The first ever gold medalist in the 49er class, Jyrki Jarvi of Finland, has been elected as president of the International 49er Class Association. Jyrki is a lifelong sailor in many classes of boats and crewed the Finish 49er to gold in Sydney 2000. October 7th was the 2020 AGM of the 49er Class and after an electronic vote the World Council selected Jyrki to lead the class going forward.
Since his sailing days he has remained a part of the 49er class as founder of the Finish 49er Grand Prix series and more recently as a coach of 49er and 49erFX teams. Jyrki has an extensive knowledge base in all aspects of sailing and sailing management with a strong base in the technical aspects of sailing and the competitive reality of the Olympic journey. He has extensive experience in sponsorship and TV, with the Finish 49er Grand Prix built and maintained over it’s long run as a grass roots organization for the introduction of new 49er teams in Finland.
The 49er Class would like to thank Tina Baylis (CAN) who ran for the presidential role of the 49er Class and received strong support in her bid.
Jyrki takes the helm of the class in a strong and stable state from outgoing president, Marcus Spillane. Marcus has been the class president since 2012, and was the class CEO (volunteer) from 2006 to 2012. Over that period of 14 years he has guided the class into a consistent entity for sailors to chase their dreams. Through massive efforts into class championships and the professionalization of the class management, Marcus has had a strong vision for how a class should be a conduit for the sailors and executed many improvements year on year.
In areas like media and especially live broadcasting, the 49er Class has been a world leader in putting fleet racing in front of sailing fans. The introduction of the FX for the women’s fleet brought additional stability to the class and allows female sailors the same chance to sail exciting boats like the men had previously enjoyed. Pioneering efforts in format and branding through flags and large sail numbers have shown a nimble organization able to progress and push within the Olympic structures.
The 49er class and the generations of sailors Marcus has impacted send a fond farewell to our long-time leader knowing that he will remain a part of the 49er class.