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Compiled and edited by Robert Deaves With a Foreword by Jacques Rogge

Photo FINNish


Compiled and edited by Robert Deaves With a Foreword by Jacques Rogge

Published by Robert Deaves for the International Finn Association Copyright © Robert Deaves and the International Finn Association First edition 2009 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the International Finn Association and the authors. Some material in this book has been previously published. ISBN 978-0-9559001-1-2 Designed and produced by Robert Deaves Whilst every care was taken in the preparation of this book, neither the authors, the editor nor the publisher can take any responsibility for any errors or inaccuracies that may be present. If anyone does find any errors herein they are most welcome to send details to the editor.

Photos on page 1 and 2: Bert Sarby Archive, PPL, Willy Kuhweide Archive, Riccardo Grande, Sharon Bullock, Björn Hedin, François Richard, Peter Bentley/PPL, Fabrizo Prandini, Vernon Stratton Archive, IFA Archive, Ralph Roberts Archive




Foreword by Jacques Rogge Introduction by Robert Deaves Rickard Sarby by Bert Sarby

5 7 16

1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969

20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 38 42 44 46 48 50 54 56 60 62 66 70 74


Rickard Sarby Paul Elvstrøm André Nelis Charles Currey Apolinary Pastuszko Didier Poissant Paul Henderson Vernon Stratton Peter Danby Ralph Roberts Vernon Stratton Alexander Chuchelov Hans Fogh Jonathan Rogers Hubert Raudaschl Willy Kuhweide Richard Hart Walter Mai Henry Ericsson Valentin Mankin Andrzej Zaweija




1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992




Bret de Thier John Bertrand Ed Bennett David Howlett Henry Sprague Magnus Olin Jochen Schümann Joaquín Blanco Andrei Balashov Cam Lewis Peter Montgomery Esko Rechardt Wolfgang Gerz Jørgen Lindhardtsen Peter Harken, Olaf Harken, Art Mitchell Russell Coutts Derek Mess Stig Westergaard José Luis Doreste Peter Holmberg John Cutler Oleg Khoperski Stuart Childerley Gus Miller José Maria van der Ploeg



76 78 82 86 90 94 96 98 102 104 108 110 114 116 118 120 122 124 126 128 130 134 136 138 142



1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009



Xavier Rohart Hans Spitzauer Imre Taveter Mateusz Kusznierewicz Luca Devoti Ian Ainslie John Driscoll Iain Percy Josje Hofland-Dominicus Ben Ainslie Anthony Nossiter Gerardo Seeliger Ed Wright Jonas Høgh-Christensen Gilbert Lamboley Zach Railey Balazs Hajdu

146 150 154 158 162 166 170 174 178 182 186 190 194 198 202 208 213

Appendices Acknowledgements Postscript Hall of Fame Olympic Medal winners Finn Gold Cup Winners Finn Timeline





218 219 220 221 222 219



hen I started sailing in the early 1950s, I had one dream: to sail a Finn at the Olympic Games. Paul Elvstrøm, arguably the best sailor of all time, was and still is my hero. During my Finn period from 1960 to 1980, I had the privilege to compete with legendary sailors and make great friends. Champions like Paul Elvstrøm, John Bertrand, Jochen Schümann and Russell Coutts dominated other classes and the America’s Cup. There is a long list of reasons why Finn champions dominate in other boats. They are athletic and extremely fit. We saw the revolution in the Star class when lain Percy and his fellow Finn sailors started to hike aggressively.

The Finn is a boat with minimal speed differences, thus putting the emphasis on minute tactical gains. There are limited mast and sail tuning possibilities. Much of the choice has to be made before the race begins. The steering skills and ‘feel of the groove’ are key. The Finn class has a unique atmosphere of friendship and mutual respect. Jibing successfully in a strong breeze and a big swell with a low boom is both exhilarating and the ultimate test for the good sailor. The success of the class lies also in wise management by the International Finn Association. While adopting gradually and carefully the technological changes (I started sailing in wooden boats with cotton sails), the Finn never got into a costly arms race, and the boat is close to a one design, while allowing for sailors of different sizes and weights to be successful. The hulls are strong and long-lasting. The Olympic classes must represent both genders and the weight and size distribution of modern youth. The boats should be as cheap and as universally widespread as possible. The Finn class has achieved this over the last 60 years, and 60 years of uninterrupted Olympic presence will be celebrated at the London 2012 Games. But there is no reason to rest on one’s laurels, and the International Finn Association must continue to prepare the future of this unique boat.



