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Q and A with Finn Gold Cup World Champion, Ed Wright!

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  • Q and A with Finn Gold Cup World Champion, Ed Wright!

    We are fortunate to get an interview with Great Britain's Ed Wright, who just won the Finn Gold Cup on San Francisco Bay in dominating fashion. A class so filled with talent and dependant on personal achievement, it has become the great equalizer for individual sailors. The Finn class champions reads lik a who's who in the sailing community, Elvstrom, Bertand, Loof, Coutts, Ainsle, to name a few. The racing is intense, and recent Gold Cup on SF Bay it was all that an more. So without further adieu, here it is:

    You have been sailing the Finn since?

    My first event was Miami OCR 2005 in the Finn

    Inspirations within the Finn class?

    I love how the Finn has such depth and talent of all ages. The masters circle is so strong. They are out training and racing in all conditions. It's great inspiration for anyone apart from the countless legends who had come from the Finn!

    While having been ranked number 1 in the world, you had not yet accomplished the 1st in World Championship, how close had you come before?

    I have been pretty close a couple of time especially last year in Copenhagen and Caiscais. Now its finally done.

    Team GBR had 4 sailors in the medal race, what do you attribute to such strength in the Finn Class for Team GBR?

    Scandia Team GBR sailors did really well this last world championships. The team helped us all to prepare but one of the biggest factors was the fact we were in SF this summer training instead of Kiel. This meant we knew exactly what to expect and prepared for, whereas a lot of the other nations had not hiked all year with a very light wind season so they turned up and trained in the conditions the week prior which fatigued them before the start while the brits were prepared relaxing and finalizing.

    You had been to SF a number of times prior to the Gold Cup, how significant a part do you think that played in the victory?

    It was very important just to be comfortable and luckily, I met Don Jesberg, a local circle expert who actually was out with me during the gold cup. Instead of second guessing myself on the game plan he just fired me off in the right direct.

    How many days did you train in SF immediately prior the Gold Cup?

    Not many. I had done the work in June and July!

    The Event itself was more of a marathon than a sprint, how important in conditioning in the Finn?

    I hiked as hard the last windward of the regatta as i did the first and that was my aim. Lots of body conditioning was imperative and i had lots of help with this. I increase lean mass by 8kg (20 lbs) for this event and tried to be as fit as I could. But its always like that in the finn. It's demanding out there!

    Describe a typical Day in a Finn Training regimen?

    Cycling in the morning, water base training in the afternoon then weights in the evening while eating a lot all day!! But good calories...

    Describe a typical Day during the Worlds, please include caloric intake..

    Breakfast and briefing with my event coach Ian Clingan and the sail maker Paul Hobson. Lots of food and coffee. Down to the club. More food before going on the water at 11. 2 races eating energy SIS bars all day. Back in and immediately eating lunch. Finally stretch and relax and off to dinner after debrief.

    Tactics and or strategies which paid off on the Olympic Circle?

    It was a local knowledge place but not as significant as the training and North Americans as we were well down closer to Richmond. As we went through the event the course became pretty even.

    Q: From the days we were on course at the start, it seemed the top boats always won the center at the start, how key was that and at what point did you decide to stay left or right as you worked your way up the course?

    That was not always the case. Early on the boat end had to be won and then as the course became more even or advantageous to the left, the pin worked. But each race was different and the wind was always changing. Actually we started races in 6 knots but by the top it would be 8-10. So i think the middle only paid as having a good lane was key and there were big bunches at the ends. Zach told me he started every race at the boat and he always seem to round well.

    Q: While the Finn in a single sail cat rigged dinghy, how important was selecting the right mast sail combo for the day and how much tweaking did you do while under way?

    Usually I used my light sail in the first race. So that meant light settings and then in the afternoon the big change during lunch. Heavy sail and rig back and a few other tweaks. But there was a day i used the light sail all day and also a day using the heavy all day. I think it was critical to be on the right setting and the correct sail. I did not make good setting changes sometimes and really felt my lack of speed, which meant i had to go all out on the downwind. Problem with that is the energy spent catching up meant theres a lack on the next upwind....

    Q: How important is finding the sweet spot with the Finns, especially as the winds and ground swell increased?

    You are constantly adjusting and you can feel when its not right. Very important to have the right settings.

    The boat itself has been refined tremendously since its introduction, what improvements have you witnessed and utilized since your introduction to the Class?

    Actually I am using the HIT mast now and its a beautiful piece of equipment. Full carbon and bend characteristics as you wish. Also Devoti the boat builder is making very high quality product these days. New mould designs have definitely improved the performance of the boat. We were covering big distances in ours races and through the race officer off guard on the first race.

    The Olympics are in England in 2012, how does the winning the Gold Cup position you to make the Olympic team?

    Theres a long way to go and looking forward to every minute.

    Future and immediate plans?

    For me, I will take some time to rest. No water base training or important events so I can relax and maybe take a holiday.

    Thanks Ed!
    Last edited by Photoboy; 09-16-2010, 09:01 AM.
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  • #2
    Great interview!

    Thanks for getting that PB.