John Dane wins Finn US Nationals
Published on April 8th, 2018
John Dane topped the 27-boat fleet to win the 2018 Finn US National Championship held April 6-8 on Mobile Bay at Fairhope, AL.
Racing began on day one with winds in the 12-14 knot range out of the southwest. That wind held until the 4th race of the day when it shifted more to the south and picked up in velocity. Dane dominated the day with three bullets and a third.
After the first day of racing, the top five were John Dane, Darrell Peck, Gordon Lamphere, Rob Coutts and Stephen Landeau, respectively.
Day two dawned (sort of) with thunderstorms which lasted until mid-morning. Racing was postponed until just after noon when there was a short break in the rain which allowed the RC to get in two races for the day.
The first race of the day was very light with and shifty with the W2 course shortened after the third leg. Peck never lost his lead in the race and took line honors, followed by Coutts and Charles Rudinsky. There was quite a delay waiting for breeze, but when the breeze happened it was on!
The course went from having 2.3 knots from the west to 16 knots from the north, with higher gusts, in about a three minute time span. Race 2 of the day got underway and it was pretty much ‘Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride’, especially on the downwind legs. Several boats flipped with one losing a rudder and one breaking a boom. Peck, who flipped and lost his rudder about 50 feet from the finish line, managed to get back in his boat and manually work his sails to finish the race in 18th place.
One of the competitors who flipped, and was interviewed after the race, commented “I simply ran out of skill in those gusts.”
There were high hopes to get three races in on the final day but the wind gods apparently were not in favor of those hopes. Although Race 7 got underway with decent breeze – 7.8 knots from the NE at the start – the wind quickly laid and again became very shifty. Once again the race was shortened after the third leg with the top 3 finishers being Lamphere, Michael Mark, and Dane, respectively.
The competitors worked their way back to the start line, the RC desperately searched for a wind line moving their way, but it just wasn’t meant to be. AP over A was posted and all headed back to the harbor.
Final Results (Top 10 of 27; 7 races, 1 discard)
1. USA, John Dane, 1-3-1-1--1-3- ; 10
2. CAN, Darrell Peck, 2-2-3-2-1--6- ; 16
3. USA, Gordon Lamphere, 3-4-4-3--6-1- ; 21
4. USA, Rob Coutts, 4-5-7-8-2-2-- ; 28
5. USA, Stephen Landeau, 7-12-2-5-12-4-- ; 42
6. USA, Michael Mark, 8-1-8-12--12-2- ; 43
7. USA, Rodion Mazin, 6-[29/DNF]-6-4-8-5-17- ; 46
8. CAN, Adam Nicholson, 9-13-5-7-10-8-- ; 52
9. USA, Scott Griffiths, 10-6-12-6--9-13- ; 56
10. N/A, Adrian Pereira, -8-10-11-13-11-7- ; 60