While Hyeres World Cup event has just started, we want to go back to Princesa Sofia Trophy in Palma de Mallorca, where for the first time the Finn Class tried a new format on the final day. A format that looks a lot like the SSL one, with a qualification round and knock-out series on the final day.
There are a few differences, but overall the concept is the same: you have to work your way to the top 10, it doesn’t matter what position, then pass one race at a time to the final.
We spoke to Finn sailor Facundo Olezza (ARG), who was the rookie at the SSL Finals 2016 for winning the first race at the Olympics in Rio the summer before, to see how he liked it.
“The format was exciting at all moments, I sailed differently the first days, trying to avoid the classic mistakes that lead to bad races, so I was very conservative on my starts and tactics, in the end, it didn't matter how you got to the top 10, the thing was not to go out of it.
It was good to have one final race, in the morning of the semi finals, I didn't race because I had no bad races so I could drop the last race and nothing would take me out of the 7th position.
Semi finals were exciting and felt special, I made a mistake in the start and was flagged right after the start so I was over before it started.
In my opinion the new format is better, because it allows you to plan your regatta long term and it doesn't allow you to relax until the end, taking the best out of everyone at all stages.
The overall feedback in the Finn fleet is split in two. There is always someone who doesn’t like changes and has a negative attitude towards new things”.
The SSL Format tries to flatten the difference between the qualification round and the knock-out series by giving a bye to the first two qualified. #1 goes straight to the finals and #2 access the semis: this way the athletes are prone to perform their best and aim victory already in the first round.