Sunday, August 22, 2010

Luke Lawrence in the Finn Silver Cup

Luke Lawrence and I are entering the third day of the Finn Silver Cup regatta, held at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. I grew up here and have a lot of local knowledge to impart to Luke, and we are taking a tactical focus for the regatta. I have been making my own tide charts daily and briefing him every morning before racing.

Yesterday the International Finn Association published a press release about Luke's regatta, which I wanted to share below. You can see more about the regatta at

Apart from coaching Luke, I have been keeping busy. Last month I was tactician on Scout, a Sydney 41, competing in the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. I've also been doing some Laser training in preparation for the Laser Master's World Championships, held at Hayling Island, UK. This includes physical training, and last week I did my first ever century bike ride, the Marin Century Ride. I've got a lot to say about all of this, and I will be writing a couple more blogs to make up for my absence.

International Finn Association Press Release

Perfect day for Luke Lawrence!

After two victories in the second day of racing, Miami sailor Luke Lawrence takes the lead of the Finn Silver Cup. Josip Olujic (CRO) conserves his second place while Australian sailor Oliver Tweddell gains two places to third overall.

Despite saying on the first day to prefer light conditions, Luke Lawrence mastered the increasing breeze and the current to win both races today. "I had a good start from the pin end and managed to have a clear path to the left of the course with more current to lift me tothe top mark. I am not fast upwind but could keep good position on the course." With 93 kg (205 lb) Lawrence is one of the fleet's lightest. The breeze increasing from 13 knots in the first race to 20 in the second provided for athletic sailing. "I was fast on the run but often just in control!" Oliver Twiddell (AUS) and Jorge Zarif (BRA) finished in second and third place.

With increasing wind, the triangle course was set for the second race. Yesterday leader Caleb Paine (USA) rounded the top mark in top position after racing up the right side with Ioannis Mitakis (GRE). Coming from the left side, Josip Olujic (CRO) rounded in third.

Luke Lawrence (USA) was not in good shape to win his second race after a bad start and in seventh place at the top mark. "My first beat was not good. I was undecided and stayed too long in the middle where the island of Alcatraz stopped the current from pushing me towards the top mark. I had to make a decision and pick a side! Fortunately, I was able to gain some ground and a couple of places on the run." Lawrence won the race in front of Josip Olujic and Ioannis Mitakis.

At the end of the second day, Olujic is only three points from the lead. "I have very regular results. Before coming, Bambi (Ivan Gaspic, European champion and world #1) told me the key was to be consistent!" On the first race today I took a very good start but I got a penalty for rocking upwind and lost lots of places. I am fast downwind so I managed to pass a couple of boats on each run. Fourth is not bad for a race with a penalty!"

Regatta leader Luke Lawrence admitted that having John Bertrand's (USA) help was a real advantage. "John has sailed here all his life and knows the Bay like the back of his hand! It does help me build my confidence when I make a tactical choice on the water. He has a good perspective of my sailing and helps me go fast. We have worked together since May and already thanks to his help I was top three junior at the Finn Europeans." With Olympic selection in his mind, Lawrence knows he has to keep working hard. "There are good Finn sailors in the US. Zach Railey of course, but also Brian Boyd and Caleb Paine. Hopefully we will push each other to the top!"

Racing will continue on Sunday with races 5 and 6. The forecast is for building winds reaching 25 knots and stronger current which will provide for interesting racing.

For more information, contact Corrinne Mckenzie:
Results, videos, and more pictures on: www.

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