After a week of poor weather where two days had to be scraped, it was Giles Scott whom won the 2019 European Finn Championships. The event also doubled as the 2019 World Olympic Qualifier as boats from other nations are allowed to compete. In terms of Olympic qualification, the four highest ranked eligible nations earned a quota. The Finn European Championships was held in Athens, Greece from May 10th to May 18th 2019.
Due to poor weather the first day of sailing on Monday was cancelled. On the second day, three races were held with 2016 Olympic champion Giles Scott of Great Britain winning two of them to finish the day with the overall lead of 5 points. New Zealand’s Andy Maloney won the second race and was second overall with 9 points while the 2018 world champion, Zsombor Berecz of Hungary was third with 15 points.
The third day had two more races which allowed the worst result to be dropped. This allowed Scott to remain ahead of Maloney with a total of 8 and 12 points respectively. Berecz had a relatively poor day and dropped to fifth, allowing Turkey’s Alican Kaynar to move up with a score of 23. The fourth race was won by Greece’s Ioannis Mitakis while the fifth race was won by France’s Jonathan Lobert.
Three races were held on the fourth day and it was here where Scott pulled ahead of the pack, finishing with a 15-point lead and a total of 28 points. Berecz had a great day where he finished in the top 5 in all three races to leapfrog Maloney for second place with a total of 43 points. Third place Maloney, despite winning the sixth race had a poor two races afterwards and ended the day with 50 points, but had a massive 30-point lead over the rest of the fleet. The other two race winners were Switzerland’s Nils Theuninck and Croatia’s Josip Olujic whom won the seventh and eighth race respectively.
Poor weather struck again on the fifth day. It was decided that a final race would be held before the medal race. This meant by virtue of qualifying to the medal race, Norway and Brazil qualified to the Olympics thanks to Anders Pedersen and Jorge Zarif respectively.
With only Berecz having the ability to overtake him, Scott played a tactical race, never going too far from him during the medal race. This meant that he finished last, but it was enough for him to win gold with a total of 48 points. By finishing first in the medal race Maloney won the silver medal while Berecz’s ninth place gave him the bronze with 52 and 61 points respectively. The final race, containing all of the other boats was won by the Netherlands’ Pieter Jan Postma. The final two Olympic quotas were won by the United States’ Caleb Paine and Greece’s Ioannis Mitakis after Switzerland’s Nils Theuninck was disqualified from the final race.
Nations will have one final chance to qualify in the men’s finn at their respective continental qualifiers. The next boat class to have its world qualifier will be the men’s laser class at the Laser World Championships in July.