It was full on today! Falmouth delivered a day that can only be described as extreme, when you see the best in the world chicken gybing at the reach mark, and catastrophic capsizes prevalent you know the conditions are TOUGH! But it was the 'TOUGH' men in the fleet that battled it out for supremacy.
Greg Douglas Photo: Robert Deaves
Greg Douglas, once again showed that when it gets tough he is as game as anyone, a 15th in the first race on the day was followed up by a 2 and a seventh as the conditions ramped up to their fullest. Douglas said, 'I saw the forecast this morning and put a little post on Facebook that I was going to teach the old boys how its done today and the wind picked up, the waves got big, it was a really good one out there today. In the second race coming around the reach Ed capsized at the gybe and then Ben got inside me at the gybe, but getting passed by Ben Ainslie was not the worst.'
This stellar day vaulted Greg up to 14th overall with a final fleet race to spare. More significantly his dominant day combined with some ill fortune for Chris Cook sees Greg wrap up the Olympic berth for Canada in the Finn Class. For those of you that know the Cooker you can only feel for him, there are few that bring more game, and fewer still that are willing to preserve through the pain more than him. Today was not his day, crippled by a severe head cold and flu bug Cooker took the battle to them and at one point in the second race of the day was in third, only to suffer a devastating capsize with spitting distance of the leeward mark. This unfortunately took the last out of this warrior and ended his day.
A special mention must go out to Chris here for raising the game amongst all the Canadian Finn sailors, setting the bar and challenging the men to raise their collective games. So the trials ends for Chris and a huge congratulations to Greg, with a special shout out to the Cooker for making it all happen and keeping the Canadian Finn team amongst the premier Nations. As Cooker says, 'now we are on to bigger things!', which will undoubtedly include ensuring Greg is set to do battle at the Games.
Ben Ainslie continues to demonstrate that he is the man to beat heading into Weymouth, wrapping up yet another Finn Gold Cup title with the medal race to spare. Country man Ed 'Fingers' Wright, was game to the challenge but is left to settle for the Silver Medal also without challenge during the medal race. The bronze medal remains up for grabs with Jonas Hoeg-Christensen of DEN holding an 8 point lead over a pair of sailors for CRO and FIN. This battle will be the one all are glued to tomorrow during the final Medal Race showdown.
Epic does not describe this type of day, breaking waves in the 3-4 metre range combined with the 20-25 knots of pressure demonstrated why the Finn is a 'man's' boat, that can humble even the best.