The 2019 Finn Gold Cup was officially opened by John Bertrand AO at Friday’s opening ceremony at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club in Melbourne, Australia.
More than 60 Finn sailors from 22 nations have gathered in Melbourne for the penultimate class world championship before next summer’s Olympic Games.
The strong field includes defending world champion, Zsombor Berecz, from Hungary, four-time Gold Cup winner Giles Scott, from Britain. Nicholas Heiner, of the Netherlands, former world champions Max Salminen, from Sweden, Jorge Zarif, from Brazil and Ed Wright from Britain, as well as Andy Maloney and Josh Junior, from New Zealand.
For Scott it will also be the first world championships he’s competed in since taking gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016, the same year as his last world title.
In October he was among the first athletes picked for Team GB.
But with just over seven months until his Olympic title defence begins on the waters of Enoshima, the 32-year-old from Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, says he can’t lose sight of the bigger picture.
“World championships are always important, and this will be the first I’ll have done this cycle,” said three-time world champion Scott.
“It feels like this event is the start of next season rather than the finish of this one. In my mind the Olympic test event was the last event of the season, and it signalled the start of the year countdown to Tokyo.”
“The worlds is obviously one that everyone wants to do well at, and of course I want to win. That being said, all the work we’ve been doing over the last month has been with the Games in mind as opposed to the worlds.”
“It’s a balancing act – of course I want to come here and do well, but I also have to use the time effectively ahead of the Games.”
While his time in the Finn has been limited, the shipping of Team INEOS’s 75ft yacht Britannia to Cagliari in Sardinia has proved the perfect opportunity for Scott to put the hours in in Melbourne.
A month of training alongside the British Sailing Team’s Finn contingent, including Ed Wright and Henry Wetherell, under the watchful eye of coach Matt Howard has proved priceless.
With gold at Tokyo 2020 the ultimate target, Scott is relishing the opportunity to stamp his authority over his rivals.
Measurement and registration continue through Saturday and Sunday with racing commencing on Port Philip on Monday 16 December after the practice race on Sunday 15.
An opening series of 10 races from Monday to Friday is scheduled, to be followed by the final race and medal race on Saturday 21 December.