Thursday, 13 May 2010

Rising stars

Two young sailors here, Caleb Paine (USA) and Luke Lawrence (USA) are both
part of the US Sailing Development Team. While this is Lawrence's first Finn
championship, Paine's introduction was at last year's Finn Gold Cup in
Denmark. Both are very ambitious sailors with Olympic dreams for 2012 and
2016.

Both are also just 19 years old and gunning for the Junior European
Championship this week. But how did they get into the Finn?

Paine said, "I actually started in a Finn last year through the guys in the
US, especially Scott Mason and Peter McDonald who helped me out a lot.
Basically they realised I was too big for the Laser and said, "Here, try a
Finn". So I tried it and loved it. I signed up and bought a boat and here I
am."

"I did the Finn Gold Cup in Copenhagen last year and the OCR in Miami this
year. I am going to try and do the circuit this year and if I can get
funding from Alphagraphics for next year it would help me a bunch."

Talking about his long term goal to represent the US in the Olympics he
said, "For me it's extremely important to have a boat for heavyweights in
the Olympics. If I don't have a boat to sail in the Olympics it sort of
takes that dream away from me. And from many other people as well. At the
moment the Finn is the ideal boat for that."

"Lawrence said, "I started off back in January. I was training for the OCRs
in the Laser and in the process of going to the gym I put on about 10
pounds, which made me too heavy for the Laser so I decided to take the next
step with the Finn. So I found a boat and sailed the OCRs. I did pretty
well, so decided to stay with it. I made the US Sailing development team and
they shipped my boat over here and I have been doing all the events since."

"I love sailing the Finn. I have also been sailing the 505 for a few years.
It's different to the Laser. Technically it's more my thing. I enjoyed the
Laser but I got a bit bored with it after a bit. The Finn is constantly a
new challenge every time I go sailing."

"My long terms goals are the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Right now I am working
with John Bertrand full time. He's a really good coach. We work well
together."

Lawrence weighs in at 88 kg and admits "I am still a bit small for the Finn
but I'm still putting on weight and building muscle to handle the boat."
Paine, who currently weighs 100 kg said, "I have put on a lot of muscle
since last year."

After two races Paine lies in 39th place though he says, "My goal for the
week is top 20 overall." Lawrence, whose goal is "...top three in the
Juniors," lies in 32nd and is second Junior, though there is already a
sizeable gap to last year's Junior Champion Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) who is in
19th place. Third place is currently held by Christoph Froh (GER).

Lawrence concluded, "The best part so far is the learning curve. I got a
second in the Youth Worlds and I had fun with that, but I got to a point in
the Laser where I was once I got too heavy I was just starting to suffer a
lot and didn't want to just eat salad to sail my boat. For me, I like
sailing singlehanded boats at the moment and I definitely want to go for the
Olympics."

1 comment:

  1. Great story! Thank you for covering the Jrs. They are working very hard to be there and some coverage is always nice to see!
    Gloria Lawrence

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