The Dinghy Academy guys are back in Valencia. Palamòs Christmas Race saw all our sailors shine. Facundo Olezza won from Milan Vujasinovic and Ondra Teply. Fourth was Alex Muscat, not really a Dinghy pupil right now, but trained with us for four years so we tend to consider him one of us. Finn newcomer Alessio Spadoni also did well, winning the final Medal Race. The others also showed progress, sure competition was not as tough as it will be next year, as many superstars are resting, though it is always nice to end the year with a good performance.

Argentiunian Facundo Olezza leads the Finn fleet in Palmòs. Photo Alfred Farré

Argentinian Facundo Olezza leads the Finn fleet in Palmòs. Photo Alfred Farré

Facundo was very happy as after qualifying in Miami, despite his injury at the wrist, he has than got bronze at the Junior Worlds, was ninth at the Games with two daily wins, and now won Palamòs. We are working onto making him better and better. In reality he is doing all it takes to become a champion, I am just trying to get him to shortcut the learning path by making sure he does not too many mistakes, but as it was pretty easy to coach Ben Ainslie, so it is to coach Facundo. He can do without a coach tomorrow. He is quite thrilled to go and race the Star again, but will try to train as hard as he can, we are kind of dreaming to build up a training center for Stars here in Valencia, so that twice or three times a week we can race in Stars, and hopefully I can show them that in the old days, the days of Percy, Loof, Kusznierewicz and Rohart I was mixing it with them. At times I was quite good, so on a diet as surely with 120 kgs the only thing I have that makes me look like a past Star glory is the mass, not really fit enough to face the challenge of racing against my boys, kind of have a feeling that this time they’ll kill me. Long gone the days that I could jump in a Finn and show the youngsters what it was all about.

54 the age, Facundo told me: same like Santi Lange. Well… surely if you look at the number, though sailing Finns or Stars is a tough job, and Santi is Santi, I am Luca and have no chance whatsoever right now. Vasilji Zbogar was around before Christmas, the bug of racing still there, will be interesting to see if he will manage to move the bar up again, as he seems to defeat all laws of ageing and still clinched silver in Rio, he is going to continue until Aarhus 2018 Worlds, the first olympic qualifier. Sure in the Finn it will be a really tough regatta as max 9 places will be up for grabs and at least 34 good nations will show up, but that again… if the dream is to get a medal top nine should be no worries…

Vasilij Zbogar won his third Olympic Medal today taking a silver in the Finn Class

Vasilij Zbogar won his third Olympic Medal taking a silver in the Finn Class

Rumors around about top  sailors changing countries, at the end still if you do well whoever you’ll race against will not matter as the race really in the Finn is against yourself. If that race is won very few opponents will be able to compete,  it is tremendously hard to stay focused and fight to the bitter end for 11 tough and brutal Finn races. New year coming soon, why don’t you take your boat out to make sure you celebrate properly the coming of the new year. We are going sailing on new year here in Valencia…