2020 Sailor Survey - all responses

Do you think the Finn in danger as a class by not being an Olympic class? Please comment (How it is in danger, and what to do about it)

153 responses

The majority of the sailors are non-Olympians, but we attract people by it, so we have to keep communicate about the class and the boat

The Finn Class is very strong - partly due to Finn World Masters

The age topography means more elderly will sail Laser & Finn. The Olympics are becoming increasingly irrelevant as online access to micro events become cheaper and cheaper

The danger is that the class will not adapt to the changes in a way to keep the class alive. 

Few Young sailors entering the class

There are enough National and Masters sailors to keep the class viable for many years, the goal should be to keep the class at a similar size when Olympic campaigners move on to other events

Do something like SSL format

It’s an expensive Singlehander boat to compete at a top level. In Canada with our $ and shipping with duties a new Finn is $40k+\- CAD once landed. Not many if any young sailors can afford that if not doing an Olympic campaign. 

The danger lies in the public getting used to the status qua. We shouldn't give up. Attract a lot of young sailors. My Club (Blankeneser Segel-Club, Hamburg) has bought three old Finns and offers them to members and non-members for six month for as little as €85. All costs included. 

We as a class could approach some key-clubs with a good reputation and offer them on a trial basis a couple of boats. Even create some special events tailored for newcomers. Taking place during the big events like Gold-cup, Masters WM, or other international events in various countries.

Being Olympic is a big showcase for both young sailors and masters. I think an event like the SSL for Finn sailors will help sustain our big status as a class. 

I think it will be considered an expensive and elitist class, like the Flying Dutchman, unless it is promoted as a club racing boat for the average size sailor.

The class does need to become world focused.  Not eurocentric.   Do not overlook the Finn fleets in the Americas and the Pacific. Australia in particular now have a very strong fleet.   

I feel the masters will be fine and potentially get stronger. However I feel it will hit the ‘Seniors’ (23-39) that aren’t hopeful Olympians the hardest. I race a Finn because I love it as a boat. Already in Britain, the under 23s have mainly disbanded and at 32, I fear I’ll be one of the youngest on the national/open circuit in the country. I feel the best selling point is of the class, is the fantastic media coverage Robert does of the Olympic circuit.....watching the top guys, throwing the boat around and the athleticism required to do that all the while being in sunny Palma, Hyeres etc, honestly makes the class one of the most appealing out there. However without that, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, is it really that impressive and appealing a class to see videos and pictures of old men drifting around a lake or the in the middle of Britain, or the murky waters of Medemblik? I just feel there won’t be the attraction to the youth. 

I think the other hold back for the under 40s is the cost. There will be less (or no funding) for the ‘Hopeful Olympians’ that do stay in the class and they are not cheap boats to buy or sail. The knock on effect is that the lack of hopeful Olympians buying 10 sails a year means the strong second hand market for sails and boats may drop. With a mortgage, young family and other interests, I cannot afford £1200 for a new Finn sail, but can afford to buy one 2 weeks old from Giles Scott for £400 with enough life to do ok nationally. Likewise, I’d love a fantastica, but with the masters not so keen on them and the prospect of no more Olympic boats being made, will the price of the most competitive hull come down? Again I can’t even dream of spending £14000 on a Hull only at my stage of life......and I’m not alone. 

There will be a different impact in different regions,  in Europe there is a very strong Masters scene and the Masters worlds which is really only held in Europe.  I think Aus will be in a reasonable position to withstand the change as there are only a handful of Olympic aspirants, the majority of the class are older sailors who are likely to continue with the class regardless of the Olympic status.

Again, in Aus, I would think the right approach is to continue to run quality events, ensure good company and make sailing a Finn an enjoyable experience both on and off the water.

The recent growth in the class shows that the IFA is working in the right direction...

There is no set circuit as main focus has been in Olympic. Key is to get a circuit going, accommodate logistics and have a strong moving circuit as the dragon class has with events planned well in advance. Also: the boat is too expensive for a broader range of male sailors between 25 and 40. Allowing the fantastica to enter, basically killed resale value and limited the entry to the class. Something michele marchesini warned for in the 09 meeting at the gold cup.

The class should look at great pedigree classes like the Star, 505 etc that provide top level sailing and are great at promoting the sailors equally important as the boat. The sailors and the racing experience are much more important than the boat. 

Most sailors seem to be mature in UK and love sailing the Finn. I struggled to find a boat that rewards being a heavyweight until the Finn and I would encourage other club sailors in a similar position. Maybe give classic and classic with carbon Finns a higher Portsmouth number to encourage sailors who sail in handicap fleets or open events (like the Phantom class do).

It will be less interesting for sponsors, the quality of events will drop, people will leave

Explore deep relationships with Star Sailing and prestige classes as trainer eh TTP 52 and AC 45

I suggest to create a league (like SSL), with a good prize money to keep the professionals sailing the class

Olympics have always been part of the Finn culture. Whatever the level you're racing. Olympics are part of the Finn DNA... right from its origin

Competitiveness on highest level will decrease

Lack of new blood.. ever ageing sailor base .... lack of exposure.

