This week should have been the 2020 Finn World Masters in Port Zelanda, in The Netherlands. Entries were approaching 250 when the decision was made to cancel back in March, with more than 300 Finns expected to turn up. Across the sport of sailing many major events have been postponed or cancelled, but for the Finn Masters the cancellation of this year’s event was especially poignant as it was the 50th Anniversary Finn World Masters.

Fifty years ago, a group of aging Finn sailors gathered on the Silvaplana See, close to St. Moritz in Switzerland, to sail the first ever Veteran Gold Cup, as it was then called. Over the past half a century that inaugural event, attracting just 18 entries, has evolved into the colossus that is today known as the Finn World Masters.

Today, Monday 1 June, around 300 Finn Masters should have been sailing the first races of the 2020 Finn World Masters at Port Zelande in The Netherlands. Sadly, they are not, but during this week, the spirit of the Finn Masters is being kept alive with online activities and events. To follow these activities, head over to the Finn Masters Website at NOT the 50th Finn World Masters or the Masters Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FinnWorldMasters.

The 2020 Finn World Masters should have been a great party, celebrating 50 years of the Finn Masters, half a century of Finn sailors not being able to give up Finn sailing, but that will now have to wait until next year when the 2021 Finn World Masters is scheduled to take place in Medemblik.

However until then it might be interesting to look at some data from the events over the past 50 years.

 
Highlights from recent Finn World Masters

mm

The Best sailors

It would be interesting to look at the best sailors at the Finn World Masters over the 50 years. The top is surprisingly close. In total 69 sailors have taken a top three place overall, with Michael Maier, from the Czech Republic, picking up six wins as the best sailor by one point from André Budzien, from Germany, who only won three, but was second seven times. In third place is Larry Lemieux from Canada, who took five victories.

bestmasters

The table is calculated by giving 6 points to first, 3 to second and 1 to third. The full table of all 69 sailors can be found here.

attedence chart

Apart from 2020, the event has only once failed to be sailed, when in 1973, poor weather prevented a series being held. Otherwise 48 editions have taken place. Up until 1983, attendance was not very spectacular, but from 1984 to 2007 it increased dramatically to attract 100-190 entries. Many thought it couldn’t get any bigger, but over the coming decade it broke through 200 and then in 2016, recorded its highest ever entry of 355 at Torbole on Lake Garda.

venues

France and Italy have been the most popular destinations for the event. It has been sailed 15 times in France and 10 times in Italy. It was sailed eight times at Port Camargue in France.

fleet2

 medals

This table shows the best performing country by adding up all the points. Not surprisingly Germany is the clear winner here, regularly fielding the largest team for many years.


History
The first suggestion for a special Finn Veteran Gold Cup for sailors over 40 years of age was presented by Dr. Fred and Heidi Auer at the 1969 IFA AGM in Bermuda. The first Veteran Gold Cup was held on the Silvaplana See and even the Finn’s designer, Rickard Sarby, sailed in that first regatta.

For the first 12 years, the fleet was around 30-50 boats, kept alive by a group of enthusiasts and generally sailed in central Europe or Port Camargue in France. Then in 1984 it went to Lago di Caldero in Italy and suddenly there were more than 100 entries, needing the fleet to be sailed in groups for the first time.

In those days it was the custom for the winner to decide the venue for the following year, but by then some of the professionals from the senior fleet were starting to show their face and walk away with the title.

Age categories were introduced with Masters, Grand Masters and Grand Grand Masters. Later Legends were also added and more recently Super Legends (over 80 years old) were also included. During this time, the rule to limit racing in winds of under 20 knots was introduced.

By 1990, things were getting more organised and the Masters started to organise their own AGM each year and changed the name to the Finn World Masters. It has twice been sailed in conjunction with the Finn Gold Cup, in 1996 in La Rochelle and 2000 in Weymouth.

The numbers kept growing, hovered around 130 for a few years and then went past 200 and now on two occasions it has passed 350. Before the current world crisis it was fully expected to break through 400 boats in the next few years. We might now have to wait a little longer for that milestone.

NOT the 50th Finn World Masters

All this week the Masters are keeping the spirit of the event alive. Everything will be posted on the Finn World Masters website and the Finn Masters Facebook page.

There will be several key announcements and events during the week. The 'NOT the Opening Ceremony' was held Sunday evening night, the drinks party and Annual Masters Meeting will also follow on Wednesday.

