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Finn Gold Cup Underway In Melbourne

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  • Finn Gold Cup Underway In Melbourne

    Day One: U.S. Finn Sailors off to Solid Start in Opening Series of 2019 Gold Cup
    Day one of the 2019 Finn Gold Cup began wet and overcast but improved through the day to leave a pleasant 8 to 12 knot breeze on Port Philip. By mid-afternoon, the competitors were met with clear skies, rising temperatures, and the first real taste of summer for many of the athletes.

    After an hour-long delay to give the breeze a chance to fill in, the 60-boat fleet was on the water by 2 p.m. The first race started in a 9-12 knot southerly which later settled around 10 knots. The race committee was able to fire off two races for a solid opening day.

    Full Gallery © Robert Deaves
    US Sailing Team athletes, Luke Muller (Fort Pierce, Fla.) and Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.), are currently tied for 15th, along with fellow competitor, Max Kohlhoff of Germany. Paine finished both races in the top twenty, giving him a solid starting point for the regatta and Muller ended the day on a strong note, finishing in the top ten. Also representing the U.S., Eric Anderson (Chicago, Ill.) is currently tied for 40th place.

    With at least 10 races scheduled, the fleet has only scratched the surface of the opening series. There’s still a great deal of time to settle into what will become their overall positions in the standings. Over the next couple of days of racing, Muller, Paine, and Anderson will be looking to stay sharp in the oscillating pressure and power through long downwinds to get through the chop on Port Phillip.

    The opening series continues until Friday, with the final race and medal race scheduled for Saturday, December 21.

    Finn Gold Cup, U.S. Results:

    15th – Luke Muller, 26-10
    17th – Caleb Paine, 20-16
    42nd – Eric Anderson, 42-41



    MELBOURNE, AUS (Dec. 15, 2019) - On Monday, December 16, the last event of the 2019 Olympic class World Championships will begin with the 2019 Finn Gold Cup at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club, in Melbourne, Australia. Three of the total 63 competitors will be representing the United States. Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.), Luke Muller (Fort Pierce, Fla.), and Eric Anderson (Chicago, Ill.) have been training hard in Melbourne over the past several weeks and are looking forward to this week’s racing in Melbourne.

    The three U.S. athletes have been taking advantage of their time on the water to get familiar with the local conditions, which have been what Olympic Head Coach, Luther Carpenter (Cypress, Texas), dubs “classic Melbourne.” While the athletes have gotten a feel for the 12-23 knot winds with oscillating shifts, they’ve also been working on technique in fast-moving waves mixed with short, square chop that demand physical and technique-driven work.

    However, similar to most of the major Olympic class championships of 2019, it seems the forecasts for the upcoming week will shift to a warm and slow-building thermal most days. The southerly wind tends to take a while to fill in the massive Port Phillip Bay, and as the host site, Brighton, resides at the top of the bay, Carpenter thinks, “patience and anticipation will be the early skills to draw upon.” In anticipation of the slow-building thermal, the regatta schedule mimics the conditions with each first start scheduled for 1:00 p.m., local time, every day.

    The U.S. athletes have been preparing for this event for a long time and are looking forward to making the most of the racing. Caleb Paine had a long, travel-filled season preparing for this regatta. He has been particularly determined to maximize his time on the water since August. Paine trained in Holland for over a month in the early fall, then spent time in Toronto, and finally set up shop here in Melbourne just before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. He’s looking forward to demonstrating the skills he’s been working on, “I know it’s time to deliver the focus and effort I know I’m capable of. It’s been great to really put the time in, and I look forward to getting out and racing.”

    Paine’s fellow US Sailing Team athlete, Luke Muller, arrived in Australia in early November, to be surprised by cold temperatures and blustery conditions. He’s since seen the season change to the southern hemisphere’s early summer and looks forward to the regatta. “I am focused on keeping things simple and doing what I know in order to perform at the best of my abilities.”

    Eric Anderson will be the third and final sailor to wear the American flag on his sail this week. He continues his mission of gaining as much experience as possible in the highly competitive Olympic class world. Anderson’s fitness and abilities have certainly peaked for this event, and he will look to finish in his personal best major Finn event.

    All competitors have a long week ahead. The sailors and coaches are expecting the courses to be long with the wind delivering a variety of conditions. Long upwinds and constant pumping on endless waves will tire their bodies while anticipating opportunities to gain leverage in the oscillating shifts will test their mental endurance.

    Carpenter looks forward to getting out there, sizing up the large racecourse, and getting a good feel for the Melbourne southerly. “The Royal Brighton Yacht Club has been an amazing host, the local population is thrilled to have has us here, and the competitors all look primed to get this party started!”