Raise profile ... smaller rig option ( ok dinghy size ) .... more youth regattas .... lower hull / gear costs. 

Visibility, motivation for younger sailors, availability of high performance boats and further development of technology are all at risk

Zero advocacy from US Sailing for retaining the Finn.  I believe best chance to keep it is to advocate equal opportunity for all body types.  Finn sailors have the widest range of weights by far compared to all other Olympic classes.

It's a very expensive boat for young people. Plus: the really ambitious ones will look elsewhere for Olympic opportunities, where they're more likely to find sponsors, and support from their national sports/Olympic authorities.

Evolution of material. Availability of relative new material on second hand market 

Inadequate promotion in the early discussion stages with WS. - Face the fact it will lose status and rebuild FGC/Masters and U23 - promote and push an U23 programme world wide. Introduce a major world brand as a sponsor who will gain from big continental events

Not expecting the Finn Class to collapse but to slowly lose relevance

It is in the same category as all other classes i.e a reducing audience, it wont attract the youngsters unless .

Providing the class association stays strong the Finn will flourish outside the Olympics

Loss of Olympic status will discourage youth into what may be regarded by some as an old fashioned boat.

Without it being an Olympic class we will struggle to attract new young talent. As a result over a long period of time we will see a fall in the numbers taking up the Finn and therefore over a long period it will slow decline as a class. Very sad, as it is a fantastic boat and remains relevant as a dinghy for the bigger sailor.

Lack of positive action to keep it as attractive as it has been to all sailors at all levels including the stars of future. Mustn’t let Olympics be the driver for the class, the Olympics are dead, long live the Finn and let’s go on to bigger and better things.

We will have to spread the appeal of the Finn to all ages of sailor. The Finn's reputation for being a brute of a boat goes against it.   We also need to emphasise it's a great boat to sail - very rewarding.   Can appeal to a wide range of ages (and abilities).   

It's too expensive for what it is so who's going to buy it without the chance of Olympic selection.  

Lack of a steady stream of nearly new boats and kit moving on to other sailors

In short term no danger - the (inter)national regattas I visit are mainly raced by masters (or even older). Our problem is- and remains the youth. We need young sailors to replace those who retire from racing. 

It's a small yet active class in the UK, but most of those sailors - excluding Olympic hopefuls - are old (at club level - a guess). If youngsters don't come into the class there's nobody to fill the gaps left by older people being forced to retire from the class, like me. 

Naturally the Finn should be in the olympics alongside the star but the star is stronger than ever, the same will happen with the Finn. The Olympics sailing event is a complete joke without these to classes. I am a former Olympian in the star class.

Make the top regattas (FGC) accessible to large numbers of amateur sailors with minimal qualification requirements.

Keep modernising the class and make the Gold-Cup very, very interesting

Have a look what past-Olympic status has done to the Dragon and Star classes. An initial dip but through thorough organisation and a nucleus of sailors both have come out more modern end stronger then before. Yes it takes work and enthusiasm

For many years the Finn has been an Olympic class, shortly it will not be one, we should follow the example of the Star class and change our format, while using the traditional and legendary regattas to further our image and desirability of the Finn as a stand alone class. We must look to expand our class and provide a top class challenge for all larger sailors.

And if, like in Germany in the past years, the class is growing by sailors that come bacck from other classes, because they are looking for good competition at reasonable cost and minimum time coordination - what's wrong about it? Even if these "returners" are a bit older than the Olympic guys.

The soul of the class is in the heroic trial an Olympic campaign offers to young men willing to accept the challenge. You change. Your outlook changes. You join a brotherhood of international sailors that is lifelong. For young men who do not physically fit in the other Olympic boats, it is the Mt. Everest of sailing. Not being an Olympic class, young men will look elsewhere to test themselves. 

Keep up an attractive Masters Circuit attracting mid aged sailors from other classes.

Check setup like Star Sailors League. But I doubt whether this will work with the Finn as the boat is physically too demanding.

It will not be attractive for younger generations, IFA needs to work on a program  similar to Star Sailors League

The Finn needs to be made lighter and faster. Carbon centreboard. Square top sail. How about foils. 

I think the class is in good stead with the 40+ year base, but we need to encourage still high performance open level competition, I think really good venues that are Finn-friendly and showcase the best of the class and a potential series of regattas (similar to SSL maybe) may be key to producing exposure, interest and a real emphasis on performance.

Who do you think should be the target audience in the future and how do we attract them into the class?

206 responses

The class has to be filled by younger people. The boat is too expensive for U23 so seniors would be the best target. The Masters and up will return to the Finn by themselves.

Actually, I don't think our focus should be age related.  Our target markets could possibly be (1) people looking for a physical/mental challenge and (2) small lakes.  The Finn is overpowered which makes it well suited for light air environments where underpowered boats will just sit.  

The strength of this age group extends from club level through to the world Finn masters championships. I wasn’t interested in the class at all until I got to 40 years old. The attraction was less the boat and more the people. That the boat is lovely to sail is a bonus to me.  My local club is all masters, how many Olympic guys sail a Finn at club level?  I think focusing on getting people in the class at masters level will see the class grow. 

