Two of the Finn classes longest serving officials were honoured during the prizegiving ceremony at the 2015 Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna, New Zealand, by being inducted into the prestigious Finn Class Hall of Fame.
Richard Hart (GBR) and Juri Saraskin (EST) join a select group of names that have made an outstanding contribution to the class, in a technical or administrative capacity or on the race course.
Richard Hart has been the Chairman of the Technical Committee since 1989, making him the longest serving official in the history of the class. He retired at the class AGM this week after 26 years service to the Finn Class. He has been involved in the class since 1961 as a sailor and official, with his best result being a third place in the 1965 Finn Gold Cup in Poland. In 1989 he was asked to be Chairman of the Technical Committee and oversaw the modernisation of the class over the next three decades. As a sailor he competed in many Olympic trials during this time and won several British Nationals. After a break, he returned to competitive Finn sailing in 1989 and at 74 years old is still regularly sailing his Finn at his club in Warsash, UK. In 2010 and 2014 he won the Legend category at the Finn World Masters.
Jüri Saraskin started sailing in 1952, and since 1962 his life has been intricately connected to the Finn class, initially as a sailor and since 1967 also as a measurer. He was twice Finn Champion of Estonia, in 1968 and 1970, and since 1992 Jüri has been the Chief Measurer of the Finn class. His scientific background and experience has enabled him to develop and refine a lot of tools and methods for full and accurate measurement of dinghies. He has been instrumental in ensuring that modern Finns are measured accurately and consistently so that all boats are as alike as possible.
Richard and Jüri were presented with their Silver Finn pins by the Finn Class Executive Director, Corinne McKenzie, outside Takapuna Boating Club.
Their names will forever be linked with the strongest class traditions and will be listed on the front page of the International Finn Class Constitution alongside class heroes such as Rickard Sarby (SWE), Paul Elvstrøm (DEN), Ben Ainslie (GBR), Gilbert Lamboley (FRA), and Fredrik Lööf (SWE).