Australian Finn Nationals - Top two contenders fight to the finish
by Neville Wild on 10 Jan 2012
A strong fleet of 18 Finns contested the Kaenon International Finn Australian Championships at the Adelaide Sailing Club from the fourth to the eighth of January.
James Paterson - 2012 Australian Finn Champion - Peter Muirhead © http://www.petermuirhead.com
In total eight races were hotly contested in predominantly very fresh and spectacular sailing conditions on Saint Vincent Gulf in South Australia which provided exciting spectator involvement.
The racing was dominated by the fierce and incredibly physical on-water battle between local Finn champion James Paterson and the current UK champion Rob McMillan. These two supreme Finn sailors were never separated by more than one point and were either placed first or second in every race with the exception of two races sailed on the one lighter day when young up-and-coming Finn sailor Shaun Wells won both and showed his bright future in the class.
The Title of Australian Champion finally went to James Paterson, winning in the final race over Rob by the narrowest of margins. James joins an elite list of winners of this trophy including John Bertrand and Anthony Nossiter and is only the third South Australian to do so; the others being Olympians Chris Pratt and Peter Burford.
The championships were conducted in conjunction with the OK Dinghy Australian Championships and the combined regatta was expertly managed by Race Officer Malcolm Hughes and warmly hosted by members and staff of the Adelaide Sailing Club.
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