The class needs youngsters, as do most other classes. One way to promote the Finn is by taking part in national and international events where boats like, the Laser, 420, Contender, etc. are present. We show ourselves, come into contact and might raise the interest of sailors which are getting to old, to slow or to heavy for there class.

I think the Finn is great for all ages, but it’s hard to see how it can be a pathway to future sailing for U23s without Olympics,  so for growth its the masters that seems best.

I think by keeping professional sailors in our class, the masters and grand masters etc will keep coming to our class, also young sailors will enter the Finn because they look up to there big heroes who are sailing Finn

The Finn will not feature in the U23 because they will be all about Olympic pathway boats so it needs to be marketed to more mature sailors.

The boats are expensive but not completely beyond reach, I can afford one now but couldn’t (without my parents help) pre 23. The seniors will stay with the class (the boats are too good to leave the class) and filter nicely into the masters when 40 years old. 

It will be very difficult to retain the u23 due to the cost of the Finn. They will need significant support with finances to be competitive. Only if we provide them with a pathway upwards will they continue to sail the boat. One idea could be to use the Finn as a feeder class for the SSL or into another paid circuit ? If you are +85 kg/make and you want to make a career out of sailing competitively you need a pathway. Right now there is no clear path so there is an opportunity. If we can offer u23 a path then they will continue to sail the boat but without It no way

I want to select all, the strength of the class has to be in the depth of generations that want to be involved

All ages should be encouraged, its important to enjoy the events, they should be pleasure not punishment.. sensible courses and not miles away from the base/club.

Youngsters are more likely to choose modern 'flying machines'. Perhaps the class should be looking for interest from those happy to return to a hiking dinghy after their youthful ideas have passed. The average young dinghy sailor probably wouldn't want to sail a Finn if it was just another single-handed class as it's so hard to sail well. Youngsters prefer easy options. Older sailors can see the merit of a boat that requires grunt, if it's as rewarding as a Finn. However if youngsters neither see the class being sailed nor have the opportunity to try one, the way ahead for the class is more difficult.

It's important to secure the foot chain, by making the Finn attractive for U23 and seniors. But the class has a big mass of masters, and therefore it's also important with good and many master events.

I wanted to check ALL categories... we should be attracting ALL ages, all types of sailors.  Should concentrate on building the fleets... stronger fleets and districts makes for a stronger class.

It would be great to attract younger sailors, but unless there is a fleet in place it will be difficult (North American perspective). It's hard to imagine the production of new boats continuing past 2020, but the critical mass in Europe should sustain the class for some time, particularly in the Masters fleets/regattas. I think having something in place like the Star Sailors League, with its excellent format, (knock out) , participation by other class champions, superb coverage (video &commentary), etc., would be very helpful in maintaining interest in the class. The challenges would include the difficulty of light weight sailors from other classes being competitive in the Finn with established Finn sailors, and thus their interest in participating. (overcome in the Star by having a crew who is ideal weight, and can act as a mentor)

Already a big Group of sailors are Masters. If fantastic venues are appointed more will come. Myself I came back to the class after 30 years absence due to Barbados Masters.

I got into the Finn because it because impossible to maintain my youthful svelte, physique. I was no longer competitive in all other, smaller, single handed dinghies....

I would go for a versatile class as the Finn is now. With strong seniors you will attract the youth sailors that are to big to sail other boats and still want to sail in a great bit and good well know circuit. And once you fall in love with the Finn you will automatic come back to Finn sailing on a later age. 

It is a senior class and will remain so. The trend towards foiling will grow amongst the young. Tactical sailing remains a senior sport. And those coming out of foiling will start to recognize its values. That is as long as the Int. Finn class will promote this rigorously 

(Of course, get U23 sailors in the class, with their sights on 2028.) But: presumably there won't be national authority funding for younger sailors without Olympic status; it is a tough sell to someone with limited funds to be a Finn sailor. The Seniors and GGMs (like myself) are already impassioned about Finn sailing, but its a tough sell to get someone in their late 60s to enter the class, if the bug hasn't already bitten them - but, sure, there will be older sailors joining local fleets. The M & GMs tend to have had enough time in careers, and in some cases have children who are growing up, so that they have a little more time and money to devote to the sport. This target group includes folks who have been active Finn sailors in the past, as well as sailors from other classes.

Do you think FINNFARE should move to online versions only?

41 responses

The FinnFare is one of the best class magazines I've seen.   

I can distribute paper copies at clubs to pique interest in the class versus the online edition which is harder to access

I think Finnfare is one of the best class magazines I[ have ever seen for the last 10 years

I am sharing it in the club keep it paper

In 10 years you can no longer read online (other formats), but you can read on paper.

I can always print off a particular article if I want to.

All should continue to be online - maybe a series of short eNews aimed at different types of  Finn sailor (U23, Club sailors, Classic Finn owners, Seniors, Masters, Technical Bulletins) plus an annual printed Finnfare covering all aspects - permanent record.

People still like paper

Older persons prefer paper, besides its nice to read while traveling or in bed. I leave copies at our club for members to read.

