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

Author:
Publish date:
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

albintoilet

Gear: Albin Pump Marine Toilet

Head Start Is there room for a new marine toilet? Albin Pump Marine thinks so, having just introduced its line of Swedish-built heads—ranging from compact to full-size models—to the American market. The toilets feature vitreous porcelain bowls and either wooden or thermoplastic ...read more

07n_45R2699

Multihull Sailor: Classic Cats

If you’re looking for a decent sub-40ft cruising cat, you have few choices when it comes to new-boat offerings. It is a well-known fact that the multihull market has taken off in a way very few could have predicted. Despite Hurricane Irma’s recent destruction of a large part of ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Thanks a bunch  This scene is very calm and seamanlike. No frantic rope throwing or shouting. As he passes the line to the gent on the dock, the crew on the boat says, quietly and clearly, “Would you ...read more

mcarthy-and-mouse

Experience: McCarthy and the Mouse

Sitting at the helm in a light breeze, my arms crusted with a fine rime of salt, my skin so dry I’d lost my fingerprints, I heard a clatter and a curse from below. There were only three of us a thousand miles from shore and only one on watch at a time. Usually, the off watch lay ...read more

2018-giftGuide

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Brass Yacht Lamp Does someone on your gift list spend the whole winter missing the warm days on the water? Let them bring a little bit of nautical atmosphere home with this new lamp from Weems & Plath. The glass enclosure means the flame cannot be blown out even by ...read more

image001

Opinion: On Not Giving Up Sailing

E.B. White was 64 when he wrote his now-famous essay “The Sea and the Wind That Blows,” which begins as a romantic paean to sailing and then drifts, as if spun around by a pessimistic eddy of thought, into a reflection on selling his boat. Does an aging sailor quit while he’s ...read more

1812-JeanneaueNewsVideo

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410

Designed by Marc Lombard, the Sun Odyssey 410 shares much in common with her older siblings including of course, the walk-around deck. Other features that set the 410 apart from other models being introduced this year include the 410’s “negative bow” shape allowing for a longer ...read more