Month: January 2016

Golden Moments Abound on Biscayne Bay

The tension on the water at Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella was fully loaded as Medal Races across the 10 Olympic fleets drew the first big regatta of 2016, the Olympic year, to a close.

Many podium finishers from six days of racing in Miami will feature on the Rio 2016 pedestal in 188 days’ time and Miami can be viewed as a marker of what is to come this year.

In a week plagued by grey skies and fickle breeze the sun shone brightly in Miami but the light winds remained.

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) came into the day as the only team who had gold wrapped up. In the remaining nine events it was wide open and in a shifty northern 6-8 knot breeze there were up, downs, disappointments and highs in their numbers.

Olympic medalists such as Robert Scheidt (BRA), Dorian Van Rijsselberge (NED), Evi Van Acker (BEL) and Bryony Shaw (GBR) showed their worth, taking the honors in their respective fleets. In the remaining divisions, several new contenders emerged including Diego Botin and Iago Lopez (ESP) and Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning (NED) who won in world class fields.

Nacra 17

Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning (NED) claimed gold in the Nacra 17, jumping up the leader board after a tense light wind Nacra 17 race.

The Dutch pair occupied third overall heading into the Medal Race with Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) in pole position and Matias Buhler and Nathalie Brugger (SUI) in second.

Eight points split the trio beforehand with an unassailable advantage over the chasing pack. The sailors on the podium were decided, but the color of the medal they’d receive was far from certain.

The leading Australians were penalized at the start and were up against it immediately, crossing the start line well behind the pack. Meanwhile, the Dutch pair got underway without fear and worries as the only way for them was up.

Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves (GBR) ran away from the fleet to take the race win by a minute over Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco (ESP).

The Dutch crossed the finish line third and had to watch the finishers to see if they’d moved up. Waterhouse and Darmanin crossed in seventh and the Swiss in ninth which gave them gold.

“Out there we used our speed well and we went to the left of the first upwind and it paid off,” explained Mulder. “We were leading at the top mark and consolidated. We ended up third which was enough for the regatta win.

“We were in a perfect position to go full on today and take some risks.”

Darmanin and Waterhouse ended up tied on 119 points with the Dutch but missed out via the Medal Race countback, settling for silver. Buhler and Brugger completed the Nacra 17 podium.

The Nacra 17 fleet will have to go through the emotions again in just a matter of days with the World Championships taking place in Clearwater, Fla., February 6 to 14.

Laser and Laser Radial

When regatta leader Marit Bouwmeester (NED) was flagged by the officials shortly after the start, it appeared Evi van Acker (BEL) had the opening she needed to close the 6-point gap that stood between her and a gold medal. Indeed, Bouwmeester was 10th around the first mark. But van Acker was ninth. These positions held around the second mark. On the third leg, van Acker made her move.

“I went on the right side when the wind was dying, but I thought change was coming,” said van Acker, the bronze medalist in the 2012 Olympics in London. “The wind turned to the right and I was there when it turned.”

Van Acker went from ninth to third on the second beat and then picked up another place on the final run. Meanwhile, Bouwmeester, who had so little trouble moving through the fleet earlier in the regatta, was unable to make any significant gains during the second half of the race. Van Acker’s second, to Bouwmeester’s’s seventh, was enough to flip flop the overall positions the two sailors held coming into the Medal Race.

Sarah Gunni Toftedal (DEN) struggled during the medal race and finished last. But none of her rivals for the bronze medal were able to take advantage of the situation and Gunni Toftedal held on to the bronze. Alison Young (GBR) was fourth, with Emma Plasschaert (BEL) in fifth.

Paige Railey (USA) won the medal race and while her move from 10th to eighth didn’t factor into the podium standings it did earn her two additional places in her battle for the U.S. Olympic berth in Rio. Her primary rival, Erika Reineke, finished 17th in the regatta and will have to make up 9 places on Railey in Part 2 of the U.S. Athlete Selection Series.

©Sailing Energy / Wolrd Sailing - Sailing World Cup Miami 2016Displaying a veteran’s poise, five-time Olympic medalist Robert Scheidt (BRA) sailed a steady medal race in trying conditions to win gold in the Sailing World Cup Miami. While the positions around him switched considerably over the course of the 25-minute race, Scheidt rounded each mark in fourth place and finished fourth.

“It was a tough race, the wind was light and shifty,” he said. “I was worrying about the French guy as he was the one I had to finish ahead of to win today. He got to the [first] mark ahead of me, which made things very interesting. At the gate we had a split, which was lucky for me as I finished ahead of him.

“I sailed well this week. The Medal Races are always tough and very close. The day has a huge impact on the result and I took my opportunities today.”

Jean Baptiste Bernaz (FRA), who made his international regatta debut the same year Scheidt won his third Olympic medal, started the day with a one-point lead in the overall standings. Though he didn’t win the gold, he can be comforted that he was just a place away from defeating one of the sport’s living legends. He’s clearly moving up the ladder and in good position to improve upon his 10th in the London Games.

Scheidt, though pleased with his results this week, knows the work of an Olympic sailor is never done. He’ll take some time to recoup, and then get right back to the grind.

“After this I am taking a break,” he said. “In March I will be back training in Rio. Rio is going to be quite a difficult venue with challenging conditions. I’ve sailed there for 25 years and I still don’t know the place. I’ll try and get myself comfortable with the place.”

Men’s and Women’s RS:X

Bryony Shaw (GBR) made a terrific comeback in the second upwind in the Women’s RS:X to seal her third consecutive Sailing World Cup Miami gold.

After the first lap of the course, Shaw was as low as ninth, leaving Lilian de Geus (NED) first overall. Shaw knew what had to be done and her never-say-die attitude enabled her to fight and push up the fleet.

On the final upwind Shaw swiftly moved into seventh, sixth and at the top mark had overtaken de Geus and was third overall. She maintained that position through to the finish to seal the deal.

“This week was about consistency,” said Shaw, a Beijing 2008 bronze medalist. “We had a lot of different winds this week so I was happy to sail well in the light winds and strong winds. The focus for more has been on training to prepare for the World Championships. We’ve had a really good quality fleet here so I am pleased to take the win today. It’s good momentum to take into the World Championships.”

De Geus wrapped up the week with silver and Peina Chen (CHN) completed the podium.

London 2012 Olympic gold medalist Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) started 2016, an Olympic year, with a big, convincing win in the Men’s RS:X.

Van Rijsselberge finished seventh in the Medal Race, his worst result this week, but his consistency over the series kept the pressure off him as he went in with a nice gap between him and the chasing pack.

“I like Miami and like racing here,” said Van Rijsselberge after competition. “I’ve been coming here for eight years now so I’ve got the place sorted and I enjoy racing here.”

Nick Dempsey won the Medal Race finishing six points off the Dutchman to pick up silver and Aichen Wang (CHN) rounded off the podium.


No class had more sailors enter the medal race with a shot at the gold. Six Finn sailors started the final contest with a legitimate shot at the medal. Adding to this was a light, shifty breeze that provided plenty of passing lanes. But when the dust had settled the top two sailors entering the race, Jorge Zarif (BRA) and Jonas Hoegh-Christensen, were the top two in the final results.

“It was really hard as everybody was really close before the race,” said Zarif. “I thought the left side of the racing area was paying a little bit more. I tried to be there more than the others and it worked well.”

Zarif held the lead around the first two marks, but dropped to fourth on third leg when a big left shift jumbled up the standings. On the fourth leg he ground back to second place, where he finished. Arkadiy Kistanov of Russia won the Medal Race and was able to vault from fifth to third in the overall standings. Jake Lilley (AUS) was fourth in the race and third in the overall standings.

For Zarif, who hadn’t previously won a World Cup race, this was a significant victory as he prepares to compete for the home crowd in Rio.

“Next we will have 15 days of training in Rio now with Rafa [Trujillo] my coach and then we go to the Europeans, Palma, Hyeres, the Worlds and then back to Rio,” said Zarif. “I was happy with the week I had, but I could have finished sixth or first today. That could have easily happened if something bad happened today. I just tried to do the best I could.”