Right: Jacques Rogge sailing his Lanaverre Finn at Hyeres in 1974 Left: Ben Ainslie on his way to winning his second Finn gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Qingdao, China Photos: Jacques Rogge Archive, IOC, Carlo Borlenghi/ SEE-SEA FOREWORD BY JACQUES ROGGE | 



ith his right hand wrapped in bandages, Rickard Sarby added the finishing touches to a set of plans for a singlehanded sailing dinghy that was set to become a legend in the world of sailing. It was 1949. From around the age of 20, Rickard had been introduced to canoe sailing in the summer and skate sailing in the winter at the Uppsala Kanotförening (Uppsala Canoe Club) on the Ekoln Lake, just north of Stockholm. His curiosity led to designing and building these canoes and his designs were often radical and more often than not fast. He established quite a reputation. Rickard Sarby was a multi-talented, self-educated man with an extraordinary gift for creativity. He came from an artistic family, though he chose a different path for himself and for many years he ran one of the biggest barbershops in Uppsala. As far as sailing was concerned he was a true amateur, but also an accomplished one. He won numerous titles in Swedish sailing canoes, represented Sweden three times in the Olympic Games and won a bronze medal in 1952. Rickard’s newest design was based in part on his experiences with Swedish sailing canoes. He had damaged his hand with an electric cutter and was assisted in the construction by two of his brothers. The double diagonal strip planked boat gradually took shape under Rickard’s expert eye. Here was something special. When he launched his prototype in May 1949, Rickard Sarby could not have had any idea that what he had created would last so long: that it would create its very own culture in sailing; that those who sailed it would become the sailing superstars of their generation; and that six decades later, it would be as popular as ever and still be bringing young sailors together from across the world in competition and friendship to play out epic battles on the water. The Finn had arrived.


Right top: Peter Barrett Right middle: Vernon Stratton Right bottom: Racing in The Netherlands in around 1960 Photos: Peter Harken Archive, Vernon Stratton Archive, Paul Elvstrøm Archive 



efore 1952 there was no definitive direction for the Olympic singlehander and a variety of dinghies had been used with limited success. In 1920 the International Yachting Federation had decided that organisers should provide a fleet of monotype dinghies – for a crew of one – to enable the poorer nations to compete in the yachting events. All Olympic classes up to this point had been keelboats. However when the 1952 Olympic Games were assigned to Finland, all that changed. The organisers set out in a methodical way to introduce a dedicated singlehanded dinghy for Scandinavian and Olympic competition. The body responsible for this task, the Finnish Yachting Association (FYA), delegated the task of defining the technical details to the Swedish Yachting Association. Rickard Sarby entered into this competition with his new design, which he had called ‘Fin’. The ‘Fin’ was not initially selected for the trials, but on hearing that a prototype had already been built, the selection committee invited him to take part. The first trials were held in Finland in October 1949, with four other dinghies, of varying design, reliability and suitability. Meanwhile in Sweden Rickard released the plans of the ‘Fin’, which was now called ‘Fint’, and over that winter 25 boats were built. The second set of trials was held in Finland in May 1950 and the ‘Fint’ won all of the races except one. On May 15th 1950 the FYA nominated the ‘Fint’ as the winner of the competition and changed the name to ‘Finn’. The insignia became the two blue waves that we all know today.

The Finn made its Olympic debut in Helsinki in 1952, with a fleet of boats built by the Børresen Boatyard in Denmark, continuing the tradition of the hosts supplying the boats for the monotype event. Paul Elvstrøm – who had already won gold in the Firefly in 1948 – dominated the racing through a hiking technique he had practised in his own boat in Denmark and won four of the seven races. Charles Currey from Great Britain took silver and the Finn’s designer, Rickard Sarby, bronze.



