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Joaquín Blanco awarded Finn Gold Cup 40 years late

40 years after the event, Joaquín Blanco has been acknowledged by the class and has had his name engraved on the Finn Gold Cup.

Holding the trophy for the first time, he said In an emotional, broken voice, “It’s so emotional for me because I have been waiting for this for 40 years; it’s too much." - Image Robert Deaves - Click image for a larger image

The 1977 Finn Gold Cup never happened. The winner of the renamed Finn World Week was never officially acknowledged as World Champion.

Now, four decades later, on Saturday, 23 June, 2017, the Finn Class has rewritten history.

Joaquín Blanco of Spain has been acknowledged by the class and his peers as the 1977 Finn World Champion.

He has had his name engraved on the Finn Gold Cup, denied to him four decades ago by the unwelcome intrusion of global politics.

In 1977, 115 sailors from 27 countries gathered in Palamos, Spain, for the 22nd running of the Finn Gold Cup.

However, after the Spanish Government refused to accept the entry of the two South African sailors, the International Finn Association withdrew the Finn Gold Cup from the event.

It was renamed Finn World Week and has become a scar on the grand history of the class; a decision that cost the 21 year old Blanco his right to lift one of the greatest trophies in sailing.

The wind at that 1977 event matched the mood of the competitors, with only five races possible in unusually light and feeble breezes.

Blanco, who was already European Champion, won two races, was always in the top 10 and finished 23.3 points ahead of second placed José Luis Doreste, also of Spain.

Racing at the 1977 Finn Gold Cup in Palamos - Click image for a larger image

Wind the clock forward 40 years and both are again sailing Finns in Palamos this weekend, with the Nàutic Club Costa Brava-Vela Palamós organizing a regatta to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1977 Finn World Week.

This gathering of Spanish Finn talent past and present seemed like too good an opportunity to miss to finally acknowledge Blanco’s achievement.

On Saturday evening he was presented, albeit 40 years late, with the Finn Gold Cup, his name newly engraved to finally recognize his victory.

Winning the Finn Gold Cup is a supreme achievement in the sport of sailing, and his name now sits alongside some of the greatest names in sailing of all time.

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Robert Deaves
25 June 2017 9:09 GMT


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