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Zhik 2024 March - LEADERBOARD

April 2024 FINNFARE focuses on future, present and past

by Robert Deaves 23 Apr 08:54 PDT
April 2024 FINNFARE © Robert Deaves / Finn Class

The April 2024 FINNFARE is dropping on doormats worldwide. In this rather special year for the class - 75 years of Finn sailing - this issue represents a reflection on the past and future of the class, as well as the present.

It starts with a long overdue interview with World No.1 Laurent Hay. In fact, he has been World No. 1 since the ranking list was started two years ago.

For Laurent the Finn class represents, "Conviviality and sporting and friendly exchange. It's an extraordinary chance to meet and share with sailors from all over the world. Meeting up from year to year allows us to maintain connections and gives rise to frank hugs, which does not exclude great battles and tough fights on the water."

He says the competition in the class is like a real addiction.

"As soon as I finish a competition, I think about the next one, it's a real addiction. I like the contact regatta, confronting myself with something stronger than me. So, I am delighted when young or former Olympic athletes come to play with us. They show me the path to progress, and it's a great motivation."

This issue also includes a lengthy reflection on 75 years of Finn sailing including a tongue in cheek analysis of Finn sailing from 50 years ago, from the designer of the Finn, Rickard Sarby.

"As tens of thousands of people have realised over the years it meant something to say you were a Finn sailor, to both meet the physical and mental challenge of sailing the boat well but also joining a worldwide community of like-minded enthusiasts. That all still holds true to this day, despite the new reality for the class.

"Perhaps it is the unswerving desire to do something quite difficult, but to do it well, that drives many sailing the Finn, whether they want to win the Finn Gold Cup or just a club race. Mastery of the Finn is an admirable, but difficult challenge, and it's not always against the boat or the other sailors, but also against yourself.

"The Finn remains the ultimate challenge for many because they know the boat still represents the same extreme physical challenge to sail well, it offers pathways to excel, to become fit and strong enough to manage the boat, to develop mental discipline and to communicate with other sailors going through the same process. Whatever else happens, the sailors emerging from this process become, stronger, more confident and better sailors. They become Finn sailors, renowned and famous worldwide."

That leads in well to the next article, where Slovakian Finn sailor, Tomas Mihalik, looks at specific skill related physical conditioning techniques for the Finn with some suggested programmes.

He writes, "One of the interesting things about sailing is that these muscles are used in a lot of different ways. For example, sometimes your movements are static, like hiking or holding the mainsheet in place. At other times your movements are explosive or repetitive, like when you are roll tacking or sheet-vanging. Thus, how your workout is structured should depend on the demands placed on you by the style you sail.

"There are a few important factors to consider other than core and legs when setting up your programme. First of all, engaging in a lot of exercises where you utilize PUSHING movements (e.g. bench press) will do very little for you in a sport where you typically PULL things in and ease them out."

Looking to the future, there are previews to some amazing venues and events on the upcoming calendar, which is fixed through to 2026 and includes Punta Ala, Aarhus, Cannes, Naples, Medemblik, Cascais and Brisbane. The enthusiasm to host Finn events again is very encouraging and there are some very interesting and different venues in the pipeline.

Over the past year the class also started a new format, the Finntalks which originated as a series of podcast and video interviews centred around the Finn. These talks revolve around sailors' careers, their enduring love for the class, sailing techniques, and insights into the Finn calendar, among other captivating topics. With a blend of personal anecdotes, professional insights, and expert analysis, it serves as an engaging hub for the diverse voices within the Finn sailing community and some of the best quotes are included here.

As the Finn Class enters its eighth decade, the class remains on a high note, continuing to thrive, building on its legacy and inspiring other sailors around the world to challenge themselves.

Much more than just a sailing class, it's a way of life. From its humble beginnings to its status as a global phenomenon, the Finn has captured the hearts of many for generations and will continue to do so.

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