Men’s Finn – Bring on the Big Boys
The oldest class currently sailed in the Olympic Games, the Finn Heavyweight Dinghy got its name because it was designed for and first raced in the 1952 Helsinki, Finland, Olympics. A physically demanding boat to sail, it attracts big, powerful men to its ranks.
There’s physicality to the way Finn sailors coax more speed from their boats. When sailing upwind (with the wind hitting the sails from an angle on front of the boat), they hook their feet into foot straps, called hiking straps, and lean out over the water. By getting as much of their bodyweight out of their boat as possible, they counteract the force of the wind.
When racing downwind (with the wind at their backs) they can often be seen standing, rocking their boats and tugging on their sails in a pumping action to accomplish maximum acceleration and speed. All of this demands a high level of fitness achieved only after many hours in the gym doing core strength exercises and weight lifting to build muscle.