fter the 1952 Olympics, several countries put their boats into storage. However a dedicated few kept on training and gradually a new circuit of events appeared and more boats were built. The Finn was reselected for the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia and the old boats came out of storage for national trials. Elvstrøm won his third Olympic gold medal in a fleet of 20 boats. The Finn quickly became an established class with numbers growing worldwide. One of the problems with this was that various nations had developed their own rules and measurement instructions. A meeting was held in Brussels in November 1955, both to unify the class rules and to recognise the Finn as the monotype for the 1960 Olympics in Naples. As a result of this meeting of Finn sailing countries, the International Finn Association (IFA) came into being. The Finn was recognised as an International class by the International Yacht Racing Union the following year. Another milestone in 1956 was the first ever Finn Gold Cup, held at Burnham-onCrouch in the UK. FG Mitchell of the Royal Corinthian YC was persuaded by Vernon Stratton to present a trophy for international competition, and that first year, André Nelis from Belgium beat Elvstrøm into second place. It didn’t happen very often. Also in 1956, the IYRU European Championship with a crew of one was organised in the Finn class for the first time, replacing the German O-Jolle class. Although organised by Belgium, it was actually held in the Netherlands in August, at Loosdrecht, an unsuitable venue for a major championship. However the first Annual General Meeting of the IFA was organised there and confirmed the foundation of the IFA, which had been opposed so far by the Scandinavian Yachting Union. The Finn Gold Cup grew to become the main focus of Finn sailing as well as the largest regatta each year and was accepted as the world championship. From just 46 boats in 1956, by 1959, it had attracted 109 entries. That year, it was sailed off Elvstrøm’s home in Hellerup and he won the practice race and four of the six points races to convincingly retain the title he had won the year before in Zeebrugge.



he following year at the Olympic Games in 1960 in Naples, Elvstrøm set a record that has yet to be beaten and won his fourth Olympic gold medal. André Nelis won his second Olympic medal, a bronze, after his silver in Melbourne. Up to 1958, all boats had been built from wood, but glassfibre hulls were then allowed and for a while they dominated on the water and won several Gold Cups. Then along came Austrian sailor Hubert Raudaschl with a home built wooden Finn and won the 1964 Gold Cup. After that everyone wanted one, and most of the top sailors went back to wood for a while. At the 1962 Finn Gold Cup the issue of weight distribution reared its head for the

first time after lead was found in the floor of an American built glassfibre hull, which was by then owned by the eventual winner of the championship, Arne Akerson. Various schemes were tried in the years that followed to try and define a way to monitor and control weight distribution in the hull including a leaning test and centre of gravity control. However it wasn’t until 10 years later that Gilbert Lamboley’s revolutionary concept provided the correct answer by swinging the hulls. By now the class was really becoming well established internationally with large fleets in many countries, and while Elvström effectively retired from active competition, a new group of European sailors were starting to make their mark in the class.



mong these was Willy Kuhweide, who won the first of three Finn Gold Cups in 1963. He also won two European Championships, the second one shortly before going on to win gold in the Olympics in Tokyo in 1964. However he was only selected to represent Germany at the last minute. East and West Germany had agreed to send one team to Japan, but team racing and protests hampered the selection trials, so two sailors went. The East German sailor Bernd Dehmel was supposed to race off against Kuhweide before the Olympics to decide who would sail. In the end it was Kuhweide who was selected. The 1964 Olympics is often cited as an example of good sportsmanship. Peter Barrett was tipped for gold, but hit a mark. No one saw him do it. Back then hitting a mark meant disqualification. It would have been easy to carry on sailing, but he didn’t. He sailed in from the course and retired from the race, knowing it would probably cost him the gold medal, but like all good sportsmen, he knew what had to be done. He ended up with the silver, with Henning Wind taking the bronze. During this period the Technical Committee, under the chairmanship of Richard Creagh-Osborne, was hard at work drafting new rules and ensuring the Finn remained a one-design class by defining lines and making templates. This work resulted in the class being adopted as the monotype for the 1968 Olympics. During measurement at the 1967 Finn Gold Cup in Hanko, there occurred the now infamous planing down of the Raudaschl Finns, after the chief measurer Vernon Foster discovered the secret of their speed – a concave section in the aft panels. Three of the favourites – Kuhweide, Uwe Mares and Jörg Bruder – had to watch in dismay as their boats were legalised by means of a wood plane. It didn’t seem to slow them down though as they finished first, third and fifth out of 130 entries. The original Deed of Gift for the Finn Gold Cup stated that the event had to be sailed in the UK in Olympic years. However the 1968 championship changed all that. Sailed at Whitstable on the Thames Estuary it was so unsatisfactory a venue for such a large event, that the IFA subsequently adopted new rules for the cup and it would not return to the UK for another 11 years.



