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Even though most Finn sailors cannot go Finn sailing at the moment and are being encouraged to stay at home, there are a lot of Finn books and magazines that can entertain you while we are all waiting for racing to restart.

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Vale Bill Bell - 1942 to 2020

Vale William Hugh Moore (Bill) Bell - 17th October 1942 to 10 April 2020

The sailing world has lost a great friend. Quietly spoken, but always considered, Bill Bell was a great friend to many sailors across the world and will be sorely missed. He made a significant contribution to the sport of sailing, both as a sailor, an International Judge and a club official, and he was hugely respected worldwide for his calm and authoritative approach.

Bill was a lifelong member of the Black Rock Yacht Club in Melbourne Australia where he was a sailor, race official, Commodore and Life Member. It would be hard to find a more loyal and dedicated member; enjoying a drink, a meal and a chat with friends every week while in town. For his club mate, neighbours and fellow sailors it was a privilege to have known Bill.

Born on October 17, 1942, he passed away on Good Friday, April 10, 2020 in Melbourne.

bill bell fgc 2019Bill Bell was a big, strong teenager and after sailing Sharpies and 14s, Bill moved into the OK Dinghy in the early 1970s, winning the Australian Championship three years running from 1975 to 1977. Bill was also a driver behind innovations to the class, as importing Needlespar masts, from the UK, and Marinex Sails, from Sweden. Renowned for his heavy air sailing, Bill famously won the fourth race at the 1977 OK Dinghy Worlds at Takapuna in Auckland, New Zealand. Like many singlehanded sailors in the 1970s, Bill moved into the Finn Class and also maintained an ongoing close association with that class worldwide, including as a member of many International Juries, most recently for the Finn Gold Cup held in Melbourne in December 2019.

There will be thousands of memories around the world of Bill’s generosity and friendliness. Bill was a good friend to the late Clive Roberts from New Zealand who tragically lost his life in a car accident after returning from the OK Interdominion Championships in 1975. Bill and his good friends, Bill Tyler and Ray Stone, established the Clive Roberts Trust to assist the “youth of Australia in developing their skills within the OK Dinghy Class… and assist them to attend International Regattas”. After a slow start in 1980, the Trust has assisted a large number of young Australian OK Dinghy sailors to travel to New Zealand and Europe to sail in Interdominion and World Championships.

Bill was extremely proud of the Clive Roberts Trust and personally guided the investments to ensure the current healthy balance of funds. Bill continued to maintain close friendships with Clive’s wife Bev and brother Ralph, participating on many occasions with Ralph on International Juries at World Championships and catching up with both of them at the OK Dinghy Worlds held at Wakatere in February 2019, where Bill was again a member of the International Jury.

Bill was a life member of the Australian OK Dinghy Association and in 2014 at the World Championships held at his home club, he was inducted into the OKDIA Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution to the class, alongside fellow club members, Andre and Roger Blasse. Fittingly Andre read out the nomination and presented the honour to Bill.

billbell awardBill sailed his last OK Dinghy Australian and Interdominion Championships at Easter 2004 out of Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays in North Queensland. Selflessly, Bill handed over his boat mid regatta to Mark Fisher whose boat was broken beyond repair, allowing him to finish in fifth place. It was a common theme for Bill who never hesitated to lend a helping hand. An example was when Mike Williams borrowed Bill’s Finn for a couple of seasons allowing him to compete in the Gold Cup in Cascais in 2007 and at Black Rock in 2008.

Despite health issues for the last few years, Bill remained incredibly active travelling around the world to international events. His considered and wise counsel was valued worldwide, backed up by his huge experience and knowledge of sailing. Bill’s presence on any Jury was reassuring as he calmly steered a steady but firm course through many protests.


Bill’s final event was the RS Aero World Championships held at Black Rock over the Christmas/New Year period, where he organized the International Jury and helped make the event a huge success.

Bill will be sorely missed and will be an enormous loss to the sailing community. Over 50 years of international competition and judging he made friends across the world who always welcomed him, just as he welcomed sailors to Melbourne. Our thoughts go out to Ann, Vicky, Stephen and the extended Bell family. Due to COVID 19 restrictions in Australia, we are unable to gather and celebrate a life well lived at the moment, but will do so as soon as we can, raise a glass and sound eight bells.

