Dear Mr Andersen,
Following the controversial decision made by the World Sailing Council
in November 2018 to drop the Finn from the Olympic programme, and the
voting scandal surrounding that decision, we respectfully ask that you
support, by whatever means necessary, the return of the Finn class into
the Olympic programme.
We are all writing to express our concerns at the following:
• Contrary to World Sailing policy and IOC guidelines, the removal of
the Finn means that sailors above 85 kg are now discriminated against in
Olympic sailing. Following the loss of the Soling and the Star, the
Finn was the last remaining boat suitable for heavy sailors. Data from
the 2018 Aarhus Sailing World Championships shows us that Finn sailors
are unique in the current Olympic classes with bodyweights above 85kg.
• The removal of the Finn sacrifices perhaps the most athletic sailing
class within the Olympic programme, and one that is most closely aligned
to the Olympic ideals. Sailing should be embracing and marketing the
bigger sailors, not discarding them. What other sport would miss this
• After the 2020 Olympics there will be no events at all in the Olympic
Sailing programme for male athletes over 85kg so these athletes will be
lost to Olympic sailing. Even the Mixed Offshore Keelboat will
inevitably favour athletes of lower body weight.
• The Finn class has the greatest pedigree, history, and heroes in the
sport of sailing. To remove it from the Olympic programme would be a
massive loss for the sport. The class creates huge media interest
because of its heritage as well as because of its athletic and powerful
sailors. Its legacy can be seen right across the sport. To remove it
from the Olympics is a huge risk to sailing and the IOC.
• The removal of the Finn breaks a long held and vital pathway from
youth classes to America’s Cup and The Ocean Race. Once sailors grow too
large to sail a Laser, and many do, there will be no further step
within Olympic sailing. The pathway is broken.
It is perhaps worth noting that never in the history of the sport of
sailing has there been so much anger, frustration and disaffection at a
decision made by World Sailing. Taken in the context of a number of
other recent criticisms of World Sailing, it would appear to us that
many changes have and are being made against the wishes of a large
number of sailors worldwide.
Removing the Finn from the Olympics will disenfranchise a huge group of
sailors across the world from Olympic sailing, and indeed from World
As Finn Masters, this decision does not affect us personally, but
acutely affects the opportunities open to the hundreds of young sailors
we see in our class, and those who might join the class later in life
because they outgrew being competitive in any other dinghy. Something
very valuable to sailing is in danger of being lost.
We feel this is an injustice and
discrimination and therefore, we respectfully urge you to support the
Finn to be reintroduced into the Olympic programme after 2020 as the
only class on the Olympic sailing programme truly suitable for sailors