Join us in helping to celebrate 50 Years of the Finn World Masters.

fleet1

The table is calculated by giving 6 points to first, 3 to second and 1 to third, taken from the overall results from 1970 to 2019

1
Michael Maier, CZE
40
2
André Budzien GER
39
3
Larry Lemieux, CAN
37
4
Georg Oser, Z
23
5
Vladimir Krutskikh, RUS
21
6
Andre Mevel, F
20
7
Roland Balthasar, G
18
8
Mel Oskamp, H
16
9
Walter Mai, 
14
10
Kurt Schimitzek, G
13
11=
Heini Unterhauser, I
12
11=
John Greenwood, GBR
12
11=
Peter Raderschadt, G
12
14
Wolfgang Gerz, GER
11
15
Jiri Outrata, CZ
10
16
Othmar Reich, Z
10
17=
Andreino Menoni, I
9
17=
Heinz Reiter, G
9
17=
Karel Hruby, CZ
9
20
Allen Burrell, GBR
8
21=
Eberhard Bieberitz, GER
7
21=
Peter Vollebregt, G
7
21=
Mikael Brandt, G
7
24=
Rafa Trujillo, ESP
7
24=
Minski Fabris, CRO
7
26=
Gy Wossala, M
6
26=
Hans Fatzer, Z
6
26=
Jorgen Lindhardtsen, D
6
26=
José Luis Doreste, ESP
6
31
Klaus Stuffer, I
6
32
Laurent Hay, FRA
6
26=
Silvio Santoni, ITA
6
33
Freidrich Muller, G
5
34=
Frank Roth, Z
4
34=
Herman Heide, G
4
36=
Antonio Poncell, CHI
3
36=
Augustin Juarez ESP
3
36=
C Sturm, Z
3
36=
Dimitry Petrov, RUS
3
36=
Greg Davis, RSA
3
36=
Hein-Peter Okker, NED
3
36=
Ivan Hoffmann, CZ
3
36=
Jochen Lollert, G
3
36=
Jurgen Eiermann, GER
3
36=
Laszlo Zsindely, Z
3
36=
Mihail Kopanov, BUL
3
36=
P Lebois, F
3
36=
Palle-Steen Larsen, D
3
49=
Giacomo Giovanelli, ITA
2
49=
Michael Gubi, AUT
2
51=
Aleksandr Kuliukin, RUS
1
51=
Andrew Cooper, GBR
1
51=
Beda Zingg, Z
1
51=
Christen Christoph, SUI
1
51=
Erich Kaspareth, I
1
51=
Erik Lidesic, USA
1
51=
Friedrich Muller, G
1
51=
H Herwig, G
1
51=
Han Bergsma, NED
1
51=
Henning Wind, D
1
51=
Ivor Ganahl, Z
1
51=
Jan Bjornberg, S
1
51=
Jean Paul Gaston, FRA
1
51=
Jiri Maier, CZ
1
51=
Mikael Brandt, S
1
51=
Roman Teply, ITA
1
51=
Uli Breuer, GER
1
51=
Vernon Stratton, K
1
51=
Worn Clark, USA
1

Those Finn Masters who went to Kavala in 2015 will remember an amazing week of sailing, hospitality and Greek food and wine. And we are delighted to announce that Kavala is bidding again, to host the Finn World Masters in 2023.

The proposed venue this time is the Sailing Club of Kavala M.P., located 12 km west of the town of Kavala. The sandy beaches of Nea Iraklitsa are a major summer tourist destination in Northern Greece.

Nea Iraklitsa belongs to the Municipality of Paggaion and combines the sea and the beauty of Mount “Paggaion” (or “Pageo”). It is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque tourist resorts in the region of Kavala.

The whole municipality is named after the nearby Mount Pageo, famous since antiquity for its gold mines, successfully run by King Philip II of Macedonia, father of Alexander the Great. The fertile land of the Pageo region plains has a long tradition in olive tree and grape growing, with Bibline Wine of Pageo being a wine of exceptional quality since Hesiod’s times.

Launching will be from the beach, which can easily handle more than 400 Finns. There is space for campers and ample accommodation in the town. The area was voted in Airbnb, as one of the 10 places worldwide in growth rate in apartments and rooms for 2019. Apart from apartments and rooms there are also hotels 5-minutes from the venue. The prices, especially in May, are very reasonable.

You can read more about the bid and the area, with many more photos, in the presentation here with  several videos below, including a fly-past of the race area, the venue and the beaches, below.

This is the first bid received for 2023. Any further bids must be received by February 1, 2021 and a vote will be take at the 2021 Annual Masters Meeting in Medemblik.

Dear Finn Masters,

Today we should have been in Port Zelande, at the start of the 2020 Finn World Masters. Tonight we should have been enjoying some great Dutch hospitality at the Opening Ceremony beside the Grevelingenmeer.

Sadly it was not to be, but during this week we will try to keep some of the Finn spirit alive with various activities and entertainment for you. 

We will be releasing all the various materials on the Finn Class and Finn World Masters Facebook pages, as well as sending you updates, so please do engage with that, respond if you feel able and enjoy the worldwide community that is the Finn Masters.

On Wednesday morning we will run the Annual Masters Meeting as an interactive form. On Wednesday evening we will raised a glass to the 50th Anniversary of the Finn World Masters. And we will have various announcements to share with you during the week. 

So sit back, grab a drink, and we will start with NOT the Opening Ceremony.

Enjoy.
 
Andy Denison
Masters President

 

 

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