|25. Gold Cup 1980
Takapuna, New Zealand, February 18-27
66 entries from 14 countries
Picking up where they left off in England in 1979, United States sailors again set the pace and dominated the 1980 Finn Gold Cup, down under in New Zealand. Cameron Lewis continued his private duel with John Bertrand. Going into the last race only 0.9 points separated Lewis and Bertrand. It boiled down to a match race between them. On the last beat in 30 knots wind Bertrand tacked 32 times and Lewis covered 32 times and thus won the Cup. Up to race five, Larry Lemieux was leading overall but finally capsized twice, hit a couple of marks, and was third at the end. Lewis, Bertrand, Lemieux and Menkart had shipped their boats together in one container, and that ‘Container’ as the gang was referred to, won 5 of the 7 races and ended up 1/2/3/5 overall. Most of the Europeans came shortly before the event from a cold climate and lacked time in their boats. The ‘Container’ had practised for weeks before and had adjusted to the climate.
Final Results Gold Cup 1980
26. Gold Cup 1981
Grömitz, Federal Rep. Germany, July 5-19
110 entries from 22 countries
After three years of US dominance Europe struck back. As much as John Bertrand had dominated the Finn scene in the previous years and Lewis had won the Gold Cup twice, now a new star had risen. Ex Laser sailor Lasse Hjortnäs from Denmark had won 22 out of 24 important individual races in the previous international top events. Everybody expected Lasse to win the Gold Cup as well. However in Grömitz Hjortnäs had gear problems with Carl Buchan’s old Vanguard and dropped back. Instead, Wolfgang Gerz with his fairly old Lanaverre, had tremendous speed and could afford to play it safe. He always started very conservatively but finally had two wins and three 2nds with a 4th as his discard to win the Gold Cup with 9 points, the lowest score since the new Olympic scoring system was used. Wolfgang also was the oldest Gold Cup winner up to now. After the racing Wolfgang consoled Lasse, half as old as himself, that there will be many more Gold Cups to be won, a word Hjortnäs remembered well in 1982, 84 and 85.
Final Results Gold Cup 1981
27. Gold Cup 1982
Medemblik, Holland, September 9-19
126 entries from 22 countries
After 1963, Medemblik was the site of the Gold Cup once again in 1982. The Ijsselmeer generally enjoys good wind conditions, but obviously does not like to be used for the Gold Cup and had poor weather conditions as 19 years before. Only five races were sailed in light winds and sometimes heavy fog. There was a full station measurement for all boats. After Lasse Hjortnäs was nosed out the previous year by Wolfgang Gerz in Grömitz, he won the Cup in this shortened series. In the second race, Lasse was disqualified in a severe five minute rule incident together with 12 other boats. So he only could hope for a minimum of 5 races and therefore one discard. Generally Lasse showed an outstanding ability to pick the correct side on the beats. Henryk Blaszka was the most consistent and ended up second by conservative sailing and good speed.
Final Results Gold Cup 1982
28. Gold Cup 1983
Milwaukee, USA, August 11-20
94 entries from 25 countries
After all the heck-meck with the station 8/6 in the previous years the Americans decided to teach the Finn world a lesson and staged the 1983 Gold Cup in a pond in the back yard of the Harken brothers in front of the Milwaukee breweries. John Christianson was called back on duty to build the most perfect jig and there was no dispute about what is a Finn or not. Consequently the IFA decided to make the Christianson jig the standard for all future Finn measurement. In the first race the international jury disqualified four potential winners for infringement of rule 60 (Means of Propulsion) setting another standard of highest moral. Most of the races were sailed in light and shifty winds, veering with the sun. Only two races enjoyed fresh air. Without winning a single race Paul van Cleve, from the U.S. Navy, won the Cup in front of Wolfgang Gerz, who had two 1sts but a 25th to count. Terry Neilson also with two victories collected a 33rd in the last race after a DSQ in the first, by going up the wrong side and lost. Mark Neeleman was another potential winner with a 14th as his discard.
Final Results Gold Cup 1983
29. Gold Cup 1984
Anzio, Rome, Italy, May 17-27
103 entries from 29 countries
Strong winds up to gale force characterised this world championship. Nice breezes during the measurement days were followed by days of storms, not allowing any race to be sailed. Five days of strong wind allowed 6 races, but on the last day the wind and waves were again too much. Terry Neilson, who was just behind Lasse, would have liked to sail again but Hjortnäs found it to be too dangerous. The old man of the sea Jörgen Lindhardtsen aged 39 was leading overall up to race 4 but later collected 22nd and 20th and was finally third. For his mental son Lasse Hjortnäs, 2/4/11/3/3 was good enough to win the Cup for the second time after 1982, just 0.3 points ahead of Terry Neilson. Larry Lemieux had some water in his double bottom in the beginning, but won two races after he took it out. Buzz Reynolds, who at the time of the Gold Cup thought he was to be the US representative for the Olympics damaged his best mast on the first day in the gale.
