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Muller takes 6th at 2021 Finn Gold Cup

by US Sailing Team 13 May 04:04 BST May 8-12, 2021
Finn Gold Cup - Luke Muller © Robert Deaves

Team USA Tokyo 2020 Finn Class Representative Luke Muller (Fort Pierce, Fla.) placed 6th out of 59 boats at the 2021 Finn Gold Cup, the class's World Championship event. The 2021 Gold Cup was the final major test for all medal hopefuls in the men's heavyweight dinghy before the Olympic regatta begins in late July in Enoshima, Japan.

Muller's 6th overall finish is a career-best at the highest level of Finn competition, and comes on the heels of a 34-day training and racing session in Europe. Muller's impactful trip started with the Finn Europeans in Vilamoura, Portugal, and continued with multiple high-quality training sessions with many of the same athletes he will compete against in Enoshima. However, early May's Gold Cup regatta in Porto represented another step up in both pressure and competitive level.

Muller's finish represents not only a positive step forward in his development as a competitor, but a successful effort to safely train and compete against the world's best during the global pandemic. Due to COVID-19, the previous Gold Cup was held in December 2019, where Muller finished 17th out of 60 in Melbourne, Australia.

The Finn class has been a part of the Olympic Games since its debut in Helsinki 1952, and the fleet is stocked with some of the biggest names in world sailing. This year's Finn Gold Cup was won by New Zealand's Andy Maloney, who was coming off a win at the 36th America's Cup as part of Emirates Team New Zealand. Second place on the podium went to Spanish sailor Joan Cardona, and 2019 Finn Gold Cup champion, Josh Junior, also of New Zealand, claimed third.

"It feels wonderful to have a successful week," said Muller. "It's a culmination of a lot of hard work after staying home, staying determined, working closely with a new coach, and trying new things."

A year of training in the U.S., much of that while international travel restrictions were in place, enabled Muller to maximize time on the water with his training group in Florida.

"I couldn't have done it without the team around me, especially US Sailing Team Head Coach Luther Carpenter and my training partner, Eric Anderson," continued Muller. "Our careful and continued work during COVID allowed us to make the most of the months stateside. This was essential to staying sharp through the unexpected final year leading up to the Games. I'm just so grateful for the people who pushed me and continue to support me."

Muller will now head home to Florida for two weeks of rest before returning to Porto. He will then train for 20 days with his Finn coach, Mark Andrews, taking the opportunity to log a final round of training before the fleet moves to Japan for Tokyo 2020.

For more information visit the event website.

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