Men’s and Women’s 470

For the Men’s 470 fleet, the crucial moment in the Medal Race came right at the starting gun. Stu McNay and David Hughes (USA), one of three teams that entered the race in a virtual tie for first, controlled the left end of the starting line and were able to tack at the gun and cross the fleet, putting themselves in a very strong position right out of the starting blocks.

“We saw an opportunity at the start and we were able to take advantage of it and get an early lead on the fleet,” said McNay, a two-time Olympian in the 470. “Dave called some great shifts on the first upwind.”

McNay and Hughes rounded the first mark with a 30-second lead over the fleet and never looked back, at least figuratively. In light conditions, no lead is ever truly safe.

“It was an easy race course to become frustrated with as it was very shifty and variable,” said Hughes. “By the same token, the teams that did well at this event just embraced it and played it forward from whatever position they were in. We are happy to better them all in the end.”

The most interesting battle of the race was for the silver medal, with Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) and Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP) rounding the first mark separated by just 4 seconds. On the second upwind leg the Greek duo was able to put over a minute on their rivals and all but clinch the silver medal. Jacob and Graeme Chaplin-Saunders finished second in the medal race and moved up a spot, to seventh, in the overall standings.

McNay and Hughes will hope to carry the momentum they earned in Miami this winter into the class’s world championships in Argentina in February.

“This is the third of three events in Miami this winter and we can proudly say we have won all three of them,” McNay said. “We felt that to do that many competitions back to back to back would be the best way to prepare ourselves for the upcoming World championships.”

Consider it a job well done, on to the next challenge.

“There are many events between now and Rio and we are just going to chip away at one event of a time,” said Hughes. “We’ve got lots to work on and as with any Olympic campaign there are a lot of different boxes to tick.”

Shasha Chen and Haiyan Gao (CHN) started the Medal Race much the way they started the regatta, in last place. The first race of the event, which might seem like it took place a month ago given the twists and turns of this event, resulted in a DSQ for the Chinese team. Likewise, the first leg of the Medal Race didn’t go well and Chen and Gao rounded the first mark in last place, 48 seconds off the lead and in real danger of missing the podium entirely.

But in the light and shifty conditions, persistence was the key; and passing opportunities were there for the taking. Chen and Gao found a few on each of the next three legs, moving to sixth on the first run and then to third on the final run. Meanwhile, their chief rivals for gold, Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar (AUT) and Fernanda Oliveira and Luiza Ana Barbachan (BRA) found the going much more challenging. With those teams finishing in eighth and 10th respectively, Chen and Gao claimed the gold medal, with the Austrians in second and the Brazilian team, which led for much of the regatta, in third.

49er and 49erFX

Diego Botin and Iago Lopez (ESP) ventured into the 49er Medal Race with a strong lead and as they came through in second, a convincing victory was signed, sealed and delivered.

Portugal’s Jorge Lima and Jose Costa had an outside chance of overthrowing the Spaniards but Lopez felt no worries as he explained, “For us we had to take control of the Portuguese guys today. We had a 12-point advantage so we wanted to control them with some tactics to win.

“We finished second, which was a really good result for us and we won. We’re really happy.”

Lima and Costa settled for silver and Carl P Sylvan and Marcus Anjemark (SWE) completed the podium.

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) had gold all sewn up before the Medal Race so the pressure was off.

The real battle in the 49erFX was for silver and bronze with Jena Mai Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen (DEN) and Lisa Ericson and Hanna Klinga (SWE) split by one point.

Hansen and Salskov Iversen were sublime in the Medal Race. Chased by the Swedes they did not let up. They led from the off and used their superior boat speed to pull away and claim a well deserved silver medal.

From now on, it’s full on to Rio 2016 with World Cups, World Championships and continental championships coming thick and fast before the flame is lit in Rio de Janeiro on 5 August 2016.

The 470s, 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 and RS:Xs will have to reset quickly with their World Championships taking place in February. The remaining fleets will hold theirs later on this year.

—Stuart Streuli, Sailing World Cup Miami, & Daniel Smith, World Sailing

Photo credits: Pedro Martinez & Jesus Renedo/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

British, Canadian Sailors Win First Medals of Sailing World Cup Miami

The boat parks along the shores of Coconut Grove will be a lot emptier tomorrow. Most of the sailors competing in the 2016 Sailing World Cup presented by Sunbrella are finished and spent this evening packing up their boats. But the remaining sailors won’t be complaining about feeling lonely. They have all earned the right to sail in tomorrow’s double points medal race, which will be broadcast live across around the world via YouTube and, for U.S. sailing fans, ESPN3. Only the top 10 sailors in each fleet qualify for the medal race, which is a shorter race and worth double points. It’s also non-discardable, which means that there’s always plenty to race for.

Before we set the table for tomorrow’s races, however, we should honor the Paralympic Medalists from the Sailing World Cup Miami. The Sonar and 2.4mR fleets wrapped up their competition today. Great Britain’s 2.4mR sailor Helena Lucas and the Canadian Sonar team led by Paul Tingley snapped up gold.

Tingley and his team of Logan Campbell and Scott Lutes wrapped up gold with a race to spare after a strong series of races. Meanwhile, Lucas asserted herself in the 2.4mR with a trio of victories that ensured she took her first gold at World Cup Miami after five previous attempts.

Lucas had a shaky start, retiring from the first race of the series, but came back dominant, winning seven of ten races over the week.

A perfect final day of three race victories sealed her fate as she ended well clear of Bruce Millar from Canada in silver and USA’s Charles Rosenfield in bronze.

“It’s been a really good regatta,” said Lucas. “We have had some great winds and some good conditions in different directions. It’s made it a good regatta and we had 20 knots yesterday so it’s been great. Miami is always a really nice one to win so it’s great to start 2016 off with a win.”

Lucas won gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and was the first British athlete in any sport to be selected for Rio 2016. No one has been able to defend the 2.4mR gold medal at the Paralympic Games but Lucas has a full schedule this year as she attempts to do exactly that.

“This is a good stepping stone for my preparations in September. It’s busy from now on until the Paralympic Games. I have some stuff planned in the UK in February and then from March onwards I will be at the World Cup and EUROSAF events. It’s a busy calendar from now on.”

In a Paralympic year, sailors are looking to peak and lay down a marker in the build up regattas. Those winning medals now, will be winning medals in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Canadian Sonar team came off the water buoyed by their performance over a strong pack of racers. Their week featured three consecutive race wins midway through that put them in a good spot leading into the final day that featured three races.

A third and a fourth in the opening two was enough to seal gold and with the pressure off they completed the regatta with a seventh.

“It feels like the work is starting to pay off,” explained Tingley, a Beijing 2008 2.4mR gold medallist. “We are committed to the process and it takes time as a team. We have worked hard on our communication and as a result, we executed really well this week.

“The very best in the world are here and we beat the best. Gold is the reassurance we needed going into Rio.”

Australia’s Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden took second followed by Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary (FRA).

Paralympic racers have a relatively quiet period before a full on period in April and May that includes Sailing World Cup Hyeres and Weymouth & Portland as well as the Para World Sailing Championships in Medemblik, the Netherlands.

Men’s & Women’s 470

The breeze has been quite variable this week. But today was perhaps the most challenging day when it came to predicting what would happen to the wind speed and direction.

“It was very shifty with holes with no wind,” said 470 skipper Panagiotis Mantis (GRE.) “Most of the fleet expected the wind to bend to the left because of the land, but the wind always going to the right.”

Or to put it another way: “It was a hard day, there was a lot of randomness in the breeze,” said Stu McNay (USA) a two-time Olympian. “You make your best guess at the first shift. Sometimes you get it right. Sometimes you get it wrong.

“Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had a number of days like this. But just because you know it’s going to be random and chaotic doesn’t mean you know how to deal with it.”

McNay and partner David Hughes came out on the wrong side of a few shifts today, scoring a 12-1-13. Their worst race result coming into the day was a fifth. But the good news for McNay and Hughes was they were hardly alone among the top five. With the exception of Panagiotis and Pavlos Kagialis, who finished 2-6-2 on the day, every Men’s 470 team in the regatta had at least one double-digit result.

The net result is that McNay and Hughes, Panagiotis and Kagialis, and Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP) are all virtually tied going into tomorrow’s medal race. And while the fourth-place boat, Matthias Schmid and Florian Reichstäder (AUT), is mathematically alive for a medal, it’s really a battle between the top three to see what color bauble they take home after tomorrow’s medal race.

