Starting May 13th through until the 18th, the 2012 Finn Gold Cup (World Championships) has been organized by the Royal Cornwall YC and is hosted out of the Falmouth Water Sports Center. The event will take place over the course six days, with two races scheduled for each of the first 5 days, culminating with the Medal Race (Top 10) on the 6th and final day.
The Finn Gold Cup was presented to the International Finn Association by the late F. G. Mitchell of the Royal Corinthian YC of Great Britain in 1956 and became the symbol of the Finn Class World Championships.
In 1973 the original was lost when the late Joerg Bruder of Brazil died in an airplane accident while enroute to defend his title. Bruder at the time was a Finn class icon having won the championship the previous three years running. In 1975, Somms Marine of France presented a replica of the original cup to the Finn Class, and thus the Gold Cup remains as the cherished icon presented annually to the Finn Class World Champion.
Historical outstanding performances at the Finn Gold Cup include:
Joerg Bruder, BRA – 3 consecutive Gold Cup championships – 1970-72
Lasse Hjortnaes, DEN – 3 time winner, 1982/84/85
Ben Ainslie, GBR – 4 consecutive titles from 2002-2005 and again in 2008
Canada also has its share of Gold Cup lore including:
Hank Lammens – back to back titles in 1990/91 and a second place finish in 1994.
Lawrence Lemieux – a host of top 10 finishes including a Silver in 1990, and Bronze in 1980.
Richard Clarke – with a Silver Medal in 2004 and a pair of Bronze Medals 1993 & 99.
Chris Cook – with a Bronze in 2005.
The 2012 Championships are shaping up to be a tremendous battle, with Olympic qualification positions on the line for many countries. For others it serves as one of the final big test before moving up the road to Weymouth for the Olympic Games.
To list all the potential favorites would take a novel but amongst those challenging for the title are 5-time champion Ben Ainslie who leads a strong British contingent into battle including amongst them Ed Wright, the 2010 Gold Cup Champion and two time Bronze Medallist in 2006 and 2011. Others vying for the title include; 2011 runner up Pieter Jan Postma of the Netherlands, perennial front runner Rafael Trujillo, ESP who was the runner up in 2010 and 2003, Ivan Gaspic, CRO – 3rd in 2009, Jonas Hoegh-Christensen, DEN, the 2009 Champion and a host of other top flight international competitors.
The Canadian team also has its eyes on the prize, with the added implication of selecting our 2012 Olympic representative. The squad includes; Chris Cook (ON), Greg Douglas (ON), Brendan Wilton (NS), Martin Robitaille (QC) and Rob Hemming (ON). This group of talented sailors have been diligently preparing for the event as a squad, having just returned from a Toronto training block following on the heels of a very successful Princess Sofia Regatta where Cook captured the Bronze Medal and Douglas demonstrated his mettle with a 2nd place finish in the final race of the series.