ater on that year at the Olympics in Acapulco, Mexico, Russian sailor Valentin Mankin ripped up the form book and won gold by a 42 point margin over second placed Raudaschl. In what many expected to be a light weather venue, Mankin, a renowned heavy weather expert, put together a near flawless performance of

three wins, two seconds and a third. While Fabio Albarelli from Italy took bronze, many of the favourites struggled in the conditions, with Kuhweide 15th and the reigning world champion Henning Wind in 17th. Another favourite for a medal, Jörg Bruder was ninth in Acapulco following a third at Whitstable. He had finished second at the 1966 Finn Gold Cup, fifth in 1967, and then third again in 1969. Bruder’s influence on the class was not just on the water. His masts became the mast of choice for most sailors, along with Raudaschl hulls and sails. Bruder masts started a new trend in being very flexible at the top and allowing the top of the sail to twist off in gusts. The popular Brazilian was now regarded by some, including himself, as too old to win the Finn Gold Cup. But in 1970 he finally clinched the title by 0.3 points in Cascais after a thrilling last race against Henry Sprague in some extreme conditions. His victory also came in the largest fleet seen up to that time – 180 boats – which is still the largest Finn Gold Cup fleet ever. Bruder went on to retain his title in Toronto the following year, winning by one point from Carl van Duyne. Then in 1972 in Italy he won by a larger margin from John Bertrand. However fate decided that three was enough and Bruder was tragically killed in a plane crash while coming into land at Paris in 1973. It was major loss for the class and the world of sailing. With him, and also damaged beyond repair, was the Finn Gold Cup. For the next two years, the winner remained trophy-less, but then thanks to the efforts of Gilbert Lamboley and the generosity of Somms Marine the class received a new Finn Gold Cup, presented for the first time in 1975 at Malmö.



vershadowed by Bruder’s death, the 1973 Gold Cup in Brest was won by Serge Maury, who had also won the gold medal the previous year at the Olympics in Kiel. By 1973 most of the front end of the fleet had changed to aluminium masts, though wooden masts still performed better in strong winds. While many used the Needlespar mast, Maury used a Bruder aluminium mast. The 1972 Olympic regatta had been the first time that the Finn class had been provided with metal masts. This caused quite a stir in the class, as many thought that the British would have an advantage due to the fact that the chosen spar was the British made Needlespar, even though David Hunt from Needlespars had said they would all be perfectly uniform. However the argument was won and metal masts were used in Kiel – of course all with differing bend characteristics. 1972 was the last time that sailors were required to use supplied rigs. Because the new aluminium masts were fundamentally unchangeable, and could not be tailored to suit the sailor’s sailing style and weight like the wooden spars used before, it was decided that from 1976 onwards, sailors would be allowed to bring their own rigs to the Olympics. Meanwhile Gilbert Lamboley had been carrying out extensive development and testing on his pendulum test to determine the weight distribution in hulls. This finally found its way into the Class Rules in 1973 and meant that the old rules for finding the centre of gravity and tilting the hull on one gunwhale could be abandoned. It also meant that double bottoms were allowed for the first time,




