Skip to main content

SAIL Olympics Update: U.S. takes bronze in the Finn class

Opening-photoLanding

Finn sailor Caleb Paine has gotten the U.S. Sailing Team back into the medal business for the first time since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, winning bronze after dominating today’s medal race with a first-place finish. Paine went into today’s race in fourth place, but more than made up for the 5-point deficit that existed between him and Croatia’s Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic, who ultimately finished the medal race in last place, dropping him from third to fifth overall. Sweden’s Max Salminen, who had been tied with Paine on points, finished the medal race in eighth.

In pulling off his come-from-behind medal effort, Paine not only exorcised the ghosts of the 2012 London Olympics (where the U.S. Team failed to win a single medal) but showed real guts, separating from the fleet in order to get the job done. In fact, early on it looked like Paine was going to come up short. First, there was a somewhat slow start. Then, as Paine went to the right side of the course on the first beat while the rest of the fleet went left, it looked like he had made a terrible mistake as the rest of the fleet surged ahead.

Moments later, though, a combination puff and right slant propelled him to the front of the pack just shy of the windward mark, and after that, there was no catching him. In fact, his finish delta was one of the larger ones of the regatta, with only one other sailor—gold-medal winner Giles Scott, who had already clinched victory two days earlier with a race to spare—even close. Silver medal winner Vasilij Zbogar of Slovenia finished the medal race in sixth.

bronzeMedal

"It's been a tough battle for me, and I feel fortunate to come up with a medal in the end," said Paine afterward. "I saw quite a bit of breeze coming down the right side [on the first leg], I hitched out there, and then was continuously playing the right. I just saw the wind, and sailed towards it."

In other medal action, although the wind was much lighter for the Laser Radial medal race (being the first medal race of the day with the wind still building) there was no less excitement. Going into the race Dutch sailor Marit Bouwmeester was in first with a seven-point cushion over second-place Anne-Marie Rindom of Denmark. But Rindom had Ireland’s Annalize Murphy was just two points behind her, setting up another emotional showdown.

Sure enough, Murphy was able to break away from the other two sailors, finishing in fifth while Bouwmeester finished seventh and Rindom finished eighth, which was enough to vault Murphy over the Dane giving her the silver medal, while Bouwmeester held onto gold and Rindom won bronze.

Soon afterward, there were yet more fireworks in the Laser medal race, with more wind and some cutthroat match-racing tactics in the beginning, with Australian Tom Burton, in second-place overall, maneuvering fleet leader Tonci Stipanovic of Croatia into a penalty just before the start.

After that, it was a battle royal between third-place Sam Meech of New Zealand, fourth-place Jean Baptiste Bernaz of France and legendary Brazilian sailor Robert Scheidt in fifth who already had five Olympic medals going into the 2016 Games. Not until the entire fleet had crossed the line were the final positions decided, with Burton finishing in third, which was enough to win the gold thanks to Stipanovic’s finishing much farther back in ninth (which relegated him to silver). Taking bronze was Meech, despite Scheidt’s winning the actual medal race.

Finally, in the Nacra 17 medal race, U.S. sailors Bora Gulari and Louisa Chafee made a great showing for themselves by finishing in fourth place, which put them in eighth place overall for the series. Winning gold by a single point was Argentina’s Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli, who managed to prevail despite sustaining no less than two penalties. Taking second were Australia’s Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin. Winning bronze were Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank of Austria.

Tomorrow there will be medal races for 470s, with U.S. sailors Stu Mcnay and Dave Hughes taking part in the men’s class final, and Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha sailing in the women’s. For complete results in the sailing events, click here.

August 2016

Related

m138123_14_00_210609_TORE02_SE_2152_2504-2048x

The Ocean Race to be “Climate Positive”

The 2023 Ocean Race intends to be one of the world’s first climate positive sporting events, offsetting more greenhouse gasses than are produced. The two-fold effort means cutting emissions by 75 percent and investing in ocean projects that sequester carbon and restore ocean ...read more

01-LEAD-Ancients-3-2048x

Cruising Lake Superior

Almost anywhere a sailor drops the hook someone else has been there before. We are hardly ever the first. That remote Maine harbor without a soul in sight: there’s a lobster trap. The south coast of Newfoundland: the crumbling remains of a fisherman’s cabin lie hidden among the ...read more

01-LEAD-Tablet-Holder-4

Fabricating a Tablet Holder

During the pandemic, I was stuck aboard Guiding Light, a Lagoon 410, in St. Lucia for over a month. During that time, as I worked on the boat, I started by doing a spring cleaning in my spares locker and finding some parts and material that I forgot I had. As soon as I saw them, ...read more

00-LEAD-AdobeStock_486335954

A Catamaran for a New Era

Anacortes, Washington, is an unassuming sea-salty town near the San Juan Islands of Puget Sound, and the Betts Boats yard is easy for a passerby to miss. But within Betts’ facilities, the dawn of an era in Pacific Northwest production boatbuilding could be breaking with the ...read more

X5_plus_slide-01

Boat Review: Xquisite X5 Plus

The Xquisite X5 Plus is a major update of the boat that SAIL awarded Best Large Multihull and Best Systems titles in 2017. The changes were not just cosmetic, but genuine improvements to an already fine boat, making it lighter, faster and less dependent on fuel. The builder’s ...read more

01-LEAD-AdobeStock_40632434

Cruising: Offshore Prep Talk

When I began preparing Minx, my 1987 Pearson 39-2, for extended Caribbean cruising, I had to balance my champagne wish list against my beer budget. Every buck spent on the boat before leaving would be one less frosty can of Carib down in the islands. On the other hand, I had to ...read more

m5702_RACE-AREA-6

Barcelona Venue Shaping Up

The decision to host the next America’s Cup in Barcelona ruffled the feathers of some fans, but the Defender is happy with how the venue is shaping up. The process of allocating team bases, spectator zones and the race village is underway. “I cannot speak highly enough of the ...read more

ELAN-GT6---273

Boat Review: Elan GT6

Elan’s first sporty “Grand Turismo” yacht, the 43ft GT5, launched in 2017, and was actually a bit of a mash-up. It combined an existing go-fast hull from Elan’s sexy E5 racer with a new deck and interior optimized for cruising comfort, and a somewhat detuned rig to create a ...read more