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

Author:
Updated:
Original:
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

IMG_9978

Charter: More for Your Money

Though summer may not be when you typically think of escaping to a tropical island, it could, in fact, be the perfect time for a charter holiday. Despite popular perception, the Caribbean isn’t hot as Hades during summer. In fact, the highs vary by only about 8 degrees F ...read more

Riley-and-Elayna,-Sailing-La-Vagabonde

Sailing in the YouTube Era

At the risk of both dating myself and being accused of gross hyperbole, I will say this: it was a bit like 1964 when the Beatles first landed in New York. What I’m referring to is last fall’s U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis. Playing the role of the Beatles were not one, but two ...read more

Bill-Hatfield-copy-1024x665

Cruising: Solo Circumnavigators

There seems to be no age limit for solo-circumnavigators. Not so long ago we had Californian Jeff Hartjoy set a record for the oldest American to sail around the globe solo, nonstop and unassisted, at the age of 70. A few months ago, 77-year-old Briton Jeanne Socrates became the ...read more

bookrev

Book Review: One-Pot Wonders

James Barber Harbour Publishing, $14.95 I’ll bet a filet mignon against a can of Dinty Moore that almost every cruising cook has read and discarded a goodly number of seagoing recipe books. Some are so simple as to be insulting. Others require too many exotic and perishable ...read more

_DSC7508

A Great Lakes Sailor Rediscovers Cruising

It had been seven years since I’d taken my Westsail 32, Antares, out for more than an afternoon day sail. Such is the reality when taking care of an elderly parent. However, a year ago my dad passed away at the age of 100, and after we sold the family home, I found myself living ...read more

45191357

New Boats: Hinckley Sou’wester 53

The history of sailing is replete with examples of boats being repurposed after their initial launch—think of the famed yacht America also doing service as a blockade runner in the Civil War. Rarely, though, has an updated design done half so well as the Hinckley Bermuda 50’s ...read more

kos

A Troubled Cruise to the Aegean Sea

My goal, I thought, was modest: two weeks from Cyprus to Mykonos and then two more weeks for the return via Santorini and Rhodes. Not too much to ask of a boat, skipper and crew that had crossed the Atlantic. I had even envisioned the article I would write: Five Best Isles of the ...read more