ickard Sarby (1912-1977) was my uncle. When I was nine years old I took part in the carpentry of the first Finn in 1949 in the garage of my father’s house. For me this became an early starting point for 20 years devoted Finn sailing. Rickard was a person with special gifts. He learned to read at four years of age. At seven he began the ordinary Swedish elementary school, which at that time included six years of schooling, the only formal education Rickard got in his life. Rickard had special characteristics. He was artistic and very skilful with his hands in handicraft, carpentry and painting or drawings. Outside the sailing season he became an elite chess player, won prizes in photography and played the accordion. He was a humble man and had a special sense of ingenious humour. In about 1930 Rickard moved with his family to Uppsala (70 km from Stockholm) and at 20 years old he was introduced to canoe sailing. The birth and introduction of the Finn is excellently described by Rickard himself in Finnfare from 1975 and 1976. What is not so well known is that it took 15 years of intense experimentation, building and racing of sailing canoes to mould the lines and properties of the Finn dinghy. In order to get ideas for his canoe designs from international sources it was necessary for Rickard to learn English and German. This inspired the development of planning sailing canoes with a more flat and broader transom than what had been used hitherto, giving rise to superior downwind properties. At the same time the front of the underwater bodies were made sharp and slender with the stability-giving section abreast of where the helmsman sits, which improved the windward properties. These characteristics were transferred to the lay-out of the Finn, and are the basis for its still unique sailing performance. Other innovations taken from his sailing canoes were the rotating, unstayed and flexible mast together with the effective shape of the mainsail. In 1956 he tested out an effective self-bailer of the flap type, which is still in use. Rickard was an imaginative sailor and won five Swedish championships, three in canoe sailing, the first championship in the Finn in 1953 and one around 1960 in the Flying Dutchman as well as the first Nordic Finn championship in 1951. He also sailed in three successive Olympic Games. He finished fourth in Torbay in 1948, won the bronze medal in Helsinki 1952 and placed fifth in Melbourne in 1956. He continued successful racing during the 1960s and he was one of the best in the Finn Veteran Gold Cup in Switzerland in 1970. Rickard was an expert on tactics, tuning and the racing rules, but never used this for aggressive sailing. He never protested against a competitor or got a protest on himself.

Bert Sarby

Above: This painting by Rickard Sarby in water-colours reflects his artistic talent and his sense of ingenious humour Right: Rickard giving a lecture in tactics and sailing rules in about 1960. He was a good instructor and was often engaged as a lecturer at many sailing clubs and organisations in Sweden Photo: Bert Sarby Archive, Ingemar Nilsson Archive 16


Top left: Rickard Sarby sailing his first Swedish sailing canoe, C 3, at Uppsala in 1933 Above: Rickard (standing in the centre behind the canoe) arranged that 10 sailing canoes could be built by some young sailors to his latest design – a 13 square metre planing sailing canoe (E class) – in an old shelter in Uppsala in 1946. He often organised that series of his new designs could be built by members of his club. About 200 sailing canoes and Finn dinghies were built in this shed over a period of about 30 years. His oldest brother Ernst is standing to his right Far left: Sailing canoes gather in 1947 at the harbour of Uppsala Kanotförening Left: Portrait of Rickard Sarby in 1940 Photos: Ingemar Nilsson Archive, Bert Sarby Archive RICKARD SARBY – FATHER OF THE FINN | 17

Paul Elvstrøm and Børge Schwarz travelling to the first Finn Gold Cup in Burnham-on-Crouch on the east coast of England. The boats and cars had to be lifted onto the ferries. Right, Elvstrøm fits a self bailer to his boat just before the racing. Note the double traveller, tube bailers, no buoyancy or floorboards. Because the original Finn Gold Cup was presented to the class by F R ‘Tiny’ Mitchell, the first event took place at his club, the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club. Until he presented the Gold Cup, on the suggestion of Vernon Stratton, there was no real basis for the International Finn class, though boats existed in many countries. There is no question that the Finn Gold Cup and its deed of gift were the first instruments which in fact created the International Finn Association. Photos: Börge Schwarz Archive 36


Top left: Ole Gunnar Pedersen comes ashore from winter training with Paul Elvstrøm, Børge Schwarz and Hans Fogh, outside Paul’s house in Hellerup Middle: Peter Danby on Hollingworth Lake Top: Start at Uppsala in 1958 Above: Rickard Sarby and Bert Sarby in 1957 Left: 1957 Europeans in Naples Photos: Peter Danby Archive, Paul Elvstrøm Archive, Bert Sarby Archive EXTREME TRAINING | 1957 | 37



