Vasiliy Kravchenko writes from Moscow:
On October 17 in the 79th year of life our oldest Finn sailor Valentin Danilov passed away.
Valentin Danilov was born on September 1, 1936 and lived in Moscow all his life. After he finished school, he entered The Bauman Moscow State Technical University (Bauman MSTU) and according to the appeal of the Central Committee of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League (usually known as Komsomol) in 1957 and 1958 he, as a foreman of a student team, took part in the harvesting on the Virgin Lands of Kostanay (Kazakhstan, formerly known as Kustanay (USSR). He was rewarded for his good work with the medal 'For the development of the Virgin Lands' from the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the efficiency decoration 'For the development of the Virgin Lands' from Komsomol and the certificate of appreciation from the authority of the farm 'Ershovsky'.
When he was a student, Valentin Danilov played trumpet in a student jazz band. After he graduated from The Bauman Moscow State Technical University in 1961, he worked for the same company for 31 years. In 1962 he entered Moscow State Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI) to get one more education. He studied in the evenings and his specialty was Nuclear Power Plants. But he left the institute after three years of studying, as on the weekends laboratory researches began and he had to choose between studies and sports.
He began working as an engineer and then he became the deputy chief of the research department of the reliability and comprehensive research parameters of products and units of space nuclear power plants. Valentin Danilov personally took part in the methodological support, test preparation and operation, as well as in the issue of reporting documentation. Valentin Danilov was an author and co-author of more than 60 scientific publications, had 21 invention certificates, 10 of which are used in the defence industry. He was awarded with the efficiency decoration 'Inventor of the USSR.'
He was also rewarded for his good work with the 'Veteran of Labor' medal in 1986. Many times his achievements were marked by the company.
Under his guidance two Moscow Finn sailors, Alex Borovyak and Viktor Maksimov, grew and became 'Masters of Sports'. (This is a sports title established in the USSR and awarded for life to sportsmen who have fulfilled at official competitions the norms and requirements for the title). His daughter Elena became the Russian Champion in the class Luch-mini and a multiple medalist of Russia in the class Europe.
Valentin Danilov began to sail in CSK VMF (the Navy Central Sports Club) in 1952 (as a boatman). In 1953 he came to the class M as a boatman. And first he became a medalist in 1953. In 1954-1955 years he went to the class P-3. In 1956 he came to the Finn class, and in 1957 he got his first prize in the Finn class and fulfilled the norms and requirements for the first sports category. In 1966 he became 'Master of Sports'. He repeatedly won various competitions in the Finn class.
From 1952 Valentin Danilov competed for the CSK VMF team and didn't miss a single season.
In 2005 he took part in the Finn Gold Cup in Moscow, and competed with his peer Augustus Miller.
Valentin did a lot to maintain and develop the Finn class in Moscow. He was one of the founders of the Russian Finn Association. For many years he was the closest friend and he always supported our two-time Olympic medalist Andrey Balashov. Thanks to Valentin Danilov our famous veterans such as Victor Potapov, Viktor Kozlov, Andrey Balashov and Yury Polovinkin came back to the Finn class.
Valentin Danilov was also the keeper of the history of the Finn class in Moscow (Russia), loved and devoted all energies to the class. With his good jokes and stories he was life and soul of the party. Until his last days he was actively involved in the life of the class and despite his age and state of health, took part in the events in the physically challenging Finn class. He was always organised, tactful, had a reputation for discipline and set the example for everyone else.
This year in September when Valentin took part in the regatta Open Russian, he was taken ill and passed away soon after from an incurable disease.
We will always remember Valentin Danilov, and he is greatly missed by all those who knew him.
The Russian Finn Association extends heartfelt condolences to his family, relatives and friends.