Because all three are on equal footing entering the double-points race, there isn’t really an opportunity to match race. Both Panagiotis and McNay were unequivocal in how they will approach tomorrow’s race.

“Win the race,” said Panagiotis. “That’s it.”

McNay added: “The other guys who are leading are quite good and we will need to be at our best, just as they will try to be at their best.  Too much variability [to try to match race at the start], first you have to look forward.”

The Austrian team of Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar has been the steadiest performer in the Women’s 470 fleet and that consistently has given them a slight, 4-point advantage going into the medal race. Today, in conditions that caused a few of their chief rivals to falter, Vadlau and Ogar were solid, with a 4-5-1. Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan have led the regatta since winning both opening races. But a black flag disqualification in Race 8 and an 8th in Race 10 dropped them to second, one point in front of Shasha Chen and Haiyan Gao (CHN). Marina Gallego and Fatima Reyes (ESP) are fourth. Sydney Bolger and Carly Shevitz are fifth, mathematically alive for a silver medal, but only barely.


Through five races the top six Finn sailors had been in virtual lockstep in the standings. Three races today finally put some daylight between them. Emerging from the fray was Jorge Zarif (BRA), who currently leads the regatta with 34 points, and Jonas Hoegh-Christensen (DEN), who is second, two points back. Those two will enter the medal race in a virtual tie since the race is worth double points and also counts as the tiebreaker in case two sailors finish with the same point total. While they have a slight edge over the third- through sixth-placed sailors, the emphasis is on the word “slight”. Caleb Paine (USA) is third with 40 points, followed by Jake Lilley (AUS) with 43 points, Arkadiy Kistanov (RUS) with 44 and Zach Railey (USA) with 45. Given the right set of circumstances—and the forecasted light breeze could certainly provide enough variability—anyone of the top six could find themselves atop the heap at the end of tomorrow. An interesting subplot to the medal race will be the battle between Paine and Railey as this is the first of two regatta that comprise the selection series for the U.S. Olympic Team in Rio. The selection series format counts each regatta as a single result and each will be pushing hard to start the second half of the series with the upper hand.

Laser & Laser Radial

© Sailing Energy / World Sailing - Sailing World Cup Miami 2016Marit Bouwmeester’s string of firsts was broken today. But the Dutch champion still sailed well enough to assure herself of at least a silver medal in the regatta. She will start the medal race with a 6-point lead over Evi van Acker (BEL), who has also locked up at least a silver medal. To claim the championship van Acker will need to put two boats between herself and Bouwmeester in tomorrow’s medal race. A tough ask, but certainly not impossible, especially considering the caliber of the fleet. Sarah Gunni Toftedal (DEN) is currently third, with an eight-point advantage over Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) in fourth. Alison Young (GBR) and Emma Plasschaert (BEL) both have an outside chance at the bronze medal. In 10th place is Paige Railey (USA), who moved into the medal race after her best day of the regatta. This gives Railey at least 7-place advantage over Erika Reineke (USA), her primary rival for the U.S. Olympic Team. She has the enviable position of entering the medal race with nothing to lose. Any places she gains will add to her advantage in the selection series. But she cannot finish any worse than 10th.

Sailing World Cup Miami is the second of six regattas in the 2016 series. From 25-30 January 2016, Coconut Grove, Miami, United States of America is hosting more than 780 sailors who are competing across the ten Olympic and two Paralympic classes on the beautiful waters of Biscayne Bay.

More error-free sailing from Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) and Robert Scheidt (BRA) has put those two sailors into a virtual first-place tie going into the medal race. After dominating the qualifying series, Rutger van Schaardenburg (NED) faltered slightly today, and is now third, though within easy striking distance of the lead and with a 12-point cushion over fourth. Among the top 10 sailors are four New Zealanders, which could create a bit of a happy conundrum for that country’s Olympic selection committee. Charlie Buckingham, the top U.S. Laser sailor, was 16th in the regatta. He will start the second half of the U.S. selection series with an eight-place lead over Erik Bowers, who finished 24th.

49er and 49erFX

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) defended their title in the 49erFX with a day to spare.

They held a firm advantage before the final fleet race and in true style, they won it by a huge margin handing them a 30 point lead that can not be touched in the Medal Race.

“We’re pretty happy to come away with a win this week,” explained Meech. “We haven’t looked at the results this week so we are kind of surprised. Last year we came away with a win in Miami so it’s nice to do it again.”

Maloney and Meech won the inaugural 2013 49erFX World Championships and whilst they remained in the top bunch of racers last year, they were off the heights they were used to. Meech continued, “We had a pretty up and down season in 2015 so it’s nice to start this one off on top again so hopefully we can continue.

“We’ve had a pretty good summer back home in New Zealand and then coming over here we’ve felt fresh. We’ve been working on a few things and it’s another step forward for us.”

The interviewer of Meech had the privilege to break the news to the young Kiwi and after obtaining the quotes the news was broken to Maloney.

Keeping her professional head Maloney said, “Ahh nice, but it’s before the protest time so we’ll have to wait to make sure. It’s been great though, we kept it at one race at a time and just had fun.”

As the clock ticked onto 18:55, no protests had been received so their gold was confirmed.

Lisa Ericson and Hanna Klinga (SWE) and Jena Mai Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen (DEN) are tied on 97 points in second.

Diego Botin and Iago Lopez (ESP) are poised to take the 49er title following four final gold fleet races. The Spaniards recorded a 2-3-17-9 scoreline and are 12 points clear of Portugal’s Jorge Lima and Jose Costa.

In the past, Botin and Lopez have struggled in the gold fleet, fading down the pack after a strong qualifying series. They changed the trend in Miami remaining at the front of the pack to sustain their lead.

They have guaranteed themselves a medal but the colour will be decided on Saturday.

Sweden’s Carl Sylvan and Marcus Anjemark hold the final podium position but five chasing teams have a chance to overthrow them in the Medal Race.

Men’s and Women’s RS:X

The ball is in Bryony Shaw’s (GBR) court in the Women’s RS:X as she holds an 11 point advantage over Lilian de Geus (NED).

De Geus had led since day one but when it mattered most, Shaw used all of her experience to pounce, overtake and extend. Shaw had the better of De Geus in all three races. Two fourths and a bullet compared to a pair of nines and a second allowed Shaw to grab the lead and she goes into the Medal Race 11 points clear.

China’s Peina Chen occupies the final podium position on 55 points and has Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) for company six points behind.

Dutch London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Dorian van Rijsselberge has a firm grip of top spot in the Men’s RS:X. The indomitable Dutchman has remained in the top five all week and Friday’s racing was no different as he posted a 3-1-3. He leads compatriot, training partner and good friend Kiran Badloe by 15 points.

Nick Dempsey (GBR), three points off Badloe has a mathematical chance at gold but he will be looking to consolidate more so than attack in the Medal Race with Aichen Wang (CHN) and Pawel Tarnowski (POL) one and two points behind.

Nacra 17

It will be a three way shootout for the Nacra 17 honors with the top three teams holding unassailable advantages over the fourth placed team.

Eight points separate the top three in what has been a high scoring week in the Nacra 17 with every team surpassing 100 net points.

Australia’s Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin have remained the most consistent racers over the 15-race series. Going into the Medal Race the Australians have a six point advantage over Switzerland’s Matias Buhler and Nathalie Brugger.

Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning (NED) of the Netherlands remain in contention, eight points off the Australians so it will all be to play for on Saturday.

The race wins were shared across the Medal Race qualifiers on Friday with the Swiss picking up the first bullet of the day. Iker Martinez and Julia Roman (ESP), Santiago Lange and Cecillia Carranza Saroli (ARG) and Great Britain’s Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves followed up with a bullet apiece and will sail on Saturday.

From 11 a.m. (EST), on Saturday January 30, the Medal Races from Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella will be broadcast live on the World Sailing TV YouTube channel as well as ESPN3 in the USA. Please note that the YouTube feed will be geo-blocked in the United States.