y connection to the Finn class goes back to 1956. Then I was a 14 year old Pirat sailor, which was the most popular youth boat in Austria. In 1956 the Austrian Olympic sailor in Melbourne Dr. Wolfgang Erndl – in 1952 he had finished fifth at the Olympics in Helsinki and perhaps he lost the bronze medal only by a protest – could not handle the strong winds in the Port Philip Bay of Melbourne and finished the regatta in the second half. In 1957 I changed from the Pirat dinghy to the Finn. In my leisure time I built a Mader Finn hull, OE 12, in my father’s yard and at the Austrian regattas with a body weight of less than 70 kg I only had success in light winds. I finished my training as a boat builder in my father’s yard in 1959 and I built a second Finn in conventional carvel construction. This was OE 21. With this boat I sailed in the Austrian Finn Olympic qualification for Naples in 1960 and at 17 years old I was named substitute for the Finn and Star boat. In 1961 I completed a second professional training as a sailmaker at the Steinhuder Meer in northern Germany and I again built in my leisure time – in the evenings and week ends – a Finn hull, OE 31, from Kühl of Hamburg and began to experiment with sail design. At my first European Championship in 1961 in Warnemünde there were only 15 countries participating with one boat per country. To my big surprise I was leading after four races. However I took too many risks and was disqualified from some races. Still, fifth final place overall was still a positive surprise to me. Willy Kuhweide won this European Championship. I also participated in the last three races of Kiel Week. My boat had a flat sail that was adapted to my body weight and a flexible mast, and had excellent upwind speed. However my downwind speed was not so good. As a boat builder and amateur constructor, during the winter of 1961/62 I modified the stern sections of the boat by changing the floor timbers within the building tolerance limits and improved my downwind speed. In 1963 I finished seventh in the Gold Cup in Medemblik and in 1964 I convincingly won the Gold Cup in Torquay, England in light and variable winds – I didn’t even have to sail the last race. Due to this success with my home-built boat and especially with a good self-developed allround sail many sailors and friends asked me to build a sail for them, although at that time I had very limited possibilities: a sewing machine in my parents’ house and the concert pavilion for cutting the sails from 5 to 8 o’clock in the morning. By 1965 Jörg Bruder had developed a new mast and achieved an excellent result at Kiel Week. I had opened my own sail loft in St. Wolfgang, together with the Europe-wide sale of Bruder masts. I also had a wooden, strip blanked Finn, which was OE 81. This very successful concept also led Willy Kuhweide to change from a GRP hull to a wooden Finn with which he won the Gold Cup in La Baule, France in 1966. Marketing and sales activities were supported by my sailing colleagues and top European sailors. For some years we had the leading market position until some of the Finn sailors in our team changed to other classes and the most successful team member Jörg Bruder died in a plane crash in Paris in 1973 when he was travelling to the Gold Cup in Brest, France. In 1972 I competed at the Olympics with a Tempest, and in 1973 I changed to the Soling class and in that year I also sailed my last Finn Gold Cup in Toronto. I think that due to my experience in the production of the Finn and development of rig with sail I got, after Paul Elvstrøm, the most of invitations to regattas and seminars, not only in Europe, but also in South and North America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. A monument on my house shows that the Finn class determined my life as sailor and my business success. For almost 10 years my son Florian has been an enthusiastic Finn sailor, working in the fourth generation of Raudaschls in the nautical sector and he is making a Finn Olympic campaign for 2012 in England.

Hubert Raudaschl 54 | 1963 | FIRST STEPS IN SAILMAKING

This page: The Finn Gold Cup in 1963 at Medemblik attracted 162 entries and was won by Willy Kuhweide. Pictured are: Uwe Mares (G 435), Hubert Raudaschl (OE 31), M Kojima (J 19), Richard Creagh-Osborne (K 7), Desmond Stratton (K 132), A Affeld (G 450), Guy Lapachelle (B 43) and Valentin Mankin (SR 636) Opposite: Kiel Week 1963. Sailors pictured include Mares (G 435), who won the event, Raudaschl (OE 31), Kuhweide (G 503), D Nevell (KZ 25) Photos: IFA Archive, Bernd Mayr Archive FINN GOLD CUP – MEDEMBLIK | 1963 | 55

80 | 1971 | TORONTO

Left: Jörg Bruder trails Carl van Duyne in the final race at the 1971 Finn Gold Cup • Top: Jörg Bruder • Above: Serge Maury leads Chris Law • Photos: Riccardo Grande

Top: Philippe Soria at Hyeres in 1971 • Above: Kiel Week in 1972 • Photos: François Richard

