The British Finn Association is planning a regatta to mark the 60th anniversary of the first Finn Gold Cup in Burnham-on-Crouch, in the UK.
For sailors younger than a Great Grand Master, 1956 is not even a memory or a date that will have received much attention in their lifetime - but it was a critical year in the development of the International Finn Class. It was the year, sixty years ago that F.R (Tiny) Mitchell presented the original Gold Cup to the Finn Class at a regatta run over the Easter weekend by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club (RCYC).
With 45 entries from 12 countries, the event was won by Andre Nelis of Belgium, ahead of the legendary Dane; Paul Elvström. Notably British sailors who began their careers in the Finn who also finished in the top 12 included Bruce Banks, Vernon Stratton, Jack Knights and Richard Creagh-Osbourne. The cup since became the renowned Finn world championship trophy. The original Gold Cup was lost along with the three times winner and the then holder, Brazilian Joerg Bruder in a tragic aeroplane crash whilst on his way to defend the trophy in France in 1973.
Sixty years after the first Finn Gold Cup was hosted by the RCYC in Burnham-on-Crouch, the British Finn Association in conjunction with RCYC will celebrate Tiny Mitchell’s original gift to the Class by holding a commemorative regatta for Finns over the Easter weekend March 26-27 2016.
Although Burnham-on-Crouch is not a typical Finn racing venue, it provides a number of interesting challenges in much the same way as it did in 1956. The 2016 event will sail over the same waters of the river Crouch, with the opportunity to repeat the 1956 course. Unlike the first five Gold Cup events sailors will not have to sail in wooden boats with cotton sails and wooden masts - instead modern equipment will be used but racing will take place on the original 1956 courses. However, with a growing fleet of wood and early GRP Finns in the UK we would hope to see one or two classic boats from the 1950s taking part.
This event to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the original Finn Gold Cup is an important milestone in the development of the Class and one where we would seek to see as many Finn sailors from around the world attending to take part in this historic event.
British Finn Association