Caleb Paine dominated the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami, USA, to win with a day to spare counting five race wins and four second places. Canada’s Kyle Martin also sailed an exceptional regatta to place second while Luke Muller took bronze after a week of different conditons.
The Miami event acted not only as the Tokyo North America Continental Qualifier but also as leg 2 of the USA Olympic Trials. Mexico’s Juan Perez Soltero secured the place after a tough battle with Bermuda’s Rockal Evans. Evans, who has been in the class for five years, had the early advantage, as they traded results in the first part of the week. Then Soltero who is a relative newcomer at his first Finn event, found his form and dominated he second half while Evans picked up a string of high scores. It was over before the medal race, with Soltero securing the first Olympic Finn place for Mexico since 1992.
Muller started the week leading the USA trials after a better performance in the Gold Cup in Mexico, and he still leads gong into the final event at the Finn Gold Cup in Palms, in May, but with a reduced points lead. After not really hitting top gear in Melbourne, Paine, the 2016 Bronze medalist looked confident, and made good decisions and was fast around the course. The final battle in Palma is going to be tight.
While the fleet in Miami was relatively small at 14, it contained several sailors who are preparing for the final Olympic qualifier in Genoa in April, where a single European place in Tokyo is up for grabs, with upwards of 10 countries in the mix. This week, Oisin McClelland, from Ireland sailed one of his best weeks ever, in contention for the bronze up until the final downwind in the medal race.
Miami produced a real mix of conditions, starting medium and heavy, then turning very cold (4 degrees) and then very light at the end.
In the very light wind medal race, Facundo Olezza, who had already won two aces but also had two letter scores for starting early, took control out of the start to win the pin and the left to lead round the top and all the way to the finish. For a while McClelland was in and out of the bronze medal position, with Muller way behind in seventh. However a second beat recovery from Muller left him right behind McClelland, who needed to put two boats between them. A yellow flag for Muller on the final downwind offered McClelland some hope, but there were not enough boats between them. Kyle Martin sailed another great race to cross second to secure the silver while Muller crossed in sixth to take the bronze.
Final Results (medal race in brackets)
1 USA 6 Caleb Paine 29 (8)
2 CAN 2 Kyle Martin 40 (2)
3 USA 91 Luke Muller 48(6)
4 IRL 9 Oisin Mcclelland 51 (5)
5 ARG 48 Facundo Olezza 57 (1)
6 MEX 1 Juan Perez Soltero 64 (3)
7 RUS 1 Alexey Selivanov 69 (9)
8 UKR 573 Georgii Paches 69 (10)
9 USA 14 Eric Anderson 87 (4)
10 BER 9 Rockal Evans 94 (7)
Full results here