Northern Ireland’s Oisin McClelland was off form on Friday (24 January) on Biscayne Bay as two seventh-place finishes saw him slip from the third place he’d held in recent days to fourth overall, heading into the Finn medal race at the Hempel World Cup Series event today (Saturday 25 January).
The fifth and final day of fleet racing wrapped up with the light breeze posing more challenges for the 182 sailors from 45 nations across the 470, RS:X, Laser, Laser Radial and Finn fleets — and testing the nerves of those with so much at stake.
Friday’s weather forecast was mostly sunny with temperatures in the mid-20s C. The breeze was on the low end throughout the day in the 5-6 knot range, and prompted a lengthy postponement in the afternoon, following which only the Finns were able to complete their racing schedule.
However, Caleb Paine of the United States has already won Finn gold ahead of the medal race as he has an unassailable lead over Canada’s Kyle Martin.
Across the 10-race series, Paine has taken five race wins and four seconds. An 11th in Race 9 yesterday was his worst score of the week. Martin of Canada won Race 10 and now stands in second place. while Luke Muller (USA), who is even on points with Martin, is in third.
McClelland of Donaghadee Sailing Club now stands in fourth, three points behind Muller in the overall Finn standings, following his worst performance of the week after Race 1, since which he’d consistently finished in the top five (excepting a discarded eighth in Race 8) and even scored a first place in Race 6.
But overall his week in south Florida is sure to boost his confidence going into the Genoa World Cup and the European continental spot for the Tokyo Olympics this summer.
“I’m 100% focused on that and this event is a good warm-up,” he said earlier this week.
Today’s medal races will be available to watch live on YouTube starting just after 9am in Miami (2pm in Ireland), with the Finns currently scheduled to start at 11.24am local time (4.24pm Irish time).