More reviews on kit and less boring lists of results.

Love the magazine, would like to see it develop with more articles/advertising/tuning guides etc etc

The older generation (Masters and above) have always held onto paper copies of magazines relating to their interests and I guess would like to continue doing that. As the younger generation fill the gaps (assuming they do), they are likely to be more content with online versions.

A lot of people like paper and that is why we resurrected SOLO magazine here in US

Keep sailors well informed (you are doing an excellent job at the moment) and make the information fun to read. Involve all Finn sailors

On line is transient, paper is the longer read and is used as a reference for all Finn matters.

Excellent publication!  Thanks!

I like to sit in the evening and read the Finnfare. The good thing is, that I can show it to other persons. I have collected all Finnfares from the beginning and like to have a look into them and remember what was going on a couple of years ago. I am sailing Finn since 50 years without any break and hope to continue as long as possible and read the Finnfare.

I think we should work online only then we are up to date. When we get the printed media, the reports are already out of date."

I prefer the paper version more. 

More articles that write help with education, logistics, maintenance would be infinitely more helpful than reading about the same people winning regattas all the time.

The copy has more staying power, sitting on coffee tables, on the night stand, etc., to be enjoyed.  They can also be dropped off at yacht clubs for promoting the class.

Paper issue to each member is too much. But we still keep collecting paper issues  for history. Maybe it is better to define volume of paper on demand.  

Online issue are more easy to get but paper magazines are like paper photos, they are sweet memories 

Do you think it is viable to have the Finn Gold Cup and Finn World Masters as separate events? [Note there are very few non-Olympic classes that have a Senior and Masters Worlds as separate events.]

94 responses

The Gold Cup should continue to be the “Open World Championship” with limited entry so that the top sailors have an event to meet their needs. The FWM should be a top quality event as at present to meet the demand for high quality events in attractive venues with a more social/Finn family flavour. Most other Classes have not tapped into the FWM concept - this provides a competitive advantage for the Finns...

One massive World Championship - would attract younger sailors.

Until we know if there is a non masters segment in future.

FGC sailors are a standard above most others and end up wailing around for slower boats to finish.

However, if the events are merged there is a high probability that it will be too many people for one venue to cope. By retaining two events there is a greater chance of more people participating

The Finn is a physically very demanding boat. For main events Gold-Cup and continental championships the younger guys will be very much faster especially downwind. Give them room. An idea would be to split the fleet between Sailors and Masters +. Two starts are normally not a problem for a PRO. Inner and outer loop courses are common nowadays. And make the races shorter. ( 50 -60 minutes is plenty)

Try it for a year after the olympics as two separate. If the fleet isn’t there for a FGC move to a combined event.

it’s a challenge to merge both categories on a World Cup. We have to be careful to don’t generate a demotivate the masters, gmasters. Food for thought.

Nevertheless certainly with departures by category.

This is a way to help keep attracting the younger sailors

There is no reason to keep a master and gold cup at the end it’s gonna be same sailors

Merge in one event bring greater visibility, however the format of the masters world so far doesn’t suit to a gold cup which should remain what made of it one of the greatest event of sailing : one fleet, long courses...

Less seniors or juniors, so one event

The float would be spectacular

Masters: I think when the Masters are in Europe, it should only be one event. When it is overseas, the have Eurpopen Masters for thos who do not want to travel that far, organize containers etc. The masters fleet is huge, it is ot funny for the young top sailors I think. The events can be at the same time and same venue, but definitely seperate fleets/race areas.

At this stage still large members in both but in 5-10 years need to be revisited

But keep The categories

Too many boats if combined Not manageable anymore at land

No find venues with capacity,maybe in future if less members

The boat is too athletic to have Seniors and Masters (and up) race together. As a Grand Grand Master I can't hike or pump for an extended period anymore.

It is better to keep one community and to extend communication as much as possible. Separate events lead to self isolation.

Retain Gold Cup status and increase attendance

Masters is a big enough regatta by itself

The masters will continue to grow, making combined events too large for most venues

I've never been to those events, so I am in no position to comment.

Altough it would be a shame for the gold cup to see it get mixed with a second event, i think for your number of sailors at the event it is better to merge

At the moment there too many Masters at the Worlds at least for that to seem feasable. The call is the numbers at venues, Aren't Lasers separate with fewer competitors?

Only if Finn does not regain Olympic status

Venues would have to be chosen to suit ageing masters though. No big swell, high wind sea locations as I’d not bother going if combined.

Two many competitors to be maneagable

Two as its now.

Maybe hosted at the same time same venue but with separate fleets/courses. Once pumping comes in t play what definitely should stay the differences become to big and then select spots that can host that many boats and ensure that starts do no get past 80 boats. If needed perhaps sail by age groups rather than all together. 

I think we will not have enough Seniors for a separate regatta - the Masters will remain numberous enough.

(Usually) Separate events because the numbers already make it difficult to find suitable venues. Also e.g. Cadiz might be very suitable for FGC, but too draughty for FWM. Similarly Port Zelande is likely to be fine for FWM, but questionable for FGC.

based on the fitness (and speed) it would be too dangerous - amount of boats

no need for 2 events

FGC and senior Europeans are for the cream of the class.