From 11 a.m. (EST), onSaturday January 30, the Medal Races from Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella will be broadcast live on the World Sailing TV YouTube channel as well as ESPN3 in the USA. Please note that the YouTube feed will be geo-blocked in the United States.The Key Links are:
World Sailing TV YouTube URL –
World Sailing TV YouTube Embed – <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>Seven races will be broadcast live from the northern racing area on Biscayne Bay in Miami, Fla. The schedule in EST is available below:NORTH COURSE – LIVE
11:10 – Nacra 17
11:45 – Laser Radial
12:30 – Finn
13:10 – 470 Men
13:50 – Laser
14:30 – 49er
15:05 – 49erFXSOUTH COURSE
11:40 – 470 Women
12:20 – RS:X Women
12:55 – RS:X Men—Stuart Streuli, Sailing World Cup Miami, & Daniel Smith, World Sailing

Day 4: Olympic Qualification Keeps Miami Hot

Torrential rainfall and a chill in the air, Miami isn’t usually like this, but competition for World Cup honours and Rio 2016 Olympic spots are keeping the temperatures on Biscayne Bay hot.

Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella acts as the Olympic continental qualification regatta for sailors from North and South America. Qualify here, you’ll be representing your country on the grandest of stages, miss out, it’s the end of the road.

Competitiveness from the front to the back of each fleet has been evident and every sailor has something to fight for. Whether it’s the coveted Rio spot, a Sailing World Cup honour, internal qualification for Rio 2016 or even striving to perfect their game, it’s all on in Miami.

Sailors were made to wait for racing on Thursday as torrential downpours killed off the breeze and produced large quantities of surface water. When the breeze materialised it enabled the sailors to commence racing at 15:20 local time in building conditions that ranged from 12-17 knots from the south east.

Laser and Laser Radial

Sailing World Cup Miami 2016A very fluid weather pattern (in more ways than one) made for a challenging, albeit short, day on the water for the Laser and Laser Radial fleets. The threat of thunderstorms kept the fleet ashore through the early afternoon. Once the sailors launched, the compressed time left the sailors with little time to properly research the breeze. Adding to the confusion, the weather changed just as the Radials were halfway up the first leg.

“In the beginning it was quite light,” said Evi van Acker (BEL). “But then the rain came and along came the wind. So it was quite windy in the race, which was nice to have a little bit of difference compared to the first three days.”

It was also quite shifty and, with the visibility reduced, tough for the sailors to formulate a plan of attack. As is often the case in difficult conditions, the cream rose to the top, with Marit Bouwmeester (NED) nipping Sarah Gunni Toftedal (DEN) by just two seconds and adding to her impressive string of four first-place finishes in the qualifying races. But Bouwmeester was hard-pressed to describe how she won the race.

“I don’t really know,” she said with a laugh. “The weather was quite tricky with the rain so I think I was just a bit lucky being on the right side of the wind shifts.”

Bouwmeester, who won the silver medal at the 2012 Olympics and the 2015 Laser Radial World Championships, is probably being modest. But her day did have one significant, and totally unexpected, hurdle that she handled with a veteran’s poise.

“A 470 trailer, they didn’t put it up right after the 470 went into the water and it fell down and it fell straight through my sail,” she said. “So just before [launching] I had a hole in the sail. But thank God it didn’t influence the racing too much

“I didn’t like it. I was like, ‘Bloody 470s.’ But there’s not much I can do about it. This guy gave me some sail tape and I tried to cover it up as good as I can.”

In third in the race, and sitting solidly in second overall was van Acker, who was a little more expansive when asked about the path to success in Race 6.

“I think play the shifts on the first beat and the first reach and the downwind,” she said. “But I could’ve done a bit better. So not super happy with today, but plenty to play for tomorrow.”

Van Acker is the defending Olympic bronze medalist, but there’s a lot of Laser Radial talent in Belgium and she won’t know until late spring whether she’ll return to the Olympics.

“We have a selection committee that will decide at the end of May or the beginning of June,” she said. “But as I said, I’m not really busy with the selection, just trying to do my best in every race.”

Currently sitting third in the overall standings is defending Olympic gold medalist Lilja Xu (CHN) who finished 35th, by far her worst race of the regatta. After discarding that finish she is just two points out of second and eight points off the lead.

Paloma Schmidt was the only South American sailor, who had not yet qualified for Rio 2016, to make the Laser Radial gold fleet. As a result, she has qualified Peru in the Laser Radial.

North American sailors from the Cayman Islands, Cuba, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago missed out on the gold fleet as Bermuda’s Cecillia Wollman and Mexico’s Natalia Montemayor advanced.

Nine points separated them before Thursday’s racing but they ended up even on 95 points apiece after the single race. Wollman finished 39th and Montemayor, 40th. Results would lead to suggest some strong tactics coming in to play with three races on Friday to determine who will go to Rio de Janeiro this August.

After sailing a nearly flawless qualifying series, Laser sailor Rutger van Schaardenburg (NED) had his first significant bobble of the regatta when he was caught over the line before the gun and didn’t return to start correctly, recording a 50-point OCS. As he’s able to discard that score, he retains the overall lead, but the margin has narrowed. Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) is currently second overall after getting a fourth today.

While the Radials started in light breeze, the wind had picked up substantially by the time the Lasers started sailing. Still, the weather was difficult to read.

“I didn’t have [a really solid plan for the first beat],” said Bernaz. “I just say, ‘OK, let’s sail and watch; what you see is what you get.’ I was on the right, but when I saw the left gaining, I just go on the left side of the fleet. I was losing a lot and I re-gained what I lost. I was fourth at the top mark, third, then fourth again. It’s good to sail in front.”

Bernaz has been on a tear of late, with top-five finishes in his four of his last five major regattas. The lone blip, a 54th at the 2015 Laser World Championships, has knocked his world ranking down to 22nd, but he’s sailing like a medal contender at this event.

“It’s the year of the Games, some [Olympic selection series] for different countries, so everyone is 100 percent, maybe 110,” he said. “It’s a really hard fleet and it’s really hard to be consistent. Now we start the finals, so it’s the top 49, so it’s really hard, really compact.”

Sailing World Cup Miami 2016Sailing to his fourth second in the last four races, five-time Olympic medalist Robert Scheidt (BRA) moved into third in the overall standings.

“The first few races I had bad starts and it was difficult conditions, it was shifty and light, and I just made bad decisions at the beginning of the race,” he said. “I knew I had the speed to do better and the ability to do better. From the third day I started to sail more with the fleet, more consistent, better starts.

“Today was a full-on race, it started to blow very hard just a few minutes before the start and we knew we’d have to be out of trouble, have a clean start, and use the speed and hike hard. It was a tough race. The breeze kept increasing throughout the race. I just sailed clean, sailed a solid race. I’m really happy about that.”

Scheidt won three medals in the Laser class, gold in 1996 and 2004 and silver in 2000 before switching to the Star, where he won silver in 2008 and bronze in 2012. With the Star eliminated from the Olympic roster, he was forced to choose between missing the Rio Olympics or returning to the grueling 14-foot dinghy,

“The goal is to try to do the Olympic Games in my home country,” he said. “Unfortunately the Star is not anymore an Olympic class. I wish it was. It’s not easy to come back to the Laser after a certain age. But I’m enjoying it. I’m still having fun out there. I’m still competing at a high level. Of course, it’s not easy because physically it’s a quite a demanding boat. Right now I’m in a good moment, free of injuries and really looking forward to the next six months.”

He hasn’t been as dominant as he was at his peak, when he won eight world championships, but Scheidt is a serious medal threat, and anyone who thinks the pressure of competing in his home country will compromise his performance should check Scheidt’s track record. Among other accomplishments, his final Laser world championship was won on Brazilian waters. He knows what to expect, and how to handle it.

“It’s going to be a different Olympics with the crowd the expectations, competing in Rio, a place I’ve sailed all my life, for an Olympic medal,” he said. “It’s going to be very special. That’s why I’m still doing it. That’s the reason why I’m still training hard, pushing hard. To be able to join the Olympics one last time would be a great thing for me.”

Mexico’s Yanic Gentry made the gold fleet in the cut and with none of his rivals from Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico making it, he has qualified his nation in the Laser.

