LA SALLE, Mich. – The Great Lakes Finn Championship was hosted again this year by the ever accommodating North Cape Yacht Club from the 6th to 7th of July. Despite storm cells blowing in on Saturday and high water flooding the Club grounds on Sunday, the RC was able to get the 2019 series off and complete. The Championship honour went to Rodion “Rody” Mazin again this year, with brother Nikita “Nik” Mazin taking second place, and Simon van Wonderen in third.
Joining the event this year was first time Finnster Peter “PVR” van Rossem, champion DN sailor fresh off the Canadian ice. Returning local Will Libcke took a break from designing foil shapes at WMU sporting a new low resistance skinsuit that got some attention from the female Lightning and Snipe sailors sharing the course. Steve Marrow, also local to La Salle, made the right decision to put his feet in the hiking strap of his Finn and not one of his many other boats sailing that weekend, apparently inspired after hearing that John Miller risked his health to make it out sailing despite having picked up a severe hangover in Buffalo. “Slim Shady” Peter Frissell again played fabulous host, flipping steaks and showing the travelling sailors his massive home collection of Shad Flies.
The Finn sailors participated in two days of tuning and training ahead of the regatta. Led by Coach Rody who, despite sometimes being at a loss for comprehensible words, mustered the sailors through countless starting drills and practice races in anticipation of the big event. Newbie Finn sailor PVR impressed the fleet with early speed in his 90’s Abbott sometimes matched by Nik in his vintage late 70’s Vanguard, both hanging in with Slim Shady in his Devoti hull newly painted after last year’s haircut.
Saturday racing was postponed and eventually blown off for the day due to advancing storms cells, which meant for another afternoon of practice for the Finns. That night the NCYC put on a great steak dinner. The Sunday racing was met with an early start in the 10-15 knot NE breeze which meant for shifty racing with big waves – perfect Finn sailing conditions. Rody lead the fleet with straight bullets. Not far behind was a hard fought battle for second and third, with Nik taking second place in a late 70’s Vanguard still fast after Gus Miller’s tweaks from prior years and leaving Simon van Wonderen to pick up the 3rd place position on the tie breaker.
Thanks to Peter Frissell and the NCYC for hosting another great event. And to travelling support crews for participating, Daria and Irene, returning Finn junior Philip, and Lana who had a nice introduction to the NCYC.
Next event is the annual Toilet Bowl Regatta on beautiful Lake Cazenovia, NY. Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the event and played host for the North American Championship. https://vimeo.com/284562630
By Simon van Wonderen
Pictures by Paula Anderson