by Richard Crockett
To many the Finn Class Gold Cup, effectively their World Championship, is ‘the’ ultimate dinghy sailing championship. It’s a tough boat that takes tough men to tame it and ultimately sail it fast. It’s not for the feint-hearted.
Dave Shilton started off this event with a huge first race in this grouping by finishing 5th overall, a result which would have been good for his moral and confidence on what is likely to be the biggest event of his sailing life.
Since then his results have been in the 30s and early 40s (5; 31; 33; 41; 41; 35) – no disgrace at all, especially as it puts him 60th overall in a fleet of 90 boats. To be in the top two-thirds of the Finn fleet at this event is an achievement in itself.
The Finn fleet has had a layday, and today commences the schedule of medal races with Shilton sailing in the Silver fleet. Two days of racing is scheduled before another reserve day and then the medal race on Thursday.
At the very front of the fleet European Champion Ed Wright now leads the regatta, but is on equal points with world champion, Max Salminen, and Nicholas Heiner. Only seven points separate these three from ninth overall.
Many will remember former South African Roy Heiner was a top Finn sailor. Nicholas is his son, and he has been knocking on the top door of the Finn Class for some years now.