June 10, 2019
Return Finn to the Olympic program!
More than 300 riders, their friends and participants in the 2019 Finn World Masters program sent an open letter to World Sailing President Kim Andersen to express their concern about the decision to withdraw the Finn class from the 2024 Olympic program. Below is a translation of this letter:
Dear Mr. Andersen,
Following the ambiguous decision made by World Sailing in November 2018, to remove the Finn from the Olympic program, and the scandal with the vote related to this decision, we respectfully ask you to support the return of Finn class to the Olympic program by any means.
We all write to express our concerns on the following issues:
Contrary to the world politics of sailing and the IOC guidelines, removing Finn means that sailors weighing over 85 kg are now discriminated against in the Olympic movement. After losing Soling and Star class, Finn was the last remaining boat suitable for heavy yachtsmen. The data of the World Sailing Championship in Aarhus in 2018 show that Finnish sailors are unique in the current Olympic classes with a weight of more than 85 kg.
Removing Finn sacrifices perhaps the most athletic sailing class within the Olympic program, which is most closely associated with the Olympic ideals. Sailing should cover and advertise larger athletes than others, and not discard them. What other sport will miss this great opportunity?
After the Olympic Games of 2020, there will be no competition for male athletes exceeding 85 kg in the program of Olympic sailing, so these athletes will be lost to the Olympic movement. Even a mixed cruising keel yacht inevitably prefers athletes with a lower weight.
The class "Finn" has an excellent pedigree, history and heroes in sailing. To remove him from the Olympic program would be a great loss for the sport. The class is of great interest to the media because of its heritage, and also because of its athletic and strong riders. Remove it from the Olympics – a huge risk for sailing and the IOC.
The elimination of “Finn” kills a vital place in the path of young people from starting to sail to the America's Cup and Ocean Race. As soon as the riders become too old to chase the “Laser”, in the Olympic voyage there will no longer be any next step for them. Further development will be destroyed.
It may be worth noting that never in the history of sailing has there been so much anger, frustration and discontent with the decision made by World Sailing. If we look at the context of a number of other recent criticisms of sailing in the world, it seems to us that many changes have been made and are being made against the will of a large number of yachtsmen around the world.
Removing "Finn" from the Olympics will deprive the right to vote of a huge group of riders – from the sailing Olympic movement to the global sailing.
We, as members of Finn Masters, are not affected by this decision, but they have a strong effect on the opportunities opening up for the hundreds of young drivers we see in our class and those who can join the class later in life because they grew up being competitive. Something very valuable for sailing can be lost.
We believe that this is injustice and discrimination, and therefore we respectfully urge you to support the Finn class so that it will be included again in the Olympic program after 2020 as the only class in the Olympic sailing program really suitable for yachtsmen over 85 kg in weight. .
127 June 10, 2019 # 9107