Did not really think of that one but it would be better to merge if it improves the financia balance sheet...

That would ensure that the events would stay in Europe as there is few master's events outside europe

Trail with separate events until clear.

Even as a (very) old sailor it is best to compete with the best. Or at least see how the come by and learn. Keep separate results however. Even if a Grand Master will finish 55th he may be the 1st GM.

I would love to see it merged, but would hate to see the masters not sail because of it

Keep the FGC a pinacle event. Like the Star Sailors League. Winning it will still be a route to elite professional sailing. Don't dilute it's importance

may be, Finn World Master from GM and over with full respect of 20 knots limit and without freepumping

As long as it is Olympic 

Just based on numbers (300+) at Masters, why stress venues even more.

If the Class is non Olympic it hardly seems necessary to have separate events.

If somehow Finn will maintain Olympic status keep two separate events. If not Olympic merge gold cup and masters.

Difficult to answer

I think they should be at the same venue but racing held separately. So it is one big Finn Fiesta, but still maintains integrity of masters racing and seniors racing

With the large number of competitors at Masters, combining them would make logistics of running a contest almost impossible and reduce the number of locatiopns that could host.

It is worth the try, FGC should remain a higher level, limited entry event

Today its good to have the FGC seperatly. But I expect strong decrease in participation at FGC without olympic status.

Finn World Masters venues are voted for by its participants and hence the event never leaves Europe. If they merged the Finn Gold Cup would never leave Europe. As per my earlier comment, the Finn must retain its world focus and use the Gold Cup as a world wide promotional event. With the "rock stars" not attending due to no incentive due to no Olympics, the Gold Cup will attract larger fleets of better than average club sailors.

For the gold cup and FWM events it could be one event as long as the venues can handle the numbers. Everyone would be eligible for the gold cup and then the masters broken out of the results like each masters division is now. The only thing that would work against this is if the social aspect of the masters gets lost in the competitiveness of the gold cup.

Lets migrate to a new format over a couple of years, there is difference in physicality between the young and mature sailors

The Masters on it is own will survive..... the number of sailors racing Masters shows this. Regarding the Gold Cup, the class officers have to maintain the aura of glamour and importance of the Finn Gold Cup as an event on it is own. For me the Finn Gold Cup was always "the EVENT" of the Finn class. In my view the Finn Gold Cup as a racing event is more important than the Olympics for the Finn. The Winner will battle 80+ of the best sailors in the world and in the Olympics is only 22 with a selection that is not really fair....

It would be great to merge it into one event, but if you think about the high number of participants at the masters, I think it is not practicable. The good thing would be for us old guys, to get in contact to the good international sailors and have the chance to lern from them.

See impact of Olympic status

Big happening makes cheaper and future proof

Combining events will increase participation at the Gold Cup, which is a premier event, but I think the attendance by masters would drop significantly. I feel as if I'd only be in the way of the class leaders (at the start and then they would be gone). Regarding the World Ranking list. I would think younger people would value it, my testosterone is gone so its not real high on my personal priority list.

two diffent events with different character by participants and atmosphere

Depends of the competitors amount

Both event should marge into one event with both a senior and a master event at he sam time. It would be great fun.

The masters is probably more popular than the gold cup - especially once the hot shots leave the class. Don't spoil a perfectly good event

It would be interesting to have one world championship, one of the great attractions of Finn sailing is the chance to race against the very best in the world! 

Let see how it developes.. in a separated organization and over 300 participanten for the masters.. then keep it separated.

The FWM is already a very large fleet which struggles to get venues to host, so unless it shrinks in size it shouldn't be merged.

Currently enough boats outside the Olympic hopefuls but Time will tell

 I don't think we need a Masters event at all. but nice Euros and World Cup.

I believe in a world ranking on a level like Match Race. top 40 invited to the Gold cup

More regattas means more opportunities to compete-The Masters is specific to the Masters and gives them an opportunity to compete against older boats and older sailors while the FGC should be the top end of the class with the strongest athletes. (esp. U23/U40).

The Masters attracts a very different type of Finn sailor than the Seniors. The Seniors and the Gold Cup are too intense for most sailors. However these "club" sailors enjoy the Masters and return year after year.

I think that the events would be to big, when they are merged.

Are you serious with this question? if so, that is scary.

The only limiting factor maybe numbers being too high to sail as one event - with 300 Masters as well as FGC sailors it could be too high

Keep the FGC this is Holy

Not sure

Its important that everybody lof and you de could sial together . But to maintain interest to this merge, the rules have to change : NO PUMPING FREE

If we merge it, we will lose a lot of the older sailors for theevent because the different of the level to. The younger top sailors is too big

It will create an impressive age range. Suggest they sail in different classes as masters conditions constraints clearly cannot apply to the seniors.

You can't race a Gold Cup with the Masters wind limits and free pumping limits in place...ridiculous

I'm not qualified to contribute to this subject, nor the following topics.

depends on the number of competitors in the next years

Then you can chose the venue feasible. 

