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25 September 2001, 10:31 am
Finn Gold Cup delayed in the Mists of Marblehead
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Finn preparations

Finn Gold Cup

Racing has been delayed at the Finn Gold Cup taking place in Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA due to mist. But, the forecast for today is for strong winds from the effects of hurricane 'Huberto'.
It took lots of effort and determination from the organizers and sailors to make this Finn Gold Cup happen but finally after a week of much discussion, thought and struggle, the 2001 FinnGold Cup was officially declared opened with cannon fire and the hoisting of the Finn class flag at the Eastern Yacht Club Sunday night.

The terrible events of 9/11 required the organisers and the class to balance safety, the unknown political future, the logistical problems due to transport of people and material, the fact that half of the fleet was already in the US for the National Championship, and the well-known optimism and focus of the Finn sailors. Struggle, as Stephen and Rogina Jeffries, the event organizers at Eastern Yacht Club, American Class guru Gus Miller and a several European sailors had to deal night and day with customs related problems, rescheduling of flights, requests for special visas from Embassies, and problems getting equipment, sailors and officials to Marblehead before the regatta.

For some, it proved to be relatively easy, for others like Ukrainian, Sergey Kotov, nearly a miracle. With the US Embassy in Kiev closed until the end of last week and an appointment for a visa rescheduled for the 4th of October, Sergey was starting to lose any hope of coming to the Finn Gold Cup. It took numerous phone calls from the organizers and extensive help from US Sailing to obtain a visa on time for the young Ukrainian who arrived in Boston on the second day of measurement. His mast, delayed on the way by the air company, was recovered late on Saturday night. For some other sailors, it was the generosity of Finn friends who lent masts, booms, and other pieces of equipment, which made racing possible. More than ever the true Finn spirit was operating. As a result, the 2001 Finn Gold Cup is counting 57 sailors from 18 countries.

The regatta officially started on the 21st of September with registration and measurement carried out by Juri Saraskin, Peter Hinrichsen, John Koopman and their team. It rained all day, the Lambolley (hull swing test) sometimes took nearly an hour per boat but everyone was happy to be finally here. The next day, the Lambolley went more smoothly, the sun was out and more enthusiastic sailors arrived in Marblehead.

A thick fog, the 'mists of Marblehead' and little wind, greeted the sailors at the Eastern Yacht Club and stayed all day on the first scheduled day of racing. Sailing was therefore postponed then finally cancelled at 1430 by PRO Peter "Luigi" Reggio.

Finnsters took this opportunity to show their diverse skills. The British team kicked the soccer ball while some American sailors were reinventing "Petanque" using Baseball rules on the Club front lawn. As for the Canadian sailors, they decided to entertain everyone with Canadian beer.

With big waves, strong winds and 2 races expected for tomorrow (compliments of hurricane 'Humberto'), some other sailors decided to play it safe and have an early night.

Corrinne McKenzie/News Editor
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