The Finn legacy began with the Finnish Yachting Association's 1948 search for a new dinghy. Rickard Sarby's winning design, based on a Nordic double-ended sailing canoe, quickly became the Olympic singlehanded men's dinghy for the 1952 Games in Helsinki and has appeared in every Summer Games since. The Finn is now the longest standing of any Olympic dinghy class, currently filling the slot for the Heavyweight Dinghy. Historically, the Finn as seen sailing legend such as Paul Elvstrom, John Bertrand, and Russel Coutts, and Ben Ainslie take the helm.
The Finn is the most physically and mentally demanding singlehander in the world. With an unstayed mast and 10.6 sq. meters (115 sq. ft) of sail area, the physically demanding 4.5 m (14'9") Finn is closely associated with many renowned sailors. It breeds exceptional, all-round sailors by testing all aspects of racing. The hull is almost exactly the same (albeit with optimised GRP construction instead of wood), with tight controls still in place to keep the boat strictly one design. Modern technology such as carbon fiber masts and kevlar sails mean the Finn today is faster and more powerful than ever.
The cult of the International Finn Monotype may seem strange to some people, but to true devotees, there is nothing else remotely like it. The Finn offers the most purely athletic form of yacht racing and is, therefore, the most fundamentally competitive. The Finn offers the rewarding opportunity of doing a difficult thing well. There will always be those who aspire to be the master of a Finn.