Please select your home edition
Edition
Henr-Lloyd BLU LEADERBOARD

Tokyo2020: Double America's Cup champions have a tilt at the last Olympic Gold for the Finn

by Michael Brown/Yachting New Zealand 18 Jul 06:23 PDT
Josh Junior (NZL) - Finn Gold Cup - Porto, Portugal - May 2021 © Robert Deaves / Finn Class

Josh Junior doesn't need to look very far to be reminded of how significant it was for him to earn Olympic selection.

Sitting not too far away, often on the coach boat following him around, will be best mate and current Finn world champion Andy Maloney who will be Junior's coach at these Games.

The pair have achieved spectacular results since deciding to work closely together following the 2017 America's Cup, with Junior winning the Finn Gold Cup in 2019 and Maloney matching that feat earlier this year.

Junior was third at this year's Finn Gold Cup which, on top of his win two years earlier, saw him edge Maloney for the one spot allowed for each country at these Olympics.

"It is amazing to be selected for the Olympics," Junior said. "It’s a real honour. But in saying that, Andy and I never really went into it with that thought. It was about both of us improving and both of us being as good as we could.

"Whoever got the nod would have done really well so I feel really honoured to be selected. It’s pretty exciting to be back here. We haven’t been here for a few years now but it’s all pretty familiar and the weather has been bloody stunning so far. I can’t wait."

He will start as one of the favourites in the heavyweight dinghy when racing gets under way on July 27.

A relatively small fleet of 19 Finn sailors will line up in Enoshima. To put that in perspective, it's not uncommon to have 70 boats on the start line at a regular regatta, but consistent scoring will still be critical across the 10 qualifying races before the top-10 medal race.

That's something Junior has become very good at and he's a much better and more experienced sailor than the one who finished seventh at his first Olympics in Rio in 2016.

"Working with Andy, we have become a lot more well-rounded, both of us," he said. "I think we have learned to sail the boats fast and, working together, we can continually improve that. Being fast is always good, as well as being tactically smart and fit. We have pushed hard and hopefully that comes good.

"It feels pretty comfortable being at the Olympics. The New Zealand team is really well set up with good accommodation and everything is pretty easy. It should just be like any other regatta.

"It’s awesome to have Andy coaching, which is probably the biggest difference [from last time]. We have had a lead-in regatta and have experienced that now. It’s just going to be about executing what you know."

Junior and Maloney were the last to join the New Zealand sailing team in Japan, joining from Europe where they have been based for the last three months.

They remained in Portugal after the Finn Gold Cup before a short stint in Italy for the second round of SailGP and then relocated to Santander in Spain to resume training.

"It’s pretty hard to travel in and out of New Zealand with the whole Covid thing, so Andy and I decided to base ourselves in Europe," Junior said. "It’s been really good, actually.

"It’s been good to check in with the fleet and see where we needed to improve. We just continued to push hard and prepare for the Olympics. We are ready and we are excited."

Related Articles

Tokyo2020 - Some historic images from Enoshima
For those still keen for an Olympic sailing fix, here's some new images from our photo library For those still keen for an Olympic sailing fix, here's some new images from Sail-World's photo library from Tokyo2020, plus a couple of short stories about the historical significance of the images and sailors. Posted on 1 Sep
Tokyo2020: Medalists non committal on new Events
The final day of racing at Tokyo2020 Olympic Sailing Regatta, panned out much as expected. The final day of racing at Tokyo2020 panned out much as expected. After the two 470 Medal Races, there was only one change on the leaderboard, when the French Women's 470 crew dropped from being second overall to being Bronze medalist. Posted on 6 Aug
Tokyo2020: Kiwis miss Bronze medal by 2pts
Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox were hurting after missing out on a medal by a single place Finishing fourth at an Olympics Games is one of the hardest things for any competitor and Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox were hurting after missing out on a medal by the narrowest of margins today. Posted on 4 Aug
Brits win two Olympic Golds from four Medal races
"God save the Queen" was played at two of the four Medal Presentation ceremonies After yesterday's deferral of all racing due to light winds, it was a busy day at the Tokyo2020 Sailing Olympic Regatta. "God save the Queen" was played at two of the four Medal Presentation ceremonies, stamping the British authority on these Olympics Posted on 3 Aug
Tokyo2020: Kiwis win Silver in 49er shoot-out
Burling and Tuke win New Zealand's 100th Olympic medal on Sagami Bay Peter Burling and Blair Tuke remember competing at the 2012 London Olympics and noticing how glum many of those who secured silver seemed. Posted on 3 Aug
Tokyo2020: All racing to proceed today
All racing scheduled for the Tokyo2020 Olympic Regatta will proceed today All racing scheduled for the Tokyo2020 Olympic Regatta was cancelled yesterday, due to light winds. The front appears to have passed through, and the wind has swung to being an onshore westerly. Posted on 3 Aug
Tokyo2020: First reflections on a yo-yo regatta
The Tokyo2020 Olympics are half over - with five Olympic Medal races are still to be contested The Tokyo2020 Olympics are half over - the remaining five Olympic Medal races due to be contested over the next two days. And today looks like being another with light winds. Posted on 3 Aug
49er and FX Medal Races postponed until Tuesday
Due to a lack of wind in Enoshima on Monday Due to a lack of wind in Enoshima on Monday, the 49er and 49erFX medal races have been postponed until Tuesday. They will be added to the program that includes the Nacra 17 Medal race. Posted on 2 Aug
Images from Day 8 - Laser, Laser Radial and Nacra
Images from Day 8 of the Tokyo2020 Olympic Regatta featuring the Medal Racing and Nacra 17's Images from Day 8 of the Tokyo2020 Olympic Regatta featuring the Medal Race for the Mens Laser and Womens Laser Radial, plus the Nacra 17's finish their qualifying. Posted on 1 Aug
Enoshima was a happy hunting ground for the Kiwis
Just under 60 years ago, New Zealand won its second ever sailing Gold medal in the 1964 Olympics Just under 60 years ago, New Zealand won its second ever sailing Gold medal in the 1964 Olympic Regatta staged at Enoshima. Tomorrow, we will know if New Zealand sailors are able to emulate this feat. Posted on 1 Aug
Armstrong-A-Wing-728x90 gif BOTTOMSOUTHERN-SPARS-MISSY-FURLING-BOOMS-728-X-90 BottomNorth Sails 2021 FOOTER