In 1949 on Lake Ekoln in Sweden, Rickard Sarby launched the first Finn at the Uppsala Kanotförening (Uppsala Canoe Club). It was the start of a journey that has seen the Finn used in every Olympic regatta since 1952.

In August, Finn No. 1 will be back in Uppsala for a special event being organized by the Swedish Finn Association to celebrate 60 years of Finn sailing.

Already nearly 60 sailors from eight nations have pre-entered, with many more expected to attend the three day regatta and party.

Uppsala is where the Finn class started and enthusiasts are getting very excited about returning to the birthplace of the Finn. The clubhouse is more or less the same as when Rickard Sarby built and sailed the first Finn. For many it will be a pilgrimage to a site of huge historical importance to the class.

A highlight for many over the weekend will be the sight of Finn No. 1 – which is being brought to the club especially for the event. S1 was the prototype Finn that Rickard Sarby used to convince the Finnish authorities that the Finn should be the monotype for the Olympics in Helsinki in 1952. The boat will also be on display in downtown Uppsala the week before the regatta, just as it was 60 years ago when Sarby was trying to promote his fledging craft.

Preserved by the local maritime museum, S1 is still in sailing condition. Event organizer Sverker Hard said, “The personnel at the museum didn’t have a heart attack when I brought up the idea of putting the boat back in the water and sailing with it. So you might see it on the race course in August!” A full racing and social program is planned over the long weekend and interested sailors are encouraged to sign up via the event website.

More details and online entry here.

Robert Deaves, IFA, 2009
Finn Class