As it stands now, we have huge numbers for Master Worlds as well as good 'senior spirit'. Don't need another 100 sailors as the logistics are already stretched.

The class could shrink once not in the Olympics

The Gold Cup must become the ultimate prize for the young skilled larger sailor, to do less would be to fail them and the class.

Being Australian do not have enough experience to have a valued opinion for the 2 above questions

two events were necessary in the past, but if fleet size drops in each after 2020, the one event would be better (more viable)

Then reality of loosing the Olympics status of the class is that the class will loose most if not all of the elite sailors so the viability of a separate Gold Cup event may be in question, more likely to have that as a division within a larger regatta format.

I still beleive there are enough sailors for both events. If we want as Said earlier to still be attractive there should be à way to become the best sailor in respective group of age. We could maybe hold the events at one place and time but separate courses.  I also strongly believe that the masters event are too big now. At least when each group of sailors in one start grown over 80 boats  In copenhaven last year it was a mess om the line and the line was far to loooooong. It is no fun. Many sailors I know Will not do masters 2020 for that reason but focus on European masters

European Ranking League - Please explain any other ideas about what would make this attractive

49 responses

We should start with a few regattas, and then grow from there. We shall not spread thin.

The best way to survive as a class, is to be seen around all europe (the world) with big fleets

A tour is relevant for retired people, people without job and plenty of money and probably not many others. But it could stimulate attendance at more national championships.

Idea: rank qualified national championships as 'select' events if they comply with an IFA set of minimum requirements to accommodate international attendance."

Whilst the Euro focus is good, what support will the Finn class give to a world series? 

A European ranking of perhaps long weekend national championships of say 5 countries. Subsidies or perhaps reduced travelling would be a key thought. Perhaps each host national association could find 10 boats not being sailed for loan or charter so only masts and sails (which could travel in bulk) need to go to each event. Or help from Devoti etc

Most of the sailors are not professionals and don't have that much time. For me, still working it would not be possible (I am anyway too bad). Once the Finn is not Olympic anymore, I don't think the professionals will stay. Unless you create something like the Star Sailors League. But the Star is different I guess, you can still be competitive in an older age, if you have a good, strong crew.

The tour must not be limited to Europe

Besides world masters, I would be interested in travelling to "destination" national events like Italy, Greece, Croatia

A Euro Cup circuit might help keep the younger ‚’professional’ sailors in the Class particularly as there is no Olympic sailing for their weight height, also for those with time/money to travel a circuit might be attractive to keep in touch with Finn sailing friends and it would showcase the Finn....

It would be great if there was a coordinated regatta circuit through the European holiday period.

I would like us to approach venues for the FWM/GC so we can make these events more appealing.  The previous system has worked to a point but I now believe we need to target venues that can really accommodate 300+ boats and be attractive for potential competitors.  I'm not well travelled but it would appear that Kiel/Hyeres/Palma/Medemblik etc are the places we should look to go.  For example, clearly sailors wanted to go to Garda for the FWM a couple of years ago where we got our highest turnout.

Here is the deal, IFA works only for the benefit of Europe (see how your previous questions are worded). It seems that other continents are left behind to do whatever and figure out there issues on their own. I believe that this in part with poor management of the National Associations on some of the continents became a big factor in Finn Olympic elimination. You got the point... 

My suggestion would be to make 3 or 4 international events per year in a fixed schedule. Sailors can plan a long time before. Make a ranking based on limited attendance, lets say 2 to count. And promote national sailing. As people will then be able to sail much more often ; promote the 'weekend-warriors'. They form the backbone of the class. 

It is essential that we do not dilute the quality of our major trophies, we are very late in promoting our new situation, we clung on to the unrealistic fantasy of Olympic reinstatement for far too long.

Do a survey in the several Finn countries how their year ranking is established. By comparing these, it must be able to make a World (Master) Ranking. EG: every country selects 5 events, including their National Championship. Points are earned with recognition of the amount of competitors, which give a variable. In this way it must be possible to createa World list

Elimination rounds and finals. This way the best sailor does not always win but it is way more understandable and thrilling for non-sailors as audience.

It would be good to implement districts championships like Star class has

Try to establish an interesting tour with good attendance in order for non Finn sailors to see and possibly experience the competition and camaraderie 

Please write below any way that you think IFA can support sailors worldwide, put on attractive events, maintain the class as relevant and high level, or make any other comments.

130 responses

Be extremely critical with the venues - focus on good sailing.

Make Masters a 50+ event

Create something like star Sailor League

Promote events with charter boats, make them affordable to newcomers in the class.

Communication with the grass roots. 

The class seems to be getting stronger in the masters division in the US. Maybe a masters worlds in Miami in Jan / feb would make sense. The Europeans could ship boats end of November and have them back start of April and not miss the European summer. 

It would be nice to have a European masters Traveller tour.

Keep pushing, forget about the Olympics the majority of the class are not Olympians

Add tracking  and live coverage in all major regattas. Arrange training camps for masters prior to big events

New boats need to be more affordable especially without National teams buying them. Fantasticas are not worth $25,000, Masts are not worth $6000 and sails are not worth $1500. Work with builders and distributors to make the boat and gear more affordable for the national sailor to be competitive at international events.

