Mobile, AL – The 2019 Finn North American Masters Championships was held 11 to 14 April at Buccaneer Yacht Club on beautiful Mobile Bay. Twenty-seven competitors representing thirteen states from throughout the United States and the United Kingdom were treated to three breezy days of racing, as well as some breezy practices leading up to the event. Day one had the lightest breeze of the weekend at 12 to16 knots from Southeast bringing in some nice waves. Robert Kinney from California won the first race with Steve Landeau winning the remaining two races over Derek Mess and Michael Mark who were second and third respectively. The day ended with the top three competitors standing within 3 points of each other.
Day two dawned with strong Southeast winds, 15 to 20 knots forecasted to reach small craft advisory strength and exceed 25 knots. The waves had built steadily over the last two days and were now quite tall and steep in the relatively shallow Mobile Bay. Given the forecast, a number of the masters decided to stay on shore but those that sailed were treated to epic Finn conditions with o flag flying all day. While the top three remained unchanged, Landeau put a stranglehold on the first place with three bullets. Derek Mess and Michael Mark were second and third with only four points separating them. Robert Kinney and Scott “Red Rocket” Griffiths were tied in fourth only five points back.
A powerful front moved through the area Saturday evening leaving very strong and shifty offshore winds within 20-knot range. The first race saw a new race winner, Joe Chinburg crossed the line first with Scott Griffiths and Derek Mess close behind. Both Steve Landeau and Michael Mark sailed their throwouts so the podium positions were all still up for grabs going into the last race. Steve Landeau showed once again it was his regatta by winning the last race with Michael Mark in second thereby holding on to the third place overall.
It was agreed by all competitors that Buccaneer Yacht Club once again put on an excellent event with a top-notch race committee service provided by Ken Kleinschrodt and his assistants. Excellent breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner were served by Harvey Jordan and his minions. Beer and some great music Saturday night was provided by the organizers treating the Finn fleet a great time.
Written for USA Finn Association by Michael Mark.
Pictures courtesy of Joerge Kemnade and Danny Robertson.