1971-1972 | 81


Photos: Spa Regatta




et us remember that Rickard Sarby invented the Finn in 1949, that in 1964 Richard Creagh Osborne had both the body lines and their templates lines engraved onto a sheet of aluminium alloy. That sheet was lost in 1994. In 2003, Richard Hart asked me whether I could restore those documents. I think I have done better, according to drawings showing the fully numerised original Finn and one of its templates. Restoring the Finn lines with bits of papers and punched tape has been quite a difficult job which took about 3,000 hours. The 1974 templates design ensured a good protection against deformations under stress and it includes two systems of control. Again the Finn does this better than any other class. All Finn sailors I have met in so many places in the world have been so kind to me, even when I had them correct their boats. That has been sweet for me. Rickard Sarby also quickly became a great friend as he thought that it was impossible to control weight distribution. In 1971, the IYRU had asked me to deliver a report about the effects of mass distribution in a boat and about the way to control it. Thanks to Vernon Stratton, we made a demonstration to the IYRU in the hall of the Royal Thames Yacht Club, adding weights and moving them along his ‘Mickey Finn’. Reading my report again I found that I did not make it clear enough that gyrations around the vertical axis (yawing) have a much greater effect than gyrations around the athwartship horizontal axis (pitching). The relative gyration radii are about the same. But the first one is controlled by the rudder and the higher the squared radius, the higher the rudder angle. That explains why, even on flat water, boats with 1.35 metre radius (as I could measure) could not rank against 1.14 ones (the lowest I found in those times). Carbon masts allowed a decrease in the overall radius of gyration by a significant amount. That does explain the increased performance of today’s Finn and her new popularity. In July 1973, Jörg Bruder was flying to Brest. Obviously his intention was to win the Finn Gold Cup a fourth time, which had not been achieved up to that time. Alas the Varig Air Lines plane crashed before reaching Paris. A representative of the Brazilian National Sailing Authority let IFA know that from Jörg’s luggage only the stone stand of the Cup could be recovered. At the 1974 Annual General Meeting, Council was wondering how to replace the Cup. I chanced to meet somebody whose name I cannot remember (so he will be Mr GC from now on) from Somms Marine, a commercial company for sailing clothes. They had been chosen by Algeria to organise the Mediterranean Games. I do not remember what help I delivered them. But, for sure, I told Mr GC about our great loss. And soon after, he asked me a precise description and an estimate of the Cup. I immediately contacted Vernon Stratton who delivered me pictures, dimensions and the alloy that had been used: 6 carats. In France the Law prescribes gold jewels not to be under 18 carats (plain gold being 24 carats). If my memory is correct, the cost would be about 300,000 Francs (over 100,000 Euro nowadays) Now, you may know that French money has changed three times since the war. In 1960, it was decided that we would now use New Francs the value of which would be 100 Old Francs. Even in 1974, some people would mismatch New and Old Francs. Mr GC told his boss, Mr Salaün, about the price. Mr Salaün thought that GC was telling about Old Francs and he immediately accepted to replace the Cup. When he understood that the Cup would cost 300,000 New Francs, he nearly swallowed his tie; but then he stood up and decided, “What has been said has been said.” IFA accepted to put Somms Marine advert in FinnFare and to insure the Cup. Mr GC flew to Malmö in June 1975 where it was presented for the first time.

Gilbert Lamboley 202 | 2007 | NEARLY SWALLOWED HIS TIE

Above: Packed leeward gate in light winds at the 2007 Europeans on Lake Balaton Top left: Windward mark in Cascais Top: Rafael Trujillo wins Finn Gold Cup Right: Breitling Regatta in Medemblik Top right: Ed Wright at Hyeres in 2007 Left: Ed Wright in Cascais with stern camera Far left: Johnny Bilbao in Cascais Photos: Franรงois Richard, Breitling Regatta, Richard Langdon/Scandia Team GBR TRUJILLO WINS IN CASCAIS | 2007 | 203

The Finn was designed in 1949 by Rickard Sarby of Sweden and has been an Olympic class since 1952. Throughout the past 60 years this popular class has made a unique contribution to the sport of sailing and has produced countless heroes and legends out of its sailors. This photographic reflection is accompanied by many stories and memories from many of the sailors who have passed through the class in the past six decades. It is a celebration of the Finn, a modern classic and a great ambassador for Olympic sailing at its best.

ISBN 978-0-9559001-1-2

Published for the International Finn Association 9 780955 900112

Photo FiNNish sample  

Sample pages from 'Photo FINNIsh - 60 Years of Finn Sailing', to celebrate 60 years of the Finn

Photo FiNNish sample  

Sample pages from 'Photo FINNIsh - 60 Years of Finn Sailing', to celebrate 60 years of the Finn