At the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, Spanish Finn sailor Joan Cardona became the first Olympic medalist in the 73-year history of the Real Club Náutico de Palma.
The last day of racing in Japan’s Sagami Bay was intense both physically and emotionally, with Medal Races disputed in the following classes: Finn, 49er FX, 49er and Nacra 17.
The wind had shut off the day before, postponing racing, which put even more pressure on these medal races. On the final day of racing, the guest of honor was indeed the wind which, without ever reaching the strengths predicted in the meteorological reports, provided enough breeze for stiff competition. Still, the variable conditions posed challenges for teams that had fought and demonstrated a lot during the Olympic Games.
In the end, Spain celebrated a Bronze Medal won by Real Club Náutico de Palma’s Joan Cardona. A bronze that tastes like gold for.
Says Cardona: “This bronze tastes like gold! It was a very tough Medal Race, a very long week, we have given everything and the feeling is incredible. We knew that in such a small fleet it was very difficult to reach the Medal Race with a wide margin and it was going to be decisive, so we had to go out and give it our all. I had a bit of a bad time, especially at the beginning of the second beat, but I had to fight until the end—and I did. Coming into the last Olympic finish, I knew it would be the last I would do on a Finn, so I had to push all the way. I have always been clear that I wanted to do this in my life, and I did not see myself otherwise; I have put a lot of things aside, prioritizing sailing because it was my goal and I wanted to get to this day, to make this dream come true.”
Cardona thus says goodbye, in style, to the last Olympic Games of the Finn Class and his first Olympic participation, being, in addition, the youngest sailor in the fleet.