All of the South American sailors aiming for Rio 2016 are in the silver fleet and no racing was possible on Thursday. As it stands, Venezuela’s Jose Gutierrez is 65th on 139 points, Uruguay’s Federico Yandian 66th on 140, Ecuador’s Matias Dyck on 145 and Colombia’s Andrey Quintero 84th on 180.

Nacra 17

Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) regained the Nacra 17 lead after they finished ahead of overnight leaders Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning (NED) in both of the day’s races.

They have a seven point gap over the Dutch but a scintillating battle is developing towards the back of the pack.

Just one point separates South American Rio 2016 hopefuls from Guatemala and Uruguay with one day of fleet racing remaining.

Guatemala’s Jason Hess and Irene Abascal were in the driving seat for the Olympic spot but two poor results enabled Uruguay’s Pablo Defazio Abella and Mariana Foglia to hit them on the counter attack.

The Uruguayans finished 23rd and 31st, leaving them on 272 points, one behind the Guatemalans who had their worst day on the water after a 37th and a discarded DNF.

In terms of races won against each other, Hess and Abascal lead the stakes 6-5 after 11 and it will be head to head on the water on Friday to decide who takes the single South American Nacra 17 place.

Canada’s Luke Ramsay and Nikola Girke have a strong advantage in the North American qualification duel. They are more than 60 points clear of the only other hopeful, Puerto Rico’s Enrique Figueroa and Franchesca Valdes. Ramsay and Girke will want to stay out of trouble on Friday to book their nation another Rio 2016 place.

Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) were Thursday’s Nacra 17 stars after double bullets. They are fourth overall.

49er and 49erFX

A single race in the 49er Gold, 49er Silver and 49erFX was completed.

Diego Botin and Iago Lopez (ESP) and New Zealand’s Alex Maloney and Molly Meech held on to top spot in the 49er and 49erFX respectively. Race wins went the way of John Pink and Stu Bithell (GBR) in 49er Gold, Ryan Seaton and Matthew McGovern (IRL) in 49er Silver and Ida Marie Nielsen and Marie Olsen (DEN) in the 49erFX.

On the Rio 2016 Olympic qualification front, there is plenty happening in all three fleets.

Chilean brothers Benjamin and Cristóbal Grez Ahrens haven’t made things easy on themselves in their battle against Uruguay’s Santiago Silveira and Philipp Umpierre for the South American 49er Rio spot. A disastrous start and up and down results gave the Uruguayans the advantage after two days.

The Uruguayans were positioned to make the gold fleet with the Chileans back in silver ahead of Wednesday’s so they had it all to do. Match racing was the name of the game and the Chileans forced the Uruguayans hand with an OCS and BFD to squeeze them back into silver fleet.

Thursday was an opportunity for both teams to reset and from a single 49er Silver race, the Grez Ahrens brothers grabbed the initiative, leapfrogging the Uruguayans. A Chilean ninth compared to the Uruguayans 18th ensures they go into the final day of fleet racing with a six point advantage.

In the north, gold fleet racing will decide the spot. USA in the driving seat with Thomas Barrows, III and Joseph Morris seventh on 71 points. Canada follow with David Mori and Justin Barnes 29th on 104 points and British Virgin Islanders Alec Anderson and Christopher Brockbank are down in 31st.

American sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt as well as Emily Dellenbaugh and Elizabeth Barry have put their nation in a strong position to qualify in the 49erFX. Henken and Scutt are 18th on 142 points and their compatriots, 21st on 161. Their nearest rivals are U.S. Virgin Islanders Mayumi Roller and Agustina Barbuto who trail on 181 in 23rd. Aruba’s Odile and Philipine Van Aanholt hold 226 points in 32nd.

Chile’s Arantza Gumucio and Begoña Gumucio are the only South American entrants who have not yet qualified for Rio 2016 so will qualify this week.

Men’s and Women’s 470

@Sailing Energy / World Sailing - Sailing World Cup Miami 2016With a win in today’s lone race, Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar (AUT) moved into a tie for first place with the Brazilian team of Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan. Those two teams are starting to stretch away from the rest of the fleet. As this fleet is one of the smallest in the regatta, it will be hard, but not impossible, for anyone else to claw back into contention for the win. The other teams in the top five are Shasha Chen and Haiyan Gao (CHN), Marina Gallego and Fatima Reyes (ESP) and Sydney Bolger and Carly Shevitz (USA).

Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP) were the only team in the top six of the Men’s 470 fleet to record a top-five finish today. As a result the Spanish duo pushed their lead over Stu McNay and David Hughes (USA) out to five points. Panaglotis Mantis and Pavlos Kangialis (GRE) are third, nine points further back. A point behind third is Matthias Schmid and Florian Reichstäder (AUT). While there are three races scheduled for tomorrow, it’s hard to imagine anyone outside that top four making a serious challenge for the lead.

It’s one on one in both North and South America for Rio 2016 Olympic qualification. Canada’s Jacob Chaplin-Saunders and Graeme Chaplin-Saunders, on 53 points, have a good advantage over Mexico’s Jeronimo Cervantes Belausteguigoitia and Ander Belausteguigoitia, on 90 points, in the North.

Looking south, the 21st placed Ecuadorians, Jonathan Martinetti and John Birkett, have work to do on the final day of fleet racing to catch the 17th placed Chileans, Andres Ducasse and Francisco Ducasse. The Chileans have a 16 point advantage.

Canada’s Allison Surrette and Alexandra Ten Hove are uncontested for the North American spot so will seal that place this week. Chile’s Nadja Horwitz and Sofia Middleton are poised to take the South American spot, holding a 36 point advantage over Argentina’s Mercedes Travascio and Delfinia Bellagio.


@Sailing Energy / World Sailing - Sailing World Cup Miami 2016It was the grey beards who dominated today’s lone race in oldest of the Olympic classes. Olympic silver medalists Jonas Hoegh-Christensen (DEN) and Zach Railey (USA) went 1-2 in the race and now hold those same positions in the overall standings. But in reality, the top six, who are separated by just three points, are standing on a level playing field with three races scheduled for tomorrow and then the double-points medal race on Saturday. The other sailors in that top group are Jorge Zarif (BRA), Jake Lilley (AUS), Lei Gong (CHN) and yesterday’s leader Caleb Paine (USA).

The 11th placed Chilean, Antonio Poncell, is sandwiched in between his South American rivals from Argentina, Facundo Olezza in ninth and Juan Ignacio Biava in 11th.

Poncell holds 47 points which is 12 off Olezza and two ahead of Ignacio Biava. Canadian Finn sailors have no North American rivals in the Finn fleet with Finn fleet racing to conclude on Friday.

Paralympic Classes

Helena Lucas (GBR) has positioned herself nicely at the top of the 2.4mR leader board ahead of the final day of Paralympic racing on Friday.

A third consecutive race win leaves her three points clear of early leader Bruce Millar (CAN) however the London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist will have to tread carefully on the final day as she discards a 12th from the first race of the series.

Peter Eagar (CAN) occupies the final podium spot with a day remaining but is just a single point clear of Charles Rosenfield (USA).

Paul Tingley, Logan Campbell, Scott Lutes (CAN) opened up a six point advantage over 2015 Para World Sailing Champions John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas (GBR) after winning the single Sonar race.

Colin Harrison, Jonathan Harris and Russell Boaden (AUS) are third overall heading into Friday’s final Paralympic races.

@Sailing Energy / World Sailing - Sailing World Cup Miami 2016Men’s and Women’s RS:X

The Race Committee had to manually input the results from the RS:X race course into the results system after racing. Results will be available in due course here.

Check back on for a full RS:X recap.

Racing resumes on Friday 29 January at 10:00 local time.

Day 4 Morning Briefing: A Great Day for Muscovy Ducks

A torrential morning downpour was perfect for the Muscovy Duck that resides in Miami, but for the 711 sailors competing at Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella, not so much.

The Muscovy Duck appears in high densities in Miami, much like the world’s finest Olympic sailors who have travelled from 64 nations to compete on Biscayne Bay. Whilst the Muscovy Ducks are enjoying the cool climate present in Miami at the moment the sailors have faced challenges from a light breeze, torrential downpours and lengthy waits.

