Please select your home edition
Edition
Allen Brothers

Celebrating 50 years of the Finn Masters with 'NOT the 50th Finn World Masters'

by Robert Deaves 1 Jun 12:55 PDT
2008 Finn World Masters in Medemblik © Robert Deaves

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.

Across the sport of sailing many major events have been postponed or cancelled, but for the Finn Masters the cancellation of this year's event was especially poignant as it was the 50th Anniversary Finn World Masters.

Fifty years ago, a group of aging Finn sailors gathered on the Silvaplana See, close to St. Moritz in Switzerland, to sail the first ever Veteran Gold Cup, as it was then called. Over the past half a century that inaugural event, attracting just 18 entries, has evolved into the colossus that is today known as the Finn World Masters.

Today, Monday 1 June, around 300 Finn Masters should have been sailing the first races of the 2020 Finn World Masters at Port Zelande in The Netherlands. Sadly, they are not, but during this week, the spirit of the Finn Masters is being kept alive with online activities and events. To follow these activities, head over to the Finn Masters website at NOT the 50th Finn World Masters or the Masters Facebook page.

The 2020 Finn World Masters should have been a great party, celebrating 50 years of the Finn Masters, half a century of Finn sailors not being able to give up Finn sailing, but that will now have to wait until next year when the 2021 Finn World Masters is scheduled to take place in Medemblik.

However until then it might be interesting to look at some data from the events over the past 50 years.

The Best sailors

It would be interesting to look at the best sailors at the Finn World Masters over the 50 years. The top is surprisingly close. In total 69 sailors have taken a top three place overall, with Michael Maier, from the Czech Republic, picking up six wins as the best sailor by one point from André Budzien, from Germany, who only won three, but was second seven times. In third place is Larry Lemieux from Canada, who took five victories.

The full table of all 69 sailors can be found here

History

The first suggestion for a special Finn Veteran Gold Cup for sailors over 40 years of age was presented by Dr. Fred and Heidi Auer at the 1969 IFA AGM in Bermuda. The first Veteran Gold Cup was held on the Silvaplana See and even the Finn's designer, Rickard Sarby, sailed in that first regatta.

For the first 12 years, the fleet was around 30-50 boats, kept alive by a group of enthusiasts and generally sailed in central Europe or Port Camargue in France. Then in 1984 it went to Lago di Caldero in Italy and suddenly there were more than 100 entries, needing the fleet to be sailed in groups for the first time.

In those days it was the custom for the winner to decide the venue for the following year, but by then some of the professionals from the senior fleet were starting to show their face and walk away with the title.

Age categories were introduced with Masters, Grand Masters and Grand Grand Masters. Later Legends were also added and more recently Super Legends (over 80 years old) were also included. During this time, the rule to limit racing in winds of under 20 knots was introduced.

By 1990, things were getting more organised and the Masters started to organise their own AGM each year and changed the name to the Finn World Masters. It has twice been sailed in conjunction with the Finn Gold Cup, in 1996 in La Rochelle and 2000 in Weymouth.

The numbers kept growing, hovered around 130 for a few years and then went past 200 and now on two occasions it has passed 350. Before the current world crisis it was fully expected to break through 400 boats in the next few years. We might now have to wait a little longer for that milestone.

NOT the 50th Finn World Masters

All this week the Masters are keeping the spirit of the event alive. Everything will be posted on the Finn World Masters website and the Finn Masters Facebook page.

There will be several key announcements and events during the week. The 'NOT the Opening Ceremony' was held Sunday evening, while the drinks party and Annual Masters Meeting will follow on Wednesday.

Join us in helping to celebrate 50 Years of the Finn World Masters.

Related Articles

Finn Silver Cup first test of lockdown training
It has been a long time coming, but the first major international event starts this weekend It has been a long time coming, but the first major international Finn Class event of 2020 is due to begin this weekend. The U23 World Championship for the Finn Silver Cup will take place in Canet en Roussillon, in the south of France. Posted today at 10:32 am
San Diego Olympic Classes Regatta preview
Third running of event limited to single-handed classes The San Diego Olympic Classes Regatta was established in 2018 to provide sailors of all ages with a venue to train and compete in international, high performance classes. Posted on 4 Aug
NZ Finn Masters': Impressions from the fleet
Several high profile sailors have shifted to to Finn class and competed the 2020 NZ Masters champs Some of the stars of the fleet provided a few comments from Waiuku Yacht Club's 2020 Finn Masters' National Championships, to offer further insight into their experience. Posted on 4 Aug
Waiuku Finn Masters - everything to play for
The truncated sailing season meant that winners of multiple trophies hinged on the Waiuku regatta At last, a Finn regatta post lockdown was able to be held. The mighty Waiuku Yacht Club once again hosting the annual Master's regatta 24-26 July. Posted on 4 Aug
British Sailing Team reveals Tokyo 2020 posters
Marking one year to go until the Olympic Games sailing competition To mark the one-year countdown to the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the British Sailing Team has released a collection of iconic posters celebrating its selected sailors. Posted on 23 Jul
Tokyo 2020 confirms venues, competition schedule
Marking a significant step for the organisers, with only one year to go The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee announced at Friday's virtual IOC Session that all the venues intended for the Games in 2020 have been secured for next year, and confirmed the sports competition schedule. Posted on 18 Jul
Luke Muller selected for U.S. Olympic Sailing Team
Earning selection thanks to his performances at the 2019 Finn Worlds On Thursday, June 9, US Sailing announced the conclusion of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 Athlete Trials in the Finn class. As a result Luke Muller has earned selection to the 2020 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team and is nominated to Team USA. Posted on 11 Jul
U.S. Olympic trials conclude for Finns
And continue with 2021 Worlds for women's 470 Upon review of current State Department and Travel Advisories and at the recommendation of US Sailing's Selection Committee, the OSC determined that these regattas will not be used as the third 2020 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team selection event. Posted on 10 Jul
Australian Sailing Team at Coffs Harbour (video)
Joining the whales at Coffs Harbour recently has been the Australian Sailing Team. Joining the whales at Coffs Harbour recently has been the Australian Sailing Team. We went there when the Men's Laser, 470 and Finn squads were training vigorously, and applying that strong work ethic they are so well known for. Posted on 9 Jul
Happy Hour with Mateusz Kusznierewicz
Stretch & Stirfry chat with the Olympic champion and Star Sailors League pioneer Becoming an Olympic Champion at 21yrs old, a brief Polish history lesson, the Star Sailors League and Stirfry's language skills all come under close scrutiny as the lads chat with Mateusz Kusznierewicz. Posted on 7 Jul
Doyle Sails 2020 - Built for Adventure 728x90 BOTTOMZhik 2020 AnneMarieRindom FOOTERPredictWind.com 2014