Vale Bill Bell.

Updates to Finn Events due to COVID-19

SEE EVENT SUMMARY AND HISTORIC UPDATES FURTHER DOWN PAGE

The World Sailing website has extensive information and documents on COVID-19 and risk assessement advice herewww.sailing.org/medical


Latest Updates - May 23 2020

Finn Gold Cup 2020

Further to another call with CN Arenal this week, this is the latest situation.

The 2020 Finn Gold Cup in Mallorca is re-scheduled for 2-10 October with CN Arenal continuing as the host. The situation there continues to improve, though it is a long way from being ideal. Spain has various levels of restrictions being lifted and Mallorca is one of the first to enter into new phases as Covid-19 had less impact on the island than in other aeas of Spain.

All our rescheduled dates and events represent our best intentions as a class. By no means are these plans certain to happen as we all are completely dependent on the evolution of the global situation. Further calls will be made around mid-June, when organisers of all events will assess the latest developments on travel restrictions and quarantine requirements, if any, and any WS directives / instructions issued so far, together with the class. 

Further updates will be issued by the end of June.

 

May 20, 2020

2020 Finn European Championship

Further to an online meeting between the Polish Yachting Association, the Polish Finn Association and the International Finn Association, the 2020 Finn European Championship, scheduled from 3-11 July in Gdynia, Poland, has been postponed due to Covid-19.

It has been rescheduled for September to coincide with the Masters European Championship, also in Gdynia.

The revised schedule to combine the two events is as follows:

30 Aug to 1 Sept - Registration and Measurement

2-6 Sept - Racing (5 days, 10 fleet races scheduled)

It is intended that racing for the Seniors, U23 and Masters titles will take place in one fleet. If the number of entries is too high for one fleet, then the Organising Authority may use two course areas, or alternatively split the Seniors and Masters into separate fleets.

Further details will be published in the Notice of Race.

 

May 1, 2020

A number of key decisions have been made or are about to be made ahead of the AGM next week. So here is a summary of what is going on and what will be decided shortly.

With regard to the upcoming events we are working closely with all organisers to plan and make prudent decisions in good time. While I know many of you feel that the chance of any racing later this year is minimal, we are keeping options open for as long as possible. We are lucky that our regatta organisers only need a lead time of 4-6 weeks to make events happen, so we will probably run those down before cancelling.

If travel or quarantine restrictions mean that the essence of any championship would be devalued, but that some local and regional sailors could attend, then the IFA may withdraw the trophy and the title, but will encourage the organisers to run an event for those that can make it if that is practical, so that we get some racing in this year.

2020 European Championship - Gdynia, Poland
This remains under review. While some sailing is opening up in Poland, it is still a long way from being open enough to hold a regatta. A decision will be made on this mid May. If it is cancelled then it is highly likely that it will be moved to September to be combined with the European Masters. How this will work in practice has not yet been decided, but it is likely to run as a combined event.

2020 Silver Cup - U23 World Championship
This was initially planned to be part of the Gold Cup due to the need to get all events sailed before the Olympics. However following discussions with several U23 sailors most were keen for an individual event, provided it was safe and logistically possible. Therefore, assuming restrictions are lifted to allow events to take place, IFA intends to hold the Silver Cup in Canet/Perpignan, southern France. Three potential dates have been discussed in order of preference: Early August, Late August and Late September. The lead time for each will be about four weeks. As soon as a date is authorized and confirmed we will notify everyone.

2020 Finn Gold Cup, Palma, Spain
Provisional dates have been set for 2-10 October. Again a lot needs to happen before this can go ahead, but Spain is beginning to open up with some sailing now allowed. We will make the call on this as late as is practical, while also realising that everyone may not be able to get there. The decision whether to go ahead will largely be based on travel restrictions, and quarantines in place in Spain and the EU as we get closer.