Sailing World Cup Miami venues – US Sailing Center Miami, City of Miami’s Regatta Park, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Coral Reef Yacht Club and Shake-A-Leg Miami – were covered in grey clouds on Thursday morning that brought consistent torrential rainfall that, as of 09:00 local time, does not look like ceasing anytime soon. As a result, all classes are currently under postponement

Happiness for the ducks, frustration for the sailors.

Further periods of rain are forecast for the afternoon with risk of thunderstorms added into the equation.

In terms of the breeze, the forecast is fair. A southerly breeze is expected to fill in throughout the day ranging from 15-20 knots.

The day’s schedule is available below:

Class Course # of Races Start time
Men’s RS:X Delta 3 11:10
Women’s RS:X Delta 3 11:00
Laser Silver Echo 2 13:40
Laser Gold Echo 2 10:40
Laser Radial Silver Echo 3 13:30
Laser Radial Gold Echo 3 10:30
Finn Foxtrot 3 10:20
49er Silver Charlie 3 13:20
49er Gold Alpha 3 10:20
49erFX Alpha 3 13:00
Men’s 470 Foxtrot 2 10:00
Women’s 470 Foxtrot 2 10:10
Nacra 17 Charlie 3 10:00
2.4mR Bravo 2 11:00
Sonar Bravo 2 11:10

Miami Satisfies Burning Racing Desires on Day 3 

Biscayne Bay provided the 711 sailors from 64 nations with a welcome breeze for Wednesday’s racing at Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella.
Following two challenging days, it was a relief for everyone involved to get in a full day of racing in a steady breeze, albeit light at between 6-10 knots. All 12 fleets sailed their scheduled quota of races and 8 of 12 classes now find themselves back on schedule.

The leader boards in all of the fleets are starting to shape up and for the 49er, Laser and Laser Radial qualifying is over with two days of Gold and Silver racing to ensue.

As of 17:45 local time, a number of protests were on going ensuring a late evening for the jury with a number of scoring changes possible. View the protest summary web page here –


The 2016 Sailing World Cup Miami may be the biggest regatta of Caleb Paine’s (USA) sailing career. But the towering Finn sailor is trying to treat this event, which doubles as the first part of the U.S. selection series for the Rio Olympics, just like the many other Olympic-class events he’s sailed over the past decade. “I try to get into the mindset I know works for me and keep that repetition going,” said Paine after a solid day on the water. “Hopefully it all works out in the end.”

The Finn class was limited to just one race over the first two days. Now, with four races now in the books, it’s a good time to look at how the fleet is shaking out. Surprisingly, there’s no more space between the top six than there was after Race 1. Paine leads with 10 points, Lei Gong (CHN) is in second with 11, and Jake Lilley (AUS) is in third with 12. The pattern continues through Zack Railey (USA), the 2008 Finn silver medalist, in sixth, with 15 points.

Paine’s 4-3-3 was the best score on the day and the most consistent of the front-runners.

“We were all expecting a little more breeze,” he said. “But fortunately we had enough to get three races in. I still could improve on my starting, but for the most part it was all about just keeping your lane wide open and having the ability to make the right decisions instead of other people dictating it.

“Boatspeed was the king of the day. I’ve been working with my coach quite a bit and feel like I’m going pretty fast.”

In contrast to Paine’s steady performance so far, Railey, who is emerging as Paine’s chief rival for the Olympic berth after some time away from the dinghy, has been a bit up and down. Today he sandwiched two wins around a 15th; and he opened the regatta on Monday with a 13th.

“The first race of the regatta was a really difficult race, really big shifts, and I just wanted to get a solid result out of that one. I probably sailed too conservative, but I was OK with a 13th,” he said. “The second race today, I thought the right side was going to come in, and we were looking OK about halfway up the first beat. There was a 20-degree left shift with pressure. I just never made it out of the right side and rounded [in the bottom half of the fleet] at the first mark and caught back up as much as I could. That’s just part of sailboat racing.”

After the 2012 OIympics, when he finished 12th, Railey turned his focus toward a product development company. A half year ago he decided to get back into the Finn.

Sailing World Cup Miami 2016“I’ve got a great family that allows me to do it and I’ve got some really great business partners that allow me to step away from the business,” he said. “I’d done a lot of other sailing outside of Olympic sailing and I just really missed Olympic sailing. I missed the training and the grind that goes along with it. And I had a couple of really friends of mine that decided they were going to come back also, so many a little bit of peer pressure also.”

One of those close friends, 2012 silver medalist Jonas Hoegh-Christensen (DEN), is currently in fifth place. With the three races scheduled for each of the next two days, this event could turn into a test of strength and endurance. That might seem to favor Paine, who is younger than Railey and has been training for this moment for four years. But he’s not taking anything for granted.

“Everyone is fit and, being that it’s the Olympic Trials, everyone is ready for it,” he said. “It’s good to see everyone out there in the competition, and I look forward to see what the result brings.”

Men’s and Women’s RS:X

Three races apiece in the Men’s and Women’s RS:X satisfied the burning racing desire within the windsurfers hearts following two frustrating days.

Just two men’s and one women’s RS:X race had been complete over Monday and Tuesday and even though the breeze remained light, three races apiece played out on Biscayne Bay on Wednesday.

In light breeze the RS:X is physically demanding. Competitors have to chisel their bodies and watch their weight in the build up to an event and then push their aerobic capacity during racing whilst reading the wind and tidal patterns across a wide body of water.

In short, it isn’t easy. Poland’s Pawel Tarnowski explained, “In these conditions it is really hard to have a good race in the RS:X as you have to pump all the time in the upwind and in the downwind. It affects your body from your legs, your arms and back.

“You have to be very well prepared physically plus have some good tactics. Sailors say it is like playing chess with a huge heart rate.”

Tarnowski was one of the chess masters on the third day, picking up a 2-5-1 scoreline to occupy second overall.

However, the grand master of RS:X chess playing has to be Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) who continued his exceptional consistency. A third and a second kicked off his competition and he added his first bullet, a third and a discarded fourth to his tally to lead the pack on nine points.

“It’s pretty brutal out there when it’s light,” explained Van Rijsselberge when messaging @isafworldsailing on Instagram via his account @lifeofdorian after racing.

In between sending selfies with compatriot Kiran Badloe, Van Rijsselberge continued, “It was nice to get some races done. For sure the last couple of days were a bit slow so it was so much better to do what we came here for, racing at the top level.

“The conditions are hard out there but the top five are all in it to win it.”

The top five the London 2012 Olympic gold medallist speaks of is the second place Tarnowski on 12 points, Nick Dempsey (GBR) on 12, Chunzhuang Liu (CHN) on 13 and Aichen Wang (CHN) on 14.

Lilian de Geus, compatriot of Van Rijsselberge, continued the trend of Dutch consistency in the RS:X and holds first overall in the Women’s pack.

De Geus won the opening race on day one and picked up where she left off, recording a 2-1-(5) score line to lead Patricia Freitas (BRA) by four points.

Freitas started the day off by claiming the opening bullet, following up with a fifth and a discarded eighth. “I had a good day,” said Freitas. “The wind was really tricky and it was coming and going. There was a lot of cloud so the pressure was on and off. There were shifts on both sides and the race course was very short as we have a target time of 30 minutes.”

There was minimal separation amongst the top racers in the Women’s RS:X over their three races and that is evident by the scores at the top of the leader board. De Geus sits top on four points followed by Freitas on eight, Bryony Shaw (GBR) and Peina Chen (CHN) on nine, Marina Alabau (ESP) on 11 and Poland’s Malgorzata Bialecka on 14.

Men’s & Women’s 470

Today wasn’t up to the standard of the previous two for the Brazilian duo of Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan, but a strong finish in the final of three races kept them in the lead for another day. Close on their heels is Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar (AUT), three points behind, and then there’s a gap of five points to third, currently occupied by Shasha Chen and Haiyan Gao (CHN). Consistency has been a challenge for every team outside of the top four, which has started to stretch away from the rest of the pack. With 29 points, Sydney Bolger and Carly Shevitz (USA) are in fifth. They showcased their potential by winning today’s first race. But will have to be more consistent to get on the podium.

In the men’s 470, we have a new leader. Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabrera won the final two races of the day—and were able to discard an OCS from the first race of the day—and move past Stuart McNay and David Hughes (USA) into the lead. McNay and Hughes are just two points behind, and hold a seven-point cushion over third, Panagoitis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) and Matthias Schmid and Florian Reichstäder (AUT).