Loaners for U23s

I think a lot of guys travel around to train on different locations, prior to some mayor regattas or during winter. If the IFA could help to spread the word (FB, mail, Homepage) and it might attract others to join in, if wanted. 

That would be one way how the class grows together, more exchange on an international level, etc."

Continue the support to European events, but support events outside Europe. There is a potential interest for the Class in the Americas and it is not being explored. Winter events have to be explored in the Americas. For Example: Miami is a great sailing destination in Winter and a World Masters during this period would be perfect, as the boats in Europe are not in use so they could be shipped to the Americas and still would be back in time for the European summer... The more events we have the more interest will be generated for new sailors to the class.

More communications on who we are and why we do what we do. Very basic stuff that will interest the club sailor and his club. Maybe even some national organisations who are concerned about club level activity.

I believe we have an obligation to show younger generations and their parents how simple and fun sailing can be.

We're going to miss the flow down of squad equipment  so the IFA needs to work out how to standardise the rig and prevent costs spiralling.

On water judging of rule 42 make these events expensive. We need to find a way to do away with on water judging or rule 42 altogether 

Organised / Collaborative arrangements for transport. Reciprocal and free arrangements to share boats with others limiting the need to transport boats between countries

The IFA is doing a great job I think. Once the Finn is not Olympic anymore, it will be difficult to attract young top sailors, as we do today. The age average will go up. 

Invite to open training camps with Skilled sailors as trainers and for example DEVOTI, Hit, WB, North and wilke as ‘sponsors’ and speakers

Focus on technique, physical training, trim, boathandling etc. Trainings site to be fairly central in Europe so travelling is not North all the way South "

We need major sponsorship for shipping logistics company to make it more viable for international travellers to complete In Europe and vice versa  

Keep up the regattas. Start a league like the stars with sponsors and substantial prize money 

I believe in a world ranking on a level like Match Race. top 40 invited to the Gold cup.

Pumping rules need to be looked at to try and bring the fleet closer together, huge gains to be made downwind.

The class is a quality class, continue to run good (well thought out) events, make the class enjoyable on and off the water, its about all you can do..."

Learn from Star Sailors League but also make the class focus on no youth. Do look after master sailors as well!

Keep up the marketing and invest in the high level events and infrastructure and sponsors . Keep the interest of top and ordinary sailors alive

And event like the star sailors league (with price money) is a great idea in keeping those top level sailors engaged in the class"

Enter budget caps for new build boats. The class killed itself with the monopoly of the fantastica. This made it for newcomers an hefty challenge to enter. Ban coach boats, or accomodate 1 coachboat similar to the ski jump where all coaches are in the same box. Environmentally it is not explainable that do many boats are out there serving single sailors. 

The structure of the IFA is correct and efficient, a setback is to be expected but can be overcome with this organisation. The Finn Class should make sure that the regattas and their results have a good access to the public sports press.

Maintain the excellent level of communications with sailors and excellent PR material using the various channels available. IFA could possibly work more with National Finn Associations and maybe offer centralised support services (like at present with distribution of Finn Fare)  boat register - Membership/accounting systems  - event management system....ie provide central support to the volunteers running the national finn associations and also enabling more nations to enhance their local offering to Finn owners/potential Finn sailors....

Create a league

Create a European tour events

Invite sailors from another classes to sail league events.

Give more significance/importance to the masters champions, w/ more space on the media. Create an environment of a very competitive championship not only a reunion of old friends. 

Maintain the fantastic work done by the site, Facebook coverage. 

A series of events over the European summer that Southern Hemisphere sailors can campaign for say a month and get 3 or so events in "

Stop worrying about the olympics and focus on growth for afterward.  Denial ain't just a river in egypt.

IFA keep on fighting!

Stop pumping for masters - it puts off lots of potential new Finn sailors "

The Finn is a great boat and should be kept an Olympic Class. It is a shame that it is being dropped. Hopefully it will be reinstated in the future. I think to attract more sailors the association needs to change focus slightly and arrange local events and get sailors to travel in the UK. I sailed my boat for the first time at my local club in the Midlands and nobody else had ever seen a Finn in real life. Also everyone said that the Finn is an animal and you need to be an athlete to sail one. That is just not true, it depends on wind strength and rig etc

For the FGC and Europeans, I strongly believe in a format similar to the FWM: Maximum ease of entry, hence large number of sailors. Max 100 on each start. Racing against the best throughout the week: no Gold/Silver/Crabgrass/Rubbish fleets (but not strongly against top 10 plus medal race). If we want to maintain large numbers as an international class it is imperative that we make it practicable for the working 20-50s to compete and therefore meet internationally with the best and most famous sailors.

IFA should promote Finn as the ultimate strong and fit single-handed dinghy and emulate somehow the Star Class strategy with the SSL finals, organizing a final event each year with only 20 top sailors. 

We have attractive events, we just need to promote them and make them attractive to young sailors, as the ultimate prize in their size range and that being a good Gold Cup performer is confirmation of their world status. We are 12 months late in this ambition and my fear is that the lost time may not be made up and we lose our reputation through dithering.

