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Finn Class North American Championships - Caleb Paine wins at ABYC

by Rich Roberts on 19 May 2014
Paine (l.) shadows Douglas Rich Roberts
The Finn class North American Championships were supposed to be fleet racing, but San Diego's Caleb Paine turned the last two races Sunday into match races to take the title from Canada's Greg Douglas.

As others scrambled for third place---a contest swept by local veteran Henry Sprague, who won both races---Paine dragged Douglas, his Olympics training partner, into a feisty battle apart from the main fray.



As an onshore breeze fell short of forecasts at only six to ten knots, Paine was doing the math.

Everyone thought Douglas had thrown out his opening ninth place that resulted from failing to round the windward offset mark, but Paine, trailing by two points entering the last day, brought it back into play by forcing a worse finish in the next-to-last race.

'If I made him count his ninth it would change everything,' Paine said. 'So I raced him to the back of the fleet.'



When Douglas tried to escape, Paine was able to stay in control, as the rest of the fleet sailed its own race. Although Douglas eventually passed Paine, the tactics resulted in Douglas finishing 13th---third from last to Paine's 14th---in the next-to-last race.

But it was delicate strategy. In the last race Paine placed fourth to Douglas' seventh, which left the latter with 23 points, only one ahead of Sprague, while Paine discarded his 14th for a final tally of 16.

Now the top pair, each 23 years of age, will continue training together into the Finn world championships at Santander, Spain in September. No hard feelings?

'We've been sailing against each other since we were kids,' Paine said. 'It's a lasting friendship.'



Douglas: 'Let's just say we both plan to go to the (2016) Olympics.'

Paine, a member of San Francisco's St. Francis YC, currently is sixth in ISAF's Finn world rankings; Douglas, of the Royal Canadian YC in Toronto, is 21st---mostly because, Douglas said, 'I haven't sailed as many events.'

This was Paine's first Finn North American title. Douglas won it two years ago.

The result also was meaningful for Sprague, who at 68 is old enough to be their grandfather but still going strong.

'It's been a good year,' he said. 'I won the Zellerbach Regatta at San Francisco this year. I also won it in 1964---50 years ago.'

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 final leaders: (Eight races, one throwout)

1. Caleb Paine, St. Francis YC, 1-2-(3)-2-1-3-(14)-4, 16.
2. Greg Douglas, Royal Canadian YC, 9-1-1-1-2-2-(13)-7, 23.
3. Henry Sprague, Long Beach/no club, 3-9-(11)-4-3-5-1-1, 26.
4. Erik Lidecis, ABYC/Bahia Corinthian YC, (13)-8-2-3-6-1-5-2, 27.
5. Philip Toth, Mooloolaba YC, 5-3-5-5-5-6-3-(10), 32.

Complete Overall Results:

Rank Fleet SailNo HelmName Club Nat R1 R2 Total Nett
1st Finn 6 Caleb Paine St. Francis YC
USA
1 2 3 3
2nd Finn USA 75 Philip Toth MYC
USA
5 3 8 8
3rd Finn USA 741 Andy Kern  
USA
2 7 9 9
4th Finn 5 Greg Douglas Royal Canadian YC
CAN
9 1 10 10
5th Finn USA 40 Chuck Rudinsky  
USA
7 4 11 11
6th Finn 69 Rob Hemming Balboa YC
CAN
6 5 11 11
7th Finn 74 Henry Sprague  
USA
3 9 12 12
8th Finn USA 1214 Peter Connally Newport Harbor YC
USA
11 6 17 17
9th Finn 59 Mike Dorgan San Diego YC
USA
4 14 18 18
10th Finn USA 505 Erik Lidecis BCYC/ABYC
USA
13 8 21 21
11th Finn 23 Jim Hunter  
USA
8 13 21 21
12th Finn 132 Jim Hecht Mission Bay YC
USA
10 11 21 21
13th Finn USA 303 Joe Chinburg Denver Sailing Assoc
USA
16 10 26 26
14th Finn 401 Craig Johnson  
USA
15 12 27 27
15th Finn USA 1066 Glenn Selvin Alamitos Bay YC
USA
12 15 27 27
16th Finn USA 333 David Wilson Ventura YC
USA
14 16 30 30
17th Finn 66 Rich Wright Mission Bay YC
USA
17 17 34 34
18th Finn 100 Santiago Reyero Mission Bay YC
USA
20 DNC 20 DNC 40 40
18th Finn 1213 Andras Nady St Francis YC
USA
20 DNC 20 DNC 40 40
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