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sail boat (1949)

The Finn is a one-design, single-mobile sailing dinghy boat designed by Rickard Sarby in 1949.

The Finn is an international class recognized by World Sailing (the world governing body for the sport of sailing, recognized by the IOC, International Olympic Committee) that replaces the ISAF, International Sailing Federation.

The Finn is an Olympic class since 1952.

The history of Finn begins in 1948 when the Finnish Yachting Association evaluates the boats to be used for the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki. Lacking a suitable single, a design competition is called to choose the most suitable one. Swedish designer Rickard Sarby participates in the competition and although he is not among the initially selected, he is invited to take part in the test races having already built a prototype. Following the various test series, on 15 May 1950, the Finnish Yachting Association adopted Finn as an Olympic class for the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.

Paul Elvstrøm dominates the Finn regattas in Helsinki and the two subsequent editions of 1956 in Melbourne and 1960 in Naples. Curious to note that in the 1952 edition the Olympic bronze medal for Sweden was won by its designer Rickard Sarby.

Since its inception, the Finn has had a significant influence in the sailing world, besides being part of the Olympic legend has formed many sailors destined to become protagonists at the highest levels in other classes, in the offshore races and the America's Cup. Among them, to mention only the best known, in addition to Paul Elvstrøm (D), Valentine Mankin (USSR), Jochen Schumann (GER), John Bertrand (AUS), Jose Doreste (ESP), Russell Coutts (NZL), Iain Percy (GBR), Ben Ainslie (GBR).

The Finn has survived several selections for the Olympic boats but also many decades of technical development, from the first hulls and wooden masts and from the cotton sails of the '50s, fiberglass hulls, carbon masts and sails in kevlar of recent years.

Despite some criticism over the years due to technical difficulties, the physical prowess and athletic training necessary to "take it" in the regatta, has strengthened its position as a single leader in the world sailing for the tactical and technical characteristics required to the helmsman to compete with maximum levels.

After the Olympics in 1952, the class was kept alive thanks to the reconfirmation and selection of 1953 for the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia.

The control of the Finn class is assigned to the IYRU (International Yacht Racing Union) in 1955 and in 1956 the first Finn Gold Cup (the Finn World Championship) takes place in Burnham-on-Crouch.
In the same year the first European Championships are organized and the IFA (International Finn Class) is born, which gives the class a solid foundation for future growth and development.

In 1961 the rules changed after the IFA decided to free the construction material by opening to experiments made with fiberglass, making it prefer to many helmsmen this new material and to temporarily abandon their own, built in wood, considered obsolete. The exception is Raudaschl who in 1964 won the Finn Gold Cup with a wooden hull built at home.

With increasing severity and changing class rules, the measurement of boats became easier to verify and made it more difficult to circumvent the rules.
A Frenchman named Gilbert Lamboley devised the pendulum test. The boat was suspended and timed on a series of oscillations. For the first time this has provided an accurate method to control weight distribution within the hull and to avoid building leaded hulls in the double bottom.

This type of tonnage control was introduced for the Finn class in 1972 and since then, which has become a standard method for weight distribution testing, has been adopted by many other classes.

In 1969 Jack Knights (GB), presented at the Finn Gold Cup in Bermuda for the first time with a metal mast, the only one among all the participants to not use the classic wooden tree. In the following years the use of the wooden tree is decreasing and then replaced by the aluminum one.

Among the various manufacturers of aluminum mast for Finn (but not only) it must be remembered Needlespar able to dominate the market until 1993, when they began to impose those made of carbon fiber.
The carbon construction allowed the builders to exploit the full extension of the shaft dimensions and to produce wingspan shafts, with an aerodynamic section, tapered front and back, which became the standard compared to the round sections.

The builder Peter Taylor is the first to take advantage of the construction of fiberglass hulls, winning and often obtaining important placements in international regattas like the Finn Gold Cup in 1976 in Brisbane, Australia, where his hulls get the 1st , 2nd and 4th place.

In 1978, a group of American helmsmen from the Laser class moved to Finn, starting a period of domination with John Bertrand, Cam Lewis and Carl Buchan, all using the hull built by Vanguard in the United States, which proved far superior to any another boat available at the time.

After the American boycott of the 1980 Olympics, the US interest in Finn declines and Europeans regain their former dominion. They also use the coupled Vanguard hull and Needlespar tree with North Sail, intended to be the "standard" equipment until 1993.

The current Finn maintains the shape of the almost identical hull of the beginnings, what has changed radically is the technology available. The modern hulls are optimized in fiberglass with carbon masts and kevlar sails, which in 1949 would have been only a figment of the fantascentific imagination.

The Devoti hulls, first appeared in 1994, have dominated the Finn class regattas since then, although recently the range of manufacturers available around the world has expanded.

Throughout its long history, the Finn Gold Cup has been represented in 24 countries around the world. From Canada to Brazil, from the United States to Russia, from New Zealand to Finland. The Finn Gold Cup is the flagship of the Finn class calendar, considered one of the most important sailing events in the world. Winning it is an exceptional result, winning it twice as remarkable, but winning three times is really exceptional.
Until recently, this has only been done on four occasions: Willy Kuhweide of Germany in 1963/1966/1967, Lasse Hjortnäs from Denmark in 1982/1984/1985, Fredrik Lööf from Sweden in 1994/1997/1999 and Jörg Bruder of Brazil that won three times consecutively in 1970/1971/1972, remained tragically undefeated as he died in a plane crash in 1973 on the route to go to defend his title.

Since then Ben Ainslie from Great Britain has diminished all the other goals to win the trophy six times: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2012.

Technical features
Lenght Overall: 4.50 m
Width: 1.51 m
Draft: 0.9 m
Weight: 119 kg
Sail area: 9.30 m²
Crew: 1 person