NICHOLAS AIMS FOR THE WORLD CHAMPION TITLE IN OLYMPIC FINN CLASS
With just over 220 days to go until the start of the Tokyo Olympic Games, Nicholas Heiner is aiming for his second world title, this time in the Olympic Finn class. In 2017, the 2014 Laser World Champion made the switch to the Finn class. In this class Heiner has already qualified for Tokyo 2020 and the sailor from Enkhuizen is also regularly on the podium in this "heavier" class. The next desire is the world title in Melbourne.
One of the favorites
Heiner is one of the favorites this week. The TeamNL sailor won the last important showdown, the World Cup sailing on Olympic water in Enoshima, Japan. And after his third place at the World Championship 2017 and a sixth in 2018, Heiner is closer than most others.
Top 30 in the world
More than 60 top sailors have gathered at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club in Melbourne, Australia for this showdown, the penultimate championship before the Olympics. The line-up includes defending champion Zsombor Berecz from Hungary. Four-time Gold Cup winner and current Olympic and European champion, Giles Scott, from Britain is looking for his fifth title. Former world champions Max Salminen, from Sweden, Brazilian Jorge Zarif and Englishman Ed Wright are also there. Just as Heiner’s former training partners and favorites Andy Maloney and Josh Junior from New Zealand.
The World Championship Finn, traditionally called "The Gold Cup", is sailed at Port Philip Bay in Melbourne. Today a "practice race" was sailed and from tomorrow, Monday December 16th, 10 races are on the agenda. The top ten of the rankings will compete for the title on Friday, December 20th, and in the final medal race on Saturday, December 21st.
"We just want to win"
Nicholas Heiner gave the following preview after the practice race: “We (together with coach Mark Andrews ed.) really just want to win, because we don't have a Finn title yet. Podium is an objective, but winning is possible. The intention is to get this title. So we definitely go for it but it will be a difficult job. But in all training so far you see that it is variable at the top. Nobody dominates. So we have to keep fighting for every point to finish on the top step.”
"The body feels good"
“We are going well. Just sailed for the last three days, today we have a day off; working on some small details of the boat. We also came here two weeks ago and had a 12-day training camp. We know the location well, have been here with Sail Melbourne in 2018 (Heiner won, ed.). In preparation for this, we also trained very well in the Netherlands in October. I am physically fine, the body feels good. Mark Haak our physio is also there. He has golden hands ...... ”
World Cup website: https://2019.finngoldcup.org/