Olympic

Finn European Championship - Just Testing

Racing at the Finn Senior and Junior European Championships commences Monday at 11.00 in La Rochelle, France. Registration and measurement are now complete with 101 boats from 30 nations entered for the event. In the practice race Sunday, Jake Lilley (AUS) got to top mark in the lead, and then along with most of the fleet headed back in without completing the second lap. As usual no one finished the race, saving their energy for the challenge ahead.

When two Finns meet . . . Click image for a larger image

Giles Scott (GBR) is one of the favourites to take the title this week. He spent a week here training with the rest of the British squad in April, and has been back since Thursday getting in a few more days training as well as preparing his boat for the championship ahead.

He said, “We came here a week after Palma ended for 10 days, and did seven days sailing. It was actually pretty light. We didn't really see over 10 knots, but the forecast for this week is a bit more than that. But the training was good. It was quite nice to have a break from the regattas and do some good tuning.”

What will he be expecting this week? “There is a lot of tide here, being on the Atlantic coast, so that will play a relatively big factor depending on where they put the course. Generally if we are out to sea then there's not much of a difference in the tide. It's either one way or the other. But if they come closer to the shore I think it will get quite tricky."

"Other than that it's just going to be dependent on what systems are coming across the Atlantic. In that way it's quite a lot like England. It can be very windy, or it can be very light, we'll just have to wait and see.”

The International Finn Association AGM on Saturday was well attended with around 50 sailors representing 25 countries present. The President Balazs Hajdu (HUN) highlighted that the Finn now represents the only Olympic class for sailors more than 180 cm tall and who weigh over 90kg, and that the class is attracting these tall, heavy sailors in greater numbers, as evidenced by the 101 sailors here in La Rochelle, a lot of them new to the class. Fleets of 100 or more sailors are also now becoming commonplace rather than the exception.

The key part of the meeting was voting for the 2016 events with bids from Gaeta, Italy, Barcelona, Spain and Quiberon, France. Probably the cold conditions in La Rochelle influenced the sailors as they voted for warmer conditions, with the 2016 Finn Gold Cup in Gaeta and the 2016 Europeans in Barcelona.

Robert Deaves
4 May 2014 21:26 GMT


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