It is imperative that our technical committee will continue, not least that the rule books are kept updated.

It is a travesty that the Finn was dropped from the Olympic Games; it is the sailing epitome of what the games is supposed to be all about (stronger, higher, faster etc..) I never thought Olympic success was the pinnacle of success in any of the sports it showcases, their World Championships are. We should all keep that in mind!

Get rid of the medal race format and be more inclusive. The organizers are there to support the sailors. The sailors are not there to make a profit and get funding for the organizers. Also, resign the class from World Sailing.

Recommend FINNFARE cover Southern California regattas in Los Angeles, San Diego and California (Lake Tahoe) to promote more European and international participation.

Please refer and contact great minds behind Star Sailors League - Star class is popular than ever and is doing better when it was an Olympic class, Finn could benefit on the Star’s experience 

Focus on attractive venues like Barbados, Palma and Italy. Far away venues like Asia, Australia, America would benefit if IFA could help coordinating transports. Myself I handled the Swedish container to Barbados 2017 so I know it is not easy to do this alone.

European tour could be organised by national Finn associations with maybe Ifa as an initiative pusher to the national Finn clubs in each country ,say NL-Belgium-Germany-UK-Denmark-Italy -France -Spain  to start with ,giving points to each national event and total highest will be the winner ,that will be nice but practically needs tight planning as of most nationals are in August and September .All categories J-S-m-gm-ggm-l-sl

All regattas I've ever been to involve sailing some incredibly large stupid distance far off-hore, where there are zero spectators, except for the race committee. And people wonder why the sport is not understood, why there is no appetite for it in the Olympics? If sailing is ever going to be seen as a sport again by the rest of the planet, race courses need to be in locations where people can watch races easily, & for free. -> Very close to shore <-  Who decided that there should be no hailing to tack for 'shore-room' in a Finn regatta? Also, the materials used in sails today are either clear, or glint in the sun. It is practically impossible to see a Finn unless you are right up against it. Maybe working with sailmakers so that they use materials that are more opaque, will help make the sport more visible and non-sailor people will get why someone would care to practice this sport.

Keep ensuring events aren't  limited to Europe - we know the largest group is there however. Look to new venues  - Greece/Turkey could be good venues for Masters as these series are an 'Event' - that is not just about the sailing.( and are close to Europe) Especially where wives/partners may wish to attend with the sailor entered... after the sailing or during the race event some touring activities could arranged.

Set up a good circuit that attracts worlds best dinghy  sailors, in great all round venues. Showcase the sport by promoting the sailors and get good footage off the boats and live. And keep the Finn sustainable with a big master fleet. Think all current Olympians love the Finn as it for about and will see the majority sailing it again once a master. . 

I think that IFA needs to do a bit more work on the club regattas, perhaps because we're a bit isolated here in the USA.

1) It would be good to distribute stories about national finn association (their activities, histories) worldwide + interview of legendary sportsmen from each country.  2) it would be good to keep network with announces of events, logistics offers, boats parking offers for winter season etc.  

A lot of sailors are time poor so boat delivery logistics for overseas events is a real constraint.  Better organisation of boat logistics (so sailor can fly in) might help participation considerably.  An alternate is better charter options (as Laser does well).

Hold international events such as Finn Gold Cup and Masters Worlds outside Europe say every 4 years. Events should be held at places with good wind, that are affordable and have easy international travel connections.

Finn Masters world champs should also be restricted to say 90 entries with country qualification at selected events to be held in both hemispheres. The current 300-400 boat fleets are ridiculous and result in substandard racing..  "

First and foremost National Fleets should do their utmost to promote local sailing. If this can be supported by IFA so much the better. Secondly let the national fleets combine their efforts to get as many sailors as possible to coordinated events and promote, promote and promote again. The Netherlands could easily connect closely with Belgium, Germany, UK, Denmark. Suggestion is to look at the ISCYRA structure with fleets, districts and hemispheres. It works really well even up to today. 

Present the class as a competitive and sporty alternative for (young) Master individuals sailing other classes with crew.

Presentation to the 2019 World Sailing Conference

At the 2019 World Sailing Conference in Bermuda, The Finn Class made eight submissions to try to get the Finn back on the Olympic slate for 2024. Hector Simpson, a young Finn sailor from the UK was asked to make the presentation to the Events and Equipment committees on behalf of Finn sailors everywhere. What he said was both powerful and emotional and derseves to be read. So here it is....

Read more ...

Technical papers

The following is a library of technical papers and studies and other documents produced by the Finn class, all downloadable as handy PDF files.


Finn Class Survey 200920180404Princesa Sofia 2018 Robert Deaves 045A3762
Finn Class Survey 2015

Cost of the Finn 2018
Format Evaluations 2017
Height and Weight Distribution 2012-2016
Morphological Study of Elite Finn Sailors 2015
Weight Distribution Study 2018
Media Report 2016
Measuring a Finn 2018
Medal Race Footage 2018
Presentation to the 2019 World Sailing Conference




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