World Masters
As you know the 2020 Finn World Masters in Port Zelande has been cancelled. It will not be rescheduled. Other changes are that in 2021, the original venue of Puntala has been postponed, at their request, to 2024, while it is hoped a new venue for 2021 will be announced in the next week or so. The Finn Masters who were entered for the 2020 championship will be invited to take part in the online Annual Masters Meeting, which will most likely just consist of a voting paper for the major decisions.

Final European/African Qualifier for Tokyo 2020
Discussions are ongoing to plan for the final qualifier with many options on the table. One line of thought is that it should be as early as possible should it be possible to hold events this year, however for the Finns it may be as late as possible. Some decisions may be taken in he coming weeks and we'll keep you all informed.

IFA Annual General Meeting
As mentioned before, voting papers will be sent to secretaries or their nominated representative on May 9. All the papers and the agenda are available on finnclass.org. It will be very short and simple to complete, and everyone will have an eight day window to respond.


SUMMARY OF EVENTS

EVENT  DATES DETAILS FURTHER INFORMATION
Olympics Games 28 July to 4 August Postponed New dates - 23 July to 8 August 2021. More here.
Finn Gold Cup 8-16 May Postponed Rescheduled to 2-10 October at CNA, Palma.
Finn Silver Cup (U23 WC) August - Sept Being considered Canet/Perpignan, France
Europeans  3-11 July Postponed New dates Aug 30 to Sept 6
Finn World Masters 31 May to 5 June CANCELLED More here.
Finn European Masters 31 August to 5 September Changed New dates Aug 30 to Sept 6. Combined with EC.
       
Princesa Sofia Palma 27 March to 4 April CANCELLED  
Genoa SWC 13-19 May CANCELLED
Hyeres SOF 18-25 April CANCELLED  
Medemblik Regatta 19-23 May CANCELLED  
WCS Enoshima  14-21 June CANCELLED  More here.

 


April Update

While we understand the impact the COVID-19 virus is having on all our lives and sailing programmes, the IFA Executive is constantly monitoring the situation and trying to work within the extreme constraints that have fallen on us all. This page will be updated with the latest changes and news as they happen. See SUMMARY at bottom of page

We have the following updates for you:

• The 2020 Olympic Games has been postponed until 2021. As yet we do not have dates. See: https://www.olympic.org/news/joint-statement-from-the-international-olympic-committee-and-the-tokyo-2020-organising-committee

• The 2020 Finn Gold Cup, which was scheduled from 8-16 May, has been postponed. IFA is working closely with CNA in Mallorca to try to reschedule for early-mid October. Of course this is by no means certain to happen, and is completely dependent on the global situation at that point. A call will probably have to be made in July/August whether this is viable.

• Regarding the final continental qualifier, the latest news from World Sailing stated:
“In the short term, World Sailing will not hold Olympic qualification events for Africa, Asia or Europe. World Sailing is working with the IOC on an update to the qualification system where our recommendation will be to look at hosting qualifications events in late 2020 or early 2021.”
As soon as this is clarified, we will let you know.

• The 2020 European Championship in Gdynia from 3-11 July is under close review. A discussion was had with the organisers on Tuesday 24 March and the website has been updated (2020.finneuropeans.org). The situation will be reviewed again after Easter and if July is still looking uncertain, the event may combined with the Masters Europeans, which is scheduled to take place from 2-5 September.

• The new dates for Kiel Week for the Finn are provisionally 9-13 September.

• The Executive is looking at venues for the 2021 Europeans and Finn Gold Cup and has several venues interested. Most likely both events will be scheduled early enough before equipment is shipped to Tokyo. Other bids for these events are welcomed and will be accepted up to early May.

• It is intended to run the 2020 IFA AGM in two parts. There will be an online AGM around second week in May to cover the legal necessities such as general decisions, voting and approval of accounts. The Agenda for that will be published soon. A further EGM may be held at one of the events in the autumn to cover all other business and discussions.

• With the delay to the 2020 Olympics and the ‘continuation’ of the Finn as an Olympic class for at least one more year there are clearly a lot of questions that need answering and a lot of issues that need to be resolved. As yet we do not have the answers, but will let you know when we do. 

 

 

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