Going strong at age 87, Rhode Island resident August “Gus” Miller is the oldest person ever to sail a Finn Gold Cup. Representing the Storm Trysail Club, Gus finished 53rd overall in the 2023 edition, hosted by the Coconut Grove Sailing Club in Miami, FL January 24-31. With 58 sailors from 16 countries, this event is the International Finn Class World Championship.
Results are posted at https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=15268.
Sailing Scuttlebutt reports:
“The highlight was Race 7 when [Gus] rounded the top mark in the top 20 to whoops from those watching this remarkable sailor. He finished 33rd in that race.”
“Even at 87 years old his mark roundings were flawlessly smooth, and he even had his luff curve recut prior to the event, critiquing it with his experienced eyes. He inspired admiration and awe from all the other competitors, many of whom helped him get afloat each day.”
Gus raced in the 2023 Gold Cup with #USA 975, 1970s-vintage Vanguard Finn that was rebuilt by Peter Frissell, President of the USA Finn Association.
Our Contributing Editor Joe “Coop” Cooper, who maintains that the 4.5 metre (14’ 9” LOA) Finn will always be “THE Olympic Singlehander” (https://www.windcheckmagazine.com/article/the_finn_dinghy_the_olympic_singlehander/), recalls competing with Gus at the 1977 North American Championship in San Francisco.
Special thanks to Dave Hemenway for sharing this great photo of Gus by Robert Deaves, a professional photographer from England. We’ll have Dave’s Gold Cup report (and more of Robert’s images) in an upcoming edition of WindCheck.
Dave cites (and Coop confirms) renewed enthusiasm for “The Classic Power Dinghy” in the Northeast. The new Classic Finn Organization was created to encourage the rebuilding of old Finns and sailing them in a series of regattas around the area.
“We have established a four-Finn fleet at Thames Yacht Club in New London, Connecticut,” says Dave. “Last fall we had the first Thames River Finn Championship, which attracted six sailors and was a big success.”
The Classic Finn Organization is online at https://www.classicfinns.org, and Dave will be sharing more on these pages later this season.
The Finn Class is on the web at https://www.facebook.com/InternationalFinnClass/