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Statement from the Finn Class following the 2019 World Sailing Conference

by Robert Deaves 4 Nov 2019 07:14 PST
Where's the Finn? © Robert Deaves

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 by both the committees and the Council.

The IFA is disappointed that it did not get the support of the World Sailing Council to debate and vote on its submissions. The submissions were very complex but that was necessary because of the complex World Sailing processes.

This complexity allowed people that didn't support the Finn within World Sailing to influence the process and spread disinformation. All of this may have been resolved through the new governance reforms so it is disappointing that this was also rejected.

However, despite the rejections, the Finn class did receive a lot of advice and support from board members, councillors and committee members throughout the week, though unfortunately that support did not translate into votes around the table. What the Finn delegation did take from away the conference was that there is hope for a return, even if not at the current juncture. The overwhelming response from other delegates was that the Finn was an essential element of the Olympic Games and many hoped that it would return.

British sailor Hector Simpson made a heartfelt plea to the Equipment and Events Committees, speaking on behalf of the Finn Class submissions. As one of the many young Finn hopefuls that have lost their hope of sailing at the Olympics, he made a passionate and emotional case that struck a chord with many in the room. The Finn Class would like to thank him, as well as, Hungarian Finn sailor Doma Nemeth, for their time and energy over the past week.

The Finn Class looks forward to continue working with World Sailing as an Olympic Class over the coming months to make sure the 2020 Olympic Games is a huge success that showcases sailing and the Finn's amazing athletes to the full.

World Sailing has a lot of questions to answer after this week's conference and the class will carefully watch what happens next to find any opportunity it can to create opportunities for Finn sailors to compete at the 2024 Olympics.

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