MIAMI, Fla. (January 31, 2013) – It was a critical day of racing for the ten Olympic and two Paralympic classes at the 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami. As the fleet series winds down for these events and in some cases new racing formats go into motion, the time is now for sailors to make a run at the leaderboard.
The regatta’s largest event this year is the Laser, which features 70-boats in gold and silver fleets. Sweden’s Jesper Stalheim finished the first series, which concluded yesterday, with the lead and he finished today on top of the leaderboard in the new series. He was third and second today, while Charlie Buckingham (USA) overtook second place after winning race nine in the new series. The World #3 Bruno Fontes is in third.
“With the new carryover system and the bonus points for wins they have here for scoring, I’m not sure what will happen. It should be interesting,” said Stalheim. “Yesterday, everything fell into place. I’m here to work on my starts and I did well with that. It’s a really good fleet this week, especially a year after the Olympics.” Stalheim finished third at the Laser European Championship (France) in June and won the Laser Europa Cup (Denmark) in September.
Fontes finished #13th at the Olympics and second last year at World Cup Miami. “Keeping the clean starts with good speed has helped me a lot this week,” said Fontes. “I’m a smaller guy so to be good in strong wind I need to work a lot in the gym. Now I need to improve a bit more in light wind because the main goal is Olympics, and Rio is light wind. For me, Rio is the highest goal in my life. With the Olympics in my home country, I am excited to work hard to be ready and do my best to get a medal.”
The Laser Radials also started a new series this morning. Paige Railey (USA) asserted herself by winning the two of three races today. She has won three of the last four races to take a two point lead. Her discard is a six. Finishing second twice today was Ireland’s Annalise Murphy. She started the new series with a lead. The World #5 Tuula Tenkanen won race seven.
The Finns wrapped up another competitive day of racing and Caleb Paine (USA) extended his lead to seven points. The Finn U.S. National Champion won race seven and was third in race eight. World #1 and ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne Champion Brendan Casey (AUS) is in second. He was third and second today. Casey is impressed with the new wave of talent in the Finn class.
“I’ve come to Miami to race against the world’s best that are currently sailing to see where I stack up,” said Casey. “I’m 35 years of age now, so I’m probably at the tail end of my sailing, but I’m still very competitive. The younger guys like Caleb Paine are at the start of their sailing journey and Greg Douglas too. Those are the two guys to watch out for in the future.”
In the Men’s 470, Matthias Schmid and Floran Reichstaedter (AUS) had a disappointing day on the water and American’s Stuart McNay and David Hughes catapulted to an 11-point lead. McNay and Hughes were second and first in today’s races, while Schmid and Reichstaedter were 10th and 11th. The 11 becomes their discard and the 10 applies to their score.
In the Women’s 470, Brazil’s Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan are pulling away. Their win in race seven and fifth in race eight put them in the lead by 12 points over China’s Xiaomei Xu and Chunyan Yu.
Dorian Van Rijssbelberghe (NED) excelled in Thursday’s quarterfinal series by finishing first, second and third today in the Men’s RS:X event. Finland’s Tuuli Petäjä took control of the Women’s RS:X event by winning two of three races this afternoon in the quarterfinals. Both events conducted quarterfinal repechage rounds. For a detailed explanation of the Laser and Laser Radial scoring format, see the section at the bottom of the recap.
Despite a tenth place finish in race eight, Fred Strammer and Zach Brown (USA) maintain a six point lead in the 49er event. They posted third place results in race seven and nine. Ryan Pesch and Trevor Burd (USA) moved into second place.
Brazil’s Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze held ground on Thursday in the 49er FX. They lead Anna Tunnicliffe and Molly Vandemoer (USA) by five points. Grael and Kunze won race 12, while Tunnicliffe and Vandemoer won race 10. Both teams have a six as their discard.
Sarah Newberry and John Casey (USA) are sailing away from the entire fleet. They have an impressive 11-point lead through four days of racing in the Nacra 17 event. The won race eight to cap another outstanding performance. The duo has won six of eight races this week.
It will be a four way race for the 2.4 mR title on Friday’s final day of racing. Bruce Millar (CAN) and Megan Pascoe (GBR) each have 16 points through eight races, while Allan Leibel (CAN) and Bjornar Erikstad (NOR) are close behind with 17 points. Millar led by four coming into today and he sustained a DNC in race eight.
Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg and Per Eugen Kristiansen of Norway expanded their lead from four to five, despite posting a seven in race eight, which now stands as their discard. They are followed by Ireland’s John Twomey, Ian Costelloe and Brad Johnson. Racing in the Sonar event concludes on Friday.
Biscayne Bay was surrounded by overcast conditions on Thursday. Wind speed fluctuated throughout the day and ranged from as light as four knots to as high as 15.
For the most updated standings, visit the results section of the event website at http://mocr.ussailing.org/index.php/results/.
To follow all the action this week in Miami, visit event website at http://mocr.ussailing.org for real-time racecourse blogging, commentary and fan interaction with Cover it Live, regatta results, video, photos, news updates and race tracking by Kattack.
Beginning Thursday night, video highlights will be produced and published by T2P.tv on the event website.
About SAF Sailing World Cup Miami
iSAF Sailing World Cup Miami, established in 1990 by US Sailing, is open to boats competing in events chosen for the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Competitions. Most Olympic classes will count a five-day opening series (Monday-Friday) and a double-point medal race (Saturday). The RS:X Men and Women will have a three day opening series (Monday-Wednesday) followed by semifinal medal round on Thursday and final medal round on Friday. The top 10 finishers in the opening series of each class will advance to the medal race. Competitors in the Paralympic classes will have five days of fleet racing (Monday-Friday) and no medal race. Medals will be awarded to the top three boats in each Olympic and Paralympic class on Saturday, February 2.
Regatta Headquarters is located at the US Sailing Center Miami, an official Olympic training center, in the Coconut Grove section of Miami, Fla. Event organizers have partnered with the city of Miami to provide world-class venues for competition. Additional hosts for the event include Coral Reef Yacht Club, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Miami Rowing Club and Shake-a-Leg Miami. These sailing organizations host classes onshore, as well as help run the on-the-water racing. The Coral Reef Yacht Club also hosts the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
Sponsors of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2013 include Sperry Top-Sider, Harken McLube, Kattack, Switlik and the University of Miami Hospital.
The event photo gallery at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ussailingmedia will be updated daily with both low-res and high-res versions by official event photographers and available for download.
Scoring Format Explanation
The Lasers and Laser Radials are testing an experimental format this week. Sailors receive zero points for each race they win. Their first fleet series standings through six races translated into a single carryover race score applied to the new series which started today. The new series will include one discard which could be the carryover race. Following the next five races and six total scores, the top ten will advance to the medal races on Saturday. The top ten will sail three medal races on Saturday. Each medal race is double points and non-discardable. Final score is the six race series which began today plus the medal race scores.
The Men’s and Women’s RS:X events completed their first round six race series on Wednesday. The top ten qualified for the quarterfinals after race six. The top four from the quarterfinals advance directly to the finals. The bottom six from the quarterfinals advance to the semifinals. Other sailors not in the top ten also have a chance to advance through the quarterfinal repechage into the semifinals. The semifinal on Friday is one race and two sailors will advance to the finals. The finals features six boards and consists of one race and the order in the final race determines the final places. Racing format graphic
Photo credit to Walter Cooper.