Beach sports – Aiming high
by Ralph Doyle
Redondo Union High School sailors Micky Munns, 17, and Michael Fineman, 16, have embarked on a challenging campaign to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Sailing team. In November, Munns and Fineman placed fourth in the International 420 West Coast Sailing Championships in San Diego.
Last month, their efforts received a boost when they trained with San Diego Yacht Club head sailing coach Maru Urban, coach of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team in Rio De Janeiro.
The 12-foot I420 is a technically demanding boat that requires its two-person crew to lean out on a trapeze while managing a spinnaker, as well as jib and main sails.
In January, Munns and Fineman will travel to Miami Beach to compete in the North American I420 Championships. The following month, they will return to Miami for the I420 Midwinter Championships. Their goal is to qualify for the I420 World Championships in Newport, Rhode Island, in August. A strong finish in Newport will enhance their chances for joining the U.S. Sailing Team.
Munns and Fineman both compete for Redondo Union High in a league hosted by the King Harbor Yacht Club. Other local teams include Mira Costa, Rolling Hills Prep and Torrance.
Munns, a Redondo Beach native, began sailing US Sabots and Optimist Dinghies when he was 7. He joined the King Harbor Youth Foundation FJ (Flying Junior) Race Team at 13. The following year he and fellow Youth Foundation sailor Alex Shapiro won a decisive victory over a fleet of 30 in the FJ Area J Junior Olympics in San Diego.
Last year, Munns enlisted Fineman, who also raced with the King Harbor Youth Foundation.
Like Munns, Fineman began sailing US Sabots and Optimists Dinghies when he was 7 and at 13 joined the KHYF FJ race team. Last fall, as a Sea Hawk freshman, he a became a skipper on the school’s FJ racing team.
Munns and Fineman are enlisting support for their sailing campaign at GoFundMe.Com/I420Campaign. B