Please select your home edition
Edition
Cyclops Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Finn World Masters fleet sends open letter to World Sailing

by Robert Deaves 10 Jun 2019 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

Celebrating 50 years of the Finn Masters
This week should have been the 2020 event in The Netherlands This week should have been the 2020 Finn World Masters in Port Zelanda, in The Netherlands. Entries were approaching 250 when the decision was made to cancel back in March, with more than 300 Finns expected to turn up. Posted on 1 Jun
The next stage of return to training
British Sailing Team prepares following the latest Government guidance for elite sport The British Sailing Team is preparing to move to the next phase of its return to training following the latest Government guidance for elite sport. Posted on 29 May
2021 Finn World Masters will be in Medemblik
Planning well underway and it should be a great party The International Finn Masters Committee is delighted to announce that the 2021 Finn World Masters will be held in Medemblik, The Netherlands. Posted on 15 May
Watch the Finn on Finn TV
Today was the day that the 2020 Finn Gold Cup was scheduled to start in Palma Many things are being remembered today, but for Finn sailors it is particularly poignant as today was the day that the 2020 Finn Gold Cup was scheduled to start in Palma, Mallorca. Posted on 8 May
Digging into the Finn Class archive
1000s of photos, with some dating back to the 1950s During this time of waiting and restrictions we have been digging deep into the Finn Class archives. These date back to the 1950s and contain thousands of prints and slides, and tens of thousands of digital images. Posted on 3 May
Introducing the 2020-2021 Canadian Sailing Team
And Canadian Sailing Development Squad Sail Canada is proud to announce the members of the 2020-2021 Canadian Sailing Team and Canadian Sailing Development Squad. Posted on 2 May
Stay at home Finn reading
The class put together sets of back issues of FINNFARE Even though most Finn sailors cannot go Finn sailing at the moment and are being encouraged to stay at home, there are a lot of Finn books and magazines that can entertain you while we are all waiting for racing to restart. Posted on 21 Apr
SOF Hyères goes virtual
All possible options have been scrutinised As for today, the organisers are working on the 2021 edition together with their sponsor Toulon Provence Méditerranée and with World Sailing for an outstanding edition next year. Posted on 16 Apr
BOA and RYA issue joint statement
On athletes selected for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games The 15 sailors already named to represent Team GB at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will remain the same for the rescheduled Games in 2021, the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) have today confirmed. Posted on 14 Apr
Sailors in lockdown - Reflections from Valencia
Thoughts on the Lockdown and how it has affected one sailor and the people in his bubbles. Luca Devoti, the larger than life Finn Olympic medalist, coach, boat builder and writer shares his thoughts on the Lockdown and how it has affected him and the people in his bubbles. Posted on 5 Apr
Official-Team-Gear-Navy 728x90 BOTTOMCyclops Marine 2020 - FOOTERNorth Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - Footer