Fraglia Vela Malcesine, Italy: Pieter-Jan Postma from The Netherlands made history today by winning the 2022 Finn Gold Cup, the first Dutch winner of this massively prestigious trophy in its 66-year history.
Oskari Muhonen, from Finland, took silver, while Hungary’s Domonkos Nemeth, took bronze. No more racing was possible on the final day as the very high temperatures killed the breeze in a large 110-boat fleet.
Nemeth also won the Finn Silver Cup, for the U23 World Championship, from Finland’s Joonas Harju and Waltteri Mosio.
The fleet was sent out for start at 1300 hours, but the early morning southerly soon died away, leaving the fleet drifting around on a scorching hot Lake Garda. A brief hope arose when a light breeze built at 14.30hrs, but after a start sequence was attempted, it was soon halted as the breeze swung and then abandoned just before the 1500 time limit.
Postma also rewrote history in another way. He was sailing a TT2 hull from DC Composites in The Netherlands and breaks the 27-year run of winning hulls from Devoti Sailing.
Joost Houweling, of DC Composites, was nearly as excited as Postma, who was extremely excited to finally win the Finn Gold Cup after 17 years of trying. His first Gold Cup was in 2005 and after two silver medals and three bronze medals, he can finally engrave his name on the ultimate prize in singlehanded dinghy sailing and make an indelible mark on sailing history.
Postma admitted to being off the pace at the start of the week, with a boat and rig he had never sailed before, but by Friday he had changed the setup and was exceptionally fast upwind and down and dominated both races. He got faster and faster.
The cheer at the prizegiving as he stepped up to claim the Cup was ample evidence of the high regard in which he is held within the class. He was once voted as the most popular sailor in the class.
Postma was exuberant as he was presented the Finn Gold Cup: “This feels great. This feels a very special moment here with this whole Finn family. I have been racing a bit in this class. To catch this boat, to go with speed, downwind, upwind, to take the starts with this family of 110 competitors is a very special feeling which I lock in my heart.
“So many people supported me along the way. It’s not a cliché but we do it with a lot of people together and remembering a couple of people in the sky and the people around me, this is for all of us and it feels amazing.
“It was a great event here in Malcesine with good volunteers and a class with 110 boats on the line. The Finn will never die.”
Will he be back? He ended with a cryptic, “To be continued….”
Rob McMillan was the top placed Australian (15th), followed by Paul McKenzie (17th), James Bevis (20th) and Marcus Whitley (24th).
The 2023 Finn Gold Cup starts in just eight months in Miami, USA. Time to start planning…
Final results after eight races:
1 NED 842 Pieter-Jan Postma 17
2 FIN 8 Oskari Muhonen 22
3 HUN 80 Domonkos Németh 42
4 AUT 3 Raudaschl Florian 46
5 ITA 40 Marko Kolic 54
6 ESP 161 Miguel Fernandez Vasco 67
7 POR 21 Filipe Silva 78
8 ITA 115 Roberto Strappati 84
9 FRA 111 Valerian Lebrun 100
10 ITA 1071 Matteo Iovenitti 104