by Rich Roberts
A fair breeze Saturday erased Greg Douglas' opening stumble of a day earlier and lifted the 23-year-old Canadian into first place in the Finn class North American championships at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club.
Caleb Paine(6) and Rob Hemming cross tacks - Finn Class North American Championships 2014
'No major missteps at the top mark,' Douglas said, referring to Friday's failure to round the offset mark at the first windward mark of the first race.
He recovered to finish ninth, and even that was expunged when throwouts kicked in after the fifth race Saturday, leaving him with a scoreline of one – one – one – two - two for seven points, two ahead of Caleb Paine, his American training partner, with as many as three races remaining Sunday.
Caleb Paine leads Henry Sprague (l.) and Greg Douglas - Finn Class North American Championships 2014
The wind puffed up a bit from Friday's maximum of 4 1/2 knots to a south-southeast flutter of seven to eight knots Saturday.
'That little bit of extra pressure today was just enough for me to get the boat moving,' Douglas said.
Still, there were no whitecaps in sight but the forecast for Sunday was for the most popular Long Beach conditions: 15 knots from the southwest.
'That would be very pleasant and a lot of fun,' said Douglas, who at six - three and 217 pounds has the height and weight leverage to work a Finn.
Greg Douglas' 2 wins and 2 seconds lifted him into the lead - Finn Class North American Championships 2014
So although ABYC's own Erik Lidecis moved up to third place in the 18-boat fleet by beating Douglas and Paine in Saturday's last race (one – two - three)' I beat (Douglas) by about a foot,' he said---his 20 points leave him a lot to make up, although at six - ten and 225, 15 knots of wind would help.
'That would be perfect,' Lidecis said. 'If there's 15 knots, I'll stay (in third).'
And when the wind builds past 10 knots, the Finn class usually lifts sailing's anti-pumping rule, noted by the race committee posting the 'Oscar' flag.
Henry Sprague crosses Rob Hemming upwind - Finn Class North American Championships 2014
'When the Oscar flag goes up,' veteran Henry Sprague (currently fifth) noted, 'all hell breaks loose.'
It might be an interesting day.
The last day of racing east of Long Beach Harbor off Seal Beach is scheduled to start at noon, conditions permitting.
Finns leave the start line Saturday for second day of racing in the North American championships at ABYC - Finn Class North American Championships 2014
The Finn dinghy, designed by Rickard Sarby in 1949 and first sailed in the 1952 Olympic Games at Helsinki, Finland, has been raced in every Olympics since as the longest enduring Olympic class. The two-man Star class is gone from the Games but the Finns sail on as a singlehander for heavyweights, while smaller people sail Lasers.
The leaders (After five of nine races)
1. Greg Douglas, Royal Canadian YC, (9)-1-1-1-2-2, 7 points.
2. Caleb Paine, St. Francis YC, 1-2-(3)-2-1-3, 9.
3. Erik Lidecis, ABYC/Bahia Corinthian YC, (13)-8-2-3-6-1, 20.
4. Philip Toth, Mooloolaba YC, 5-3-5-5-5-(6), 23.
5 Henry Sprague, Long Beach/no club, 3-9-(11)-4-3-5, 24.
Complete Overall Results:
|1st||Finn||6||Caleb Paine||St. Francis YC|
|2nd||Finn||USA 75||Philip Toth||MYC|
|3rd||Finn||USA 741||Andy Kern|
|4th||Finn||5||Greg Douglas||Royal Canadian YC|
|5th||Finn||USA 40||Chuck Rudinsky|
|6th||Finn||69||Rob Hemming||Balboa YC|
|8th||Finn||USA 1214||Peter Connally||Newport Harbor YC|
|9th||Finn||59||Mike Dorgan||San Diego YC|
|10th||Finn||USA 505||Erik Lidecis||BCYC/ABYC|
|12th||Finn||132||Jim Hecht||Mission Bay YC|
|13th||Finn||USA 303||Joe Chinburg||Denver Sailing Assoc|
|15th||Finn||USA 1066||Glenn Selvin||Alamitos Bay YC|
|16th||Finn||USA 333||David Wilson||Ventura YC|
|17th||Finn||66||Rich Wright||Mission Bay YC|
|18th||Finn||100||Santiago Reyero||Mission Bay YC|
|20 DNC||20 DNC||40||40|
|18th||Finn||1213||Andras Nady||St Francis YC|
|20 DNC||20 DNC||40||40|