the water. Many have been training in Athens for weeks or months, so preparation for many has long been complete.

The leader of the race at the gate, before the fleet as usual split away and sailed home, was Jorge Zarif. He is one of those still trying to qualify for Tokyo.

"I didn't have a good race in Aarhus so I couldn't make one of the spots there so I hope here I have a good race."

"We are almost 90 boats. All the top guys are here. It might be harder to win it like this than the Olympic games but it will be a good event.

I have been here for 10 days so not much practice here at all. Sailing is a sailing sport, sometimes you train a lot and a person who doesn't do so much has a better race. I saw that in Rio in the Olympics."

For this week we are expecting good weather, sunny, sea breeze 10-14 knots, so pretty good wind, perfect conditions for sailing, for Finn sailing, for downwind sailing so it will be great."

Racing is scheduled to begin on Monday at 12.00.

Related Articles

Olympics news regarding Paris 2024 and Tokyo 2020
Equipment selection currently dominating the sailing news While the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are still well beyond the horizon, wheels are already turning for the Paris 2024 Olympics, with equipment selection dominating the Olympic sailing news cycle Posted today at 3:00 pm
Paris 2024: Laser Performance hits out at ILCA
The testy relationship between ILCA and Laser Performance has just 10.5 weeks to be remedied Laser Performance the predominant builder of the Laser dinghy, until they had their building licence revoked last March, have hit out at the International Laser Class Association (ILCA), after the class was provisionally confirmed for the 2024 Olympics Posted on 20 May
USA qualifies for representation at Tokyo 2020
Caleb Paine finished in 11th place overall, earning the U.S. country selection Eight countries earned selection last summer, at the 2018 Sailing World Championships in Aarhus. This week, four more sports were on the line, Paine secured the final spot. Posted on 20 May
NZL Sailing Team: Euro Gold for 49ers - Day 7
Burling and Tuke took a big step in their comeback to trying to defend their Olympic tit Peter Burling and Blair Tuke took a big step in their comeback to trying to defend their Olympic title when they won the 49er European championships in Weymouth today. Posted on 20 May
Paris 2024 decisions made
At World Sailing's 2019 Mid-Year Meeting World Sailing's Council made key decisions on the Equipment to be used at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition on Sunday 19 May as the Mid-Year Meeting concluded in London, Great Britain. Posted on 19 May
Laser voted in for 2024 Paris Olympic Sailing
Laser/ILCA was voted as the One Person Dinghy for the 2024 Olympic Sailing Regatta Laser/ILCA was voted as the One Person Dinghy for the 2024 Olympic Sailing Regatta, by a landslide in the Council Meeting. The RS:X was rejected and the Windsurfers will have an Evaluation Trial - which will include Windfoilers Posted on 19 May
Medemblik Regatta preview
Medemblik ready for RS:X surfers, foilers and more watersport activity Reigning World and European Champion in the RS:X Women, the Dutch Lilian de Geus, will be determined to win the gold medal this week. Last year she had a difficult week of racing and came in second place. Posted on 19 May
NZL Sailing Team: Silver for Maloney - Day 6
Andy Maloney had a won the silver medal on the final day of the Finn European championships Andy Maloney had a chance of collecting silver on the final day of the Finn European championships in Athens if everything went his way and the medal race couldn't have worked out any better for the New Zealand sailor. Posted on 19 May
Finn European Championships wrap up in Athens
The day of reckoning in Greece It was the day of reckoning in Athens at the 2019 Open Finn European Championship, with two European titles to decide and two places at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games up for grabs. Posted on 19 May
Finn Europeans in Athens overall
Giles Scott and Joan Cardona secure European titles Giles Scott secured his third European Finn title in Athens today after holding off world champion Zsombor Berecz, from Hungary, on the final day of the Finn Open European Championship. Joan Cardona, from Spain, won the U23 European title. Posted on 18 May
Marine Resources BOTTOMWindBot-COACH-660x82Naiad 660x82px_Superyacht