Laser Radial & Laser

After opening the regatta with a sixth, Laser Radial veteran Marit Bouwmeester (NED) has been unstoppable, winning all five of her remaining qualifying races to open up a four-point lead. Evi van Acker (BEL) another veteran and fellow Olympic medalist, has won a pair of races herself and was able to discard a black flag disqualification from today to sit second. Defending Olympic gold medalist Lilja Xu (CHN) is third, a point further back.

With qualification completed, the fleet will be split into a gold and silver grouping and winning the races will be that much tougher over the final two days.

The top American in the fleet is Paige Railey, who is currently 17th with 36 points. That’s good enough for a 9-point cushion over Ericka Reineke (USA), who is Railey’s chief rival for the 2016 Olympic berth in the Radial class. That battle will be an interesting one to watch during the next few days. This event is Part 1 of the two-stage selection series for that class.

The Laser class, one of only two to start the Day 3 on schedule, sailed a pair of afternoon races. Rutger van Schaardenburg (NED) won his final race of the day—as with the Radial fleet, the 98-strong Laser fleet has been sailing in two groups for qualification—and has built himself an impressive 16-point lead heading into the gold and silver fleet split. Jean Baptiste Bernax (FRA) sits second with 27 points, but there is a pack of four sailors all within 5 points of the silver-medal position. At the back end of this group is 5-time Olympic medalist Robert Scheidt (BRA), who has rebounded from a tough start with three straight second place finishes.

Charlie Buckingam (USA) is the top American in 11th. While he has his sights focused on the top 10—only the top 10 in each class qualify for Saturday’s medal race, which will be carried lived on ESPN3—Buckingham has to be comforted by the knowledge that the next American sailor is 20 points behind. As with many of the other classes, this regatta serves as the first part of the selection trails for the U.S. Laser berth in the Rio Olympics.

49er and 49erFX

The 49er qualifying series concluded with three further races on Wednesday ahead of the fleets separating into Gold and Silver for the duration of the World Cup.

Diego Botin and Iago Lopez (ESP) advanced to top spot in the 49er, recording an 8-4-3 to leave them on 45 points. The Spanish duo tend to excel in the qualifying series and more times than not, come out at the top of the leaderboard.

When push comes to shove and they race in a top quality Gold fleet they fall down the pack. Six Gold races are ahead of them now to see if they can buck the trend. Carl P Sylvan and Marcus Anjemark of Sweden follow in second and Jorge Lima and Jose Costa (POR) are third. The top American team is Thomas Barrows and Joseph Morris in 11th.

Defending 49erFX champions Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) moved up to first after four good races. A pair of seconds, a seventh and a sixth hand them a ten-point advantage over Jena Mai Hansen and Katja Salskov-Iversen (DEN). Two American teams are tied for 21st, Emily Dellenbaugh and Elizabeth Barry and Paris Henken and Helena Scutt.

Nacra 17

It’s common across Olympic sailing that one sailor or partnership will excel and shine on any given day. A pair of bullets, a trio of top three results or four top tens can often be seen on a daily basis at World Cup, World Championship and Continental Regattas but that common rule was broken today in the Nacra 17.

Each team picked up a mixed bag of results over four challenging races to open the scores up with six fleet races remaining.

Lucy Macgregor and David Evans (GBR) were the leading performers of the day, starting with a bullet and then a third. An 18th, which they count having already discarded a 33rd, followed before they concluded the day with a third to move to fifth overall.

They sit 42 points off leaders Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning (NED) who have 49 points with overnight leaders Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) second on 53 points. The surprise of the fleet so far has been the performance of Bora Gulari and Louisa Chafee (USA), who have only been sailing together for a few days. Gulari’s normal crew was hurt just prior to the regatta, and Chafee, who had some experience in the class, was called in. They have shown remarkable consistency in a very difficult fleet and are currently third, 11 points out of second, and 15 points off the lead.

Paralympic Classes

A jam packed day of Paralympic racing saw three races in both the 2.4mR and Sonar fleets completed.

Helena Lucas (GBR) showed her class in the 2.4mR advancing to top spot after a second and double bullets. The London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist is yet to taste that golden feeling in Miami after several attempts. Her performance today has boosted her chances as she tops the billing by top points over Bruce Millar (CAN) who had held top spot from day one.

Millar started the day with a bullet but couldn’t hold on to Lucas as two third followed. Peter Eagar (CAN) is third on 20 points. Charles Rosenfield (USA) sits fourth, 5 points ahead of countryman Dee Smith.

Paul Tingley, Logan Campbell and Scott Lutes (CAN) were assertive in the Sonar, notching up two race victories to accompany their third. They lead 2015 World Champions John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas (GBR) by two points heading into the penultimate day of Paralympic racing this Thursday. Rick Doerr, Brad Kendell and Hugh Freund are the top U.S. team in fifth.

Racing resumes on Thursday, January 28, at 10 a.m. local time.

—Stuart Streuli, Sailing World Cup Miami, & Daniel Smith, World Sailing

Photo credits: Pedro Martinez & Jesus Renedo/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

Day 3 Morning Briefing: Breeze back on in Miami. Or is it?

Tuesday’s forecast predicted a 14-knot breeze that would last for the duration of the day. Unfortunately, it did not quite play out that way turning into a ‘head out of the boat’ day where sailors light wind skills were put to the test.

Wind in the region of 17-19 knots from the south is forecast for the third day of competition but based on the day’s prior, it would be unwise for anyone to rely on the forecast in changeable Miami weather.

An overcast sky and a spot of precipitation was evident this morning in Miami but the worst of the conditions will pass further north with a 40-percent chance of thunderstorms.

Two days of mischievous breeze have toiled with the schedule and many of the packs will use the day to catch up on races lost.

The day’s schedule is available below:

Class Course # of Races Start time
Men’s RS:X Delta 3 10:40
Women’s RS:X Delta 3 10:30
Laser Blue Echo 2 13:30
Laser Yellow Echo 2 13:40
Laser Radial Blue Echo 3 10:30
Laser Radial Yellow Echo 3 10:40
Finn Foxtrot 3 10:20
49er Blue Charlie 3 10:00
49er Yellow Alpha 3 10:20
49erFX Alpha 4 13:20
Men’s 470 Foxtrot 3 10:00
Women’s 470 Foxtrot 3 10:10
Nacra 17 Charlie 4 13:00
2.4mR Bravo 3 11:10
Sonar Bravo 3 11:00

Day 2: Mind Over Matter on Biscayne Bay

Another day of fading morning breeze and unstable afternoon conditions kept sailors and race committees guessing as to what the wind would do next. Those who guessed right put a few more bricks into what will hopefully become a solid regatta result by the end of the week. Those who didn’t will have work to do when racing resumes tomorrow, under what is expected to be drastically different weather conditions. Of the 12 fleets racing on Biscayne Bay this week, only the 49ers and the Lasers remain on schedule, with six and four races completed, respectively. The Finns didn’t race today and are stuck on one race. The same is true of the Women’s RS:X. For the Laser Radial fleet, which has completed just two races, the situation is particularly acute. That fleet must be split into gold and silver fleets after tomorrow’s racing. The race committees of all the fleets currently behind schedule will aim to make up races tomorrow. There’s forecast to be wind. Rain is expected and thunderstorms are possible.

Nacra 17

Sailing World Cup Miami 2016Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) arrived back at Regatta Park, a new venue for Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella, late in the day with a consistent day of racing under their belts in tricky conditions.

A 3-4-3 in stable conditions is a day to be proud of, but in the Miami shifts, that’s impressive. The trick? “Have your head on a screw,” exclaimed Waterhouse. “Just keep looking around and making good tactical decisions. The first race was a boat speed race and the next two were tactical chess playing races.

“It was a lot of fun out there and I’m sure there were a lot of ups and downs and we are happy to come away on the right side of it. We had a really good day and were really consistent, it was tricky and typical of Miami. We can take it forward for the rest of the regatta.”

The Australians are two leading lights in the Nacra 17 fleet, modest in their approach, humble in their ways yet full on and intense in the racing arena. They won gold at the Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2015 and are backing that performance up with further results to match.

