Please select your home edition
Edition
Hyde Sails 2017 Dinghy Show

Finn World Masters fleet sends open letter to World Sailing

by Robert Deaves 10 Jun 01:52 PDT
300 Finn sailors and supporters stand behind the letter to World Sailing © Robert Deaves

More than 300 Finn Masters, friends and supporters at the 2019 Finn World Masters have sent an open letter to the President of World Sailing, Kim Andersen, to express their concern about the decision to drop the Finn from the 2024 Olympic programme.

The Finn World Masters, which has attracted 262 entries from 28 nations, was opened Sunday night in Skovshoved, Denmark, and is being organised by Mr Andersen's own club, the Royal Danish Yacht Club.

The letter reads,

    Dear Mr Andersen,

    Following the controversial decision made by the World Sailing Council in November 2018 to drop the Finn from the Olympic programme, and the voting scandal surrounding that decision, we respectfully ask that you support, by whatever means necessary, the return of the Finn class into the Olympic programme.

    We are all writing to express our concerns at the following:

    • Contrary to World Sailing policy and IOC guidelines, the removal of the Finn means that sailors above 85 kg are now discriminated against in Olympic sailing. Following the loss of the Soling and the Star, the Finn was the last remaining boat suitable for heavy sailors. Data from the 2018 Aarhus Sailing World Championships shows us that Finn sailors are unique in the current Olympic classes with bodyweights above 85kg.

    • The removal of the Finn sacrifices perhaps the most athletic sailing class within the Olympic programme, and one that is most closely aligned to the Olympic ideals. Sailing should be embracing and marketing the bigger sailors, not discarding them. What other sport would miss this great opportunity?

    • After the 2020 Olympics there will be no events at all in the Olympic Sailing programme for male athletes over 85kg so these athletes will be lost to Olympic sailing. Even the Mixed Offshore Keelboat will inevitably favour athletes of lower body weight.

    • The Finn class has the greatest pedigree, history, and heroes in the sport of sailing. To remove it from the Olympic programme would be a massive loss for the sport. The class creates huge media interest because of its heritage as well as because of its athletic and powerful sailors. Its legacy can be seen right across the sport. To remove it from the Olympics is a huge risk to sailing and the IOC.

    • The removal of the Finn breaks a long held and vital pathway from youth classes to America's Cup and The Ocean Race. Once sailors grow too large to sail a Laser, and many do, there will be no further step within Olympic sailing. The pathway is broken.
    It is perhaps worth noting that never in the history of the sport of sailing has there been so much anger, frustration and disaffection at a decision made by World Sailing. Taken in the context of a number of other recent criticisms of World Sailing, it would appear to us that many changes have and are being made against the wishes of a large number of sailors worldwide.

    Removing the Finn from the Olympics will disenfranchise a huge group of sailors across the world from Olympic sailing, and indeed from World Sailing.

    As Finn Masters, this decision does not affect us personally, but acutely affects the opportunities open to the hundreds of young sailors we see in our class, and those who might join the class later in life because they outgrew being competitive in any other dinghy. Something very valuable to sailing is in danger of being lost.

    We feel this is an injustice and discrimination and therefore, we respectfully urge you to support the Finn to be reintroduced into the Olympic programme after 2020 as the only class on the Olympic sailing programme truly suitable for sailors above 85kg.

The letter is repeated below and the full 6 pages can be downloaded here.

Related Articles

Officials announced for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
60 International Race Officials from 31 nations World Sailing, the world governing body of the sport, is pleased to announce the names of the Race Officials who have been appointed for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition. Posted on 5 Dec
Andres Lage qualifies in Finn Class for Tokyo 2020
The Venezuelan has been chasing a dream - to sail at the Olympic Games For much of his life, Andres Lage from Venezuela has been chasing a dream - to sail at the Olympic Games. Posted on 5 Dec
10 days to go to the 2019 Finn Gold Cup
Tokyo 2020 hopes and last chances bring world's best to Melbourne The pressure will be on when the world's best Olympic Finn sailors start racing at the 2019 Finn Gold Cup - the World Championships of the Olympic Finn Class - in Melbourne in just over one week's time. Posted on 5 Dec
Olympic veteran returns to NZ Finn fold
Eight Finn sailors descended on Tamaki YC for the annual Auckland Championship. Eight Finn sailors descended on Tamaki YC once again over the weekend of 16 & 17 November 2019, for the running of the annual Auckland Championship. Posted on 29 Nov
Two weeks to go to the start of Summer of Sailing
Melbourne Finn Sailor Oliver Tweddell keeps Olympic hopes alive after comeback from injury It will be a home affair for Melbourne's world class Finn sailor Oliver Tweddell when the Finn Gold Cup – the World Championships of the Olympic Finn class – starts in Melbourne in a couple of weeks. Posted on 27 Nov
Finn Class eNews - November 2019
Class refuses to be discouraged by results of World Sailing Conference The Finn Class refuses to be discouraged by the results of last month's World Sailing Conference in Bermuda, and is anticipating some great events and great competition over the coming year. Posted on 22 Nov
International sailors arrive in Melbourne
For Summer of Sailing 2020 & Olympic Sailing Series The Sail Melbourne - Summer of Sailing 2020 count-down is on with only three weeks to go to the start of an exciting series of world-class sailing in Australia this summer. Posted on 20 Nov
Entry now open for 50th Finn World Masters
Target of 400 boats set, which is not that hard to envisage In 2020, the event celebrates its 50th anniversary and is being run by the ever-enthusiastic Dutch Finn sailors who have promised to put on a memorable event both on and off the water. Posted on 11 Nov
Gladwell's Line: In the aftermath of Bermuda
A look at some of the issues of the past week or so, including the America's Cup A look at some of the issues of the past week or so, including the America's Cup and particularly Emirates Team New Zealand's progress with their first AC75, plus the World Sailing Annual Conference's wins and fails, and more. Posted on 10 Nov
Statement from the Finn Class
Following the 2019 World Sailing Conference The International Finn Association delegation to the 2019 World Sailing Annual Conference in Bermuda has returned empty handed. The eight submissions to reinstate the Finn in the slate for the 2024 Olympic Games were rejected. Posted on 4 Nov
RS Sailing 2019 - FooterMarine Resources 2019 - FooterFestival of Sails 2020 GIF - FOOTER