    Racing is scheduled to begin on Monday, December 16 at 1:00 p.m., local time (GMT +11). Visit this page for daily updates on the U.S. athletes.
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  • #2
    Josh Junior In Control In Melbourne

    New Zealand’s Josh Junior has maintained his lead at the Finn Gold Cup in Melbourne, Australia after three races on Thursday in a moderate sea breeze. He will take a 13-point lead in to the final day of the opening series on Friday. Olympic champion, Giles Scott, from Britain, is up to second while defending world champion, Zsombor Berecz, from Hungary is up to third. Race wins went to Ed Wright, from Britain, Berecz and Scott.

    After no racing on Day 3, three races (Races 5-7) were scheduled on Thursday. Following a cool change overnight, temperatures had dropped down from 40C to 22C and with winds picking up considerably from Wednesday’s dead calm to a reasonably stable breeze of 13-17 knots. All three scheduled races were completed with plenty of opportunity for sailors to move up the leader board or to consolidate positions.

    In the first race of the day, Wright led all the way for a comfortable win. Jonathan Lobert, from France rounded second with Junior not far behind. Junior proved faster than Lobert on the downwinds to take second place, with Lobert crossing in third. Scott was originally scored BFD, but that was later overturned after it was established he was misidentified.

    Race 6 got underway first time with an individual recall for Turkey’s Alican Kaynar who led throughout the whole race but was scored OCS at the finish line. As a consequence, Berecz took the win after moving into second place before the second top mark rounding. Junior again moved up into the top three on the last downwind to finish third ahead of Jonathan Lobert, from France. Scott followed in fifth. After coming ashore Kaynar was given redress for the late display of the X flag at the start.

    In the final race of the day Scott made his move and took the lead at the second top mark rounding to take his first race win of the regatta and move up to second overall. Andy Maloney, from New Zealand, rounded the top in fifth and moved up to second by the finish, just ahead of Berecz, who had rounded the top mark in the lead.

    Berecz moves up to third overall after the best score of the day.

    “Finally the day that we were all waiting for arrived. This is why we love this boat, and finally today they let us work a bit.”

    “It was perfect conditions, 15 knots of sea breeze and three races. I made the most out of it but it was not easy. There were a lot of gusts I missed, especially downwind, and you really had to keep your eyes open all around the course and I made only a few mistakes.”

    “I think tomorrow will be the most crucial day. We will have the breeze from the land and it’s going to be very shifty. I think most of the guys will have a big discard tomorrow.”

    Race 5 winner, Wright said, “About 10 minutes before the start the wind came in at about 15 knots so it was a scramble to change settings and change sails, but we got away on time and I managed to win the first race. I was able to come off the line, hold my lane and extend from there. It was a pretty nice feeling.”

    “The second race wasn’t so easy and in the last race I was coming into the top mark in fifth and the mainsheet jumped out of the block and I capsized. I still managed to pull through, so not a bad day after all that.”

    “It was a difficult day with three long races and quite physical, with free pumping all day and a lot of hiking.”

    “Today was a proper Finn sailing day with nice breeze and waves. I was ready and looking forward to it, because I have been working a lot this winter for these kind of days, big races and very physical. I am very happy because in the first two races I managed to get a good start and get out of the line quite easy, and then I was alone so I could speed up and sail my lines and two times I was second to the top. But Josh was just too strong. Every time he was passing me on the downwinds and he had a little bit extra speed.”

    ‘In the beginning of the week I was struggling on the water. I was not on the good sits, but I was confident I could come back slowly during the week and tomorrow would be another day, so race by race so I hope I can make the medal race.”

    Junior has hardly out a foot wrong all week, discarding a fifth after seven races, along with some impressive comebacks after low top mark roundings.

    “We went out there and ended up with some glamour conditions, and some pretty cool waves and just got into it. It was shifting around a little bit and I found myself on the right side and managed a couple of good races, so I was pretty happy with the day.”

    "Andy and I have been working hard over the last year or two in the Finn and have definitely made a step up and have been going really quick. It's just about trying to get good starts and trying to put the boat in the right place and I think a couple of times I have been a bit lucky and managed to come back, but it goes in roundabouts and maybe tomorrow will be different."

    Tomorrow will be an interesting day with a strong wind warning from the north and temperatures in the mid 40s. Three more races are scheduled to conclude the opening series before Saturday’s final race and medal race.


    Results after 7 races
    1 NZL 24 Josh JUNIOR 16
    2 GBR 41 Giles SCOTT 29
    3 HUN 40 Zsombor BERECZ 34
    4 NED 89 Nicholas HEINER 34
    5 NZL 61 Andy MALONEY 35
    6 CRO 10 Nenad BUGARIN 55
    7 ESP 26 Joan CARDONA MÉNDEZ 61
    8 CAN 18 Tom RAMSHAW 61
    9 AUS 1 Jake LILLEY 63
    10 SUI 1 Nils THEUNINCK 65
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