West Marine US Open Sailing Series Miami

Finns were the 3rd largest class at the West Marine US Open Sailing Series Miami this year.  Sailing out of Coconut Grove Sailing Club, we were able to enjoy the great hospitality of the Miami Fleet.

Friday was a day of light air.  Only one race sailed and was won by legend Larry Suter with Rodion Mazin in second ahead of Peter Frissell.

Saturday arrived with light winds, much to Larry and Peter’s delight.  Picking the shifts in the oscillating breeze, out of the Northeast, made for a challenging first three races that day.  A line of clouds built up on the left-hand side of the course for the last race.  The wind followed Stuart Walker’s instructions and shifted to the left, and those old enough to remember Stuart Walker made hay on the left side.  The rain came and the wind started to build.  Everyone pulled on their outhauls, Cunninghams, and whatever preparing for the big breeze.  Either fortunately or unfortunately, the wind promptly died again. John Dane was able to hold onto his lead for a win in the final race that day.

Sunday was the day for paybacks as the breeze finally showed up along with smiles on the big boys.  The first race saw a tight battle on the left side of the course up the first weather leg. Larry Suter decided not to join the battle and went off to the right ending up first around the top mark. In the second race lightweights, Peter and Larry tried to get a jump on the fleet but the ever-vigilant RC wasn’t going to let that happen, declaring both OCS. The wind varied between 13-21 knots with relatively large shifts catching both John Dane and Dave Martin by surprise on the runs.  At least we assume that is the reason why they decided to give their centerboards a close inspection during the races. At the end of the day, Rodion (a)Mazin won all three races with John Dane, Dave Martin, and Scott the Rocket Griffith all getting a 2,3,4.  Final results here: https://scoring.sailti.com/public/download/overall-pdf/5175/33

The racing was certainly competitive on the water but on-shore the camaraderie showed what it is all about.  Everyone was helping others with getting boats in and out of the water along with fixing and tuning things.  Our hats off to the Race Committee for doing an excellent job under some trying conditions.

Photos courtesy of US Sailing Communications Director, Allison Chenard.

P.S. The Coconut Grove Sailing Club is the host of the 2023 Finn Gold Cup and with the proper preparation can be an easy place to sail out of. Plenty of hotels/Airbnbs around within walking distance. Plan your trip to the 2023 Finn Gold Cup here:  https://www.fgcmiami2023.com/registration

By Peter Frissell

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Rodion Mazin