Final Results Gold Cup 1984
30. Gold Cup 1985
Marstrand, Sweden, June 26 - July 6
101 entries from 25 countries
In contrast to all predictions the wind in Marstrand never increased above force 3 during this Gold Cup. The current was fairly strong. However nobody was able to read it, let alone predict it. Those who neglected it and did not worry about it had the best results. Everyday a different sailor was leading overall. Biased start lines required the severe sudden death five minute rule to be frequently applied and a number of favourites were disqualified. The jury was busy to grant a few additional DSQs. There was only one man, who finished six times among the top 6 boats, Khoperski, however one line honour was scored as PMS. The jury also gave a severe warning because of team sailing. At the beginning of the last race, four people still could have won the cup. Sobkowiak eliminated himself with a bold PMS under the five minute, rule. Peter Vilby played it safe for the competition by sailing closer to 100 than to 1st. The Gold Cup 1985 was open between Oleg Khoperski, who gradually fell back from fourth position, and Lasse Hjortnäs, who improved slowly after a poor start. Finally Lasse was only one place behind Oleg, enough to take the Gold Cup for the third time after 1982 and 1984. There was only 0.1 points between him and Khoperski, the closest win ever between Gold and Silver in the history of the Finn World Championship.
Final Results Gold Cup 1985
31. Gold Cup 1986
Palma de Mallorca, Spain, July 5-13
82 entries from 21 countries
The event was clouded by problems. To start with there were measurement problems after a Vanguard with an illegal centreboard was disqualified from the first race. Many sailors were then seen with their boats on their sides working on their centreboards. Then there was the weather conditions which proved very tricky with corridors of stronger wind over the course which favoured those who knew where they were. Then there were protests of team racing in the final deciding race when any of four boats could have won the Gold Cup. Of the five sailors who could have won going into the last race Paolo Semeraro blew his chances by being PMS. Peter Vilby, Frank Butzmann and José Doreste (winner of two races) had a bad race, as did the overall winner Stig Westergaard, who didn’t win a single race but was ahead on points after the final count.
Final Results Gold Cup 1986
32. Gold Cup 1987
Kiel, West Germany, June 26 - July 7
57 entries from 17 countries
Straight after Kiel Week were held the ‘Kiel Worlds ‘87’, a joint World Championship for several classes. The Finns shared a course with the 470’s, a two hour sail from the beach. Measurement problems again overshadowed the racing, with several boats being found illegal, even after several years of competition, and protests were numerous. In the fifth race, Doreste was already the sure winner of the Gold Cup, finishing second. In the sixth race, Doreste did not have to sail and Lasse Hjortnäs managed a 4th, thus finishing as runner up to Brian Ledbetter.
Final Results Gold Cup 1987
33. Gold Cup 1988
Ilha Bela, Brazil, January 31-February 11
48 entries from 11 countries
Almost all the sailors arrived a week early, but unfortunately the boats arrived late because of a queue of ships in Santos harbour. However all boats arrived on time for the Championship. As soon as the Championship began, with measurement and registration, the sun didn’t come out any more and it rained every day. The racing was hard and the sailors were faced with all kinds of different situations and wind strengths. The winner, Thomas Schmid, was the best on the water, leading from race 3 onwards and winning race 4. No sailor won more than one race and going into the last race only Roy Heiner could beat Schmid. But Schmid finished 27th to Heiner’s 28th and after the prizegiving paid for 300 beers for everyone.
Final Results Gold Cup 1988
34. Gold Cup 1989
Alassio, Italy, April 6-16
72 entries from 20 countries
Held in the beautiful Alassio Bay, the wind was the only problem: too much or too little. Among the favourites were Thomas Schmid, Stig Westergaard and Oleg Khoperski. After race 5, Mexican Eric Mergenthaler was leading overall, winning races 1 and 5. Veteran Danish sailor Jörgen Lindhardtsen won race 2, Khoperski won race 3 and Armando Ortolano won race 4. In race 5 Khoperski broke his mast and had to count a 38th in his final score. Still wide open going into the last day, 2 races were sailed in strong winds. Defending Champion Schmid scored a 1st and 2nd to move to 7th overall. Mergenthaler recorded two mid-teen results to drop to second overall and with Stig Westergaard winning the final race, the Gold Cup was his again, after first winning it in 1986.
Final Results Gold Cup 1989