Finn North American Championships - Racing for glory at Alamitos Bay

Finn North Americans
Danny Robertson
We are halfway into a mad month of May and the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club is shifting gears from training Olympic sailing hopefuls to racing for Finn class glory Friday through Sunday.

It's the Finn North American Championships, with competitors' eyes on South America two years hence when Brazil is scheduled to host the 2016 Games.

The usual Memorial Day Regatta May 24-25 for various classes and the Laser class North American Championships June 12-15 follow a month-long training session for many of the 42 US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider campaigners currently polishing their world class talents in the Olympic classes with eyes on Rio de Janeiro.

The Finn fleet has at last count 19 entries from coast to coast and Canada, led by 2012 NA champion Greg Douglas from Toronto. The defending champion from 2013 would be Darrell Peck from Gresham, Ore., but he'll just be coaching this weekend.

'I planned on racing but I hurt my back doing something stupid,' he said. 'I was picking up one of those big plastic water bottles and twisted something. It laid me out flat for three weeks, so I'm coaching three of the Masters guys.'

In his absence, Peck likes Douglas' chances.

'He's been sailing smart and sailing fast,' Peck said.

(file photo -- no ID) - Finn class North American championships at ABYC
Rich Roberts

Other podium prospects are 2012 U.S. champion Caleb Paine, a member of the Sperry Top-Sider group in training; local veteran Henry Sprague, third in the 2013 NAs; Philip Toth of Panorama City, Calif., and Erik Lidecis from nearby Huntington Beach who placed third among 286 boats in last year's Masters Worlds.

The schedule calls for as many as nine races over the three days in the greater Long Beach Harbor, starting at noon each day, conditions permitting.

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 the singlehander for heavyweights, while smaller people sail Lasers.

'I outgrew the Laser when I hit 185 pounds,' Peck said. 'The thing about a Finn is you can be fast from 200 to 255 pounds, which is where I'm at now. You just have to set up the boat differently.

(file photo -- no ID) - Finn class North American championships at ABYC
Rich Roberts

'I was talking to a guy who jumped into Finns after trying to stay light enough to sail a Laser for years. As soon as he bought a Finn he changed the name to 'All You Can Eat.' '

Peck also is into special boat names.

'I've had 'Suicidal Tendencies' ... 'Lunatic Fringe.' You go downwind in big waves and big breeze in a Finn and it's nothing but exciting.'

Registrants For
Finn North American Championship
Alamitos Bay Yacht Club
May 16-August 18, 2014
19 people have registered for this event

Finn Class

   

Skipper/Crew

Bow# / Sail#

Class

Hometown

Country

1.

Mike Dorgan

TBD

Finn Class,

San Diego, Ca USA

USA

2.

Glenn Selvin

USA 1066

Finn Class,

Huntington Beach, California USA

USA

3.

Rob Hemming

CAN9

Finn Class,

Toronto, Ontario CAN

CAN

4.

David Wilson

USA 333

Finn Class,

Ventura, CA USA

USA

5.

Henry Sprague

74

Finn Class,

Long Beach, CA USA

USA

6.

Greg Douglas

5

Finn Class,

Toronto, Ontario CAN

CAN

7.

Erik Lidecis

USA 505

Finn Class,

Huntington Beach, CA USA

USA

8.

Caleb Paine

6

Finn Class,

San Diego, California USA

USA

9.

Peter Connally

USA 1214

Finn Class,

Newport Beach, CA USA

USA

10.

Andras Nady

1213

Finn Class,

Berkeley, CA USA

USA

11.

Darrell Peck

USA 10

Finn Class,

Gresham, OR USA

USA

12.

Rich Wright

66

Finn Class,

San Diego, CA USA

USA

13.

Charles Heimler

USA 32

Finn Class,

Berkeley, CA USA

USA

14.

Philip Toth

usa 11

Finn Class,

panorama city, ca USA

USA

15.

Joe Chinburg

USA 303

Finn Class,

Arvada, CO USA

USA

16.

Jim Hecht

16

Finn Class,

San Diego, California USA

USA

17.

Andy Kern

USA 741

Finn Class,

Long Beach, CA USA

USA

18.

Santiago Reyero

100

Finn Class,

San Diego, CA USA

USA

19.

Chuck Rudinsky

usa 40

Finn Class,

exeter, nh USA

USA

 

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Event website
http://www.sail-world.com/122148