After five Nacra 17 races they lead the way on 13 points, Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning (NED) follow on 20 and Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) sit third on 26.

Race wins on the day went to Iker Martinez and Julia Roman (ESP), Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL) and Paul Kohlkoff and Carolina Werner (GER).

49er and 49erFX

‘Keeping it consistent’ is a term every racing sailor aspires to and that term could not be more appropriate in the Olympic sailing arena.

Sailors don’t necessarily have to win a race to claim a medal. Regular results at the front of the pack can go a long way to ensure you’re there at the end when it counts.

Argentina’s Victoria Travascio and Maria Sol Branz are well known for their light breeze consistency and they personified that once again by picking up a 2-1-2.

“We did very good and it was really cool,” explained Travisco. “We managed three good starts and that was it really. The first we went on the left, had a good start and stayed on the left.”

The Argentineans demonstrated their light wind nous in the middle of 2015, winning Pan American Games gold on Lake Ontario in Toronto, Canada. Miami’s conditions on Tuesday suited them and they have leapt up the leader board, tied for third with Brazil’s Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA).

Ragna and Maia Agerup (NOR) hold their overnight lead with Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) in second.

Defending Miami 49er champions Nico Delle-Karth and Nikolaus Resch (AUT) took over at the top of the pile after four races. They opened up with a 13th, which they discarded before swiftly following up with a fourth, second and a first. They occupy first overall on 12 points.

James Peters and Fynn Sterritt (GBR) are second on 19 and overnight leaders Jorge Lima and Jose Costa (POR) drop to third on 24 points.

Men’s and Women’s RS:X

A single Men’s RS:X race was completed in the light air with the Women’s RS:X unable to sail.

Chinese racer Chunzhuang Liu asserted his light wind prowess again, overcoming Dorian van Rijsselberge by 15 seconds to take his second race win.

Liu has opened up a three-point gap over van Rijsselberge after two races but it’s still very early days in the competition with everything to play for.

Paralympic Classes

Sailing World Cup Miami 2016Three 2.4mR races have thrown out different victors in each. Bruce Millar (CAN) took the first bullet on the opening day and in Tuesday’s two, Peter Eagar (CAN) and Helena Lucas (GBR) crossed the line first in races two and three.

As a result, the trio are separated by one point at the top of the leader board. Miller leads on three points followed by Eagar and Lucas on four.

Paul Tingley, Logan Campbell and Scott Lutes (CAN) grabbed the lead in the Sonar following a second and a discarded seventh. Race wins went to Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Jacob Haug and Per Eugen Kristiansen as well as Alphonsus Doerr, Brad Kendell and Hugh Freund who are eighth and fifth respectively.

Racing resumes on Wednesday 27 January at 10:00 local time. The Laser, Laser Radial and 49er will complete their qualification series and many of the fleets will be looking to catch up on races lost over two challenging days.

Men’s & Women’s 470

Today, on the Women’s 470 course at the Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella, it was all about the pressure. From the wind, that is. As with yesterday, a promising breeze in the morning dwindled quickly. By noon it was decidedly in the single digits. By mid-afternoon it was on the edge of being unsailable. By that time, however, the women 470 sailors, were ashore, washing off their boats and thinking about what went right or what went wrong—or maybe a little of both—in their two races.

“When it’s so light, the pressure [is most important],” said skipper Fernanda Oliveira (BRA), who, along with teammate Ana Luiza Barbachan, scored a first and a second today and are currently first, by 3 points over Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar (AUT). “You have to be paying attention all the time. I think that we did well downwind, and rounding the marks we could gain some points. It’s going well, lets see what happens in the next few days.”

Oliveira also stressed staying sharp before races, especially when there are postponements and general recalls.

“I think that a routine is the best way to keep focus on our goal,” she said. “We are trying to just be checking, all the time, the wind and the current, the courses if they change something, paying attention all the time. If you relax and relax and relax, and try to start it again, it’s complicated. The routine is the most important thing so you make all the times the same thing and then it’s easier to be ready to go.”

Sailing World Cup Miami 2016With the class’s world championship scheduled for next month in South America, the fleet at the Sailing World Cup Miami is smaller and not quite as deep as in past years. But Oliveira stressed that it’s just as important to stay focused.

“We are trying to do our best; we are trying to train, to make this event like a training for the world championships,” said Oliveira. “But we have a lot of young teams here that are sailing very well, so we have to pay attention to them.”

Some top Women’s 470 teams have skipped this event to rest for the world championships, but Oliveira said that with the pressure of a home Olympics looming on the horizon, she is happy to stay busy.

“The pressure will come for all sailors, and for all Brazilian sailors also,” said Oliveira. “We have to keep paying attention. It will not be easy, it’s a special [Olympics]. I think we are OK; we already did a Games together so we have some experience as a team. In six months we’re going to be ready to go. From now until April, we have a lot of events, so there’s no time to be thinking on it.”

So the motto for the day: on the water, seek out the pressure; off the water, try to keep it at bay.

It was also the experienced Men’s 470 teams that rose to the top, with the top five teams in the overall standings after three races each featuring at least one former Olympian. At the head of the class is the home team, Stuart McNay and David Hughes, who won both races today by a combined 90 seconds. McNay is looking to head to his third Olympics this summer. Two points in arrears—each team has discarded its worst finish—are Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP) with Matthias Schmid and Florian Reichstädter (AUT) in third.

Laser & Laser Radial

Sailing World Cup Miami 2016Dutch sailor Rutger van Schaardenburg continued his solid start to the regatta with a first and sixth today. It was a slight step down from his 2-1 yesterday, but it was still the best score of the day, nipping Filip Jurišić (CRO) by virtue of a tiebreaker. Van Schaardenburg retains command of the overall lead, six points ahead of Jurišić. Behind the Croatian sailor, however, lies a tightly packed mob of top Laser talent; just 23 points separates second from 22nd. Included in that group is five-time Olympic medalist Robert Scheidt (BRA) in 13th and American medal hopeful Charlie Buckingham (USA) in 14th. Buckingham is in the first stage of the selection series for the U.S. Olympic Team. While US Sailing Team Sperry teammate Chris Barnard (USA) is not off to a good start, Erik Bowers (USA) is just 2 points behind Buckingham in the overall standings. The Lasers will hope for two races tomorrow and then, regardless of how many races have been completed, the fleet will be split into Gold and Silver Groups for the final two days of full-fleet racing.

In the Laser Radial, defending gold medalist Lilja Xu (CHN) continues to round back into form after some time away from the boat. She was second in today’s lone race, which didn’t start until after 4 p.m. local time. Another veteran of the London Olympics. Evi van Acker (BEL) is just a point behind and her country woman Emma Plasschaert (BEL) is just a point further back in third. With just two races in the books, and three scheduled for tomorrow, there is plenty of time for the leaderboard to shuffle around. Reigning Olympic silver medalist Marit Bouwmeester (NED) is fourth. If there’s a surprise in the early going, it’s that the top U.S. sailors, Paige Railey and Ericka Reineke, are back in 16th and 17th, separated by just one point in the first half of the selection series for the 2016 Olympic team.

—Stuart Streuli, Sailing World Cup Miami, & Daniel Smith, World Sailing

Day 1: Risk and Reward in Light Air on Biscayne Bay

Light air on the first day of the regatta means its as much a mental game as a physical one. There was plenty of opportunity today to start the 2016 Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella on the right foot. And an equal amount of opportunity to record the sort of result that can considerably narrow the margin for error for the remainder of the event, at least for those with podium aspirations. The day started in a light northwesterly breeze than veered slightly before dying off. It was mid afternoon before the breeze came back in. While a few fleets are still on schedule, others will look to make up lost races during the coming days. The full results can be found here.

Laser and Laser Radial

Dutch sailor Rutger van Schaardenburg knows the importance of not risking too much during the first few races of the regatta. But he’s not afraid of opportunity. So when the opening’s presented themselves during the first two races in the Yellow group of the Laser division, he pounced. The reward: a pair of first-place finishes.

“It’s obviously an ideal start,” said the lanky Dutchman. “For me it was important not to have very bad races because tricky wind conditions today—light wind [that] could come from any direction—so I didn’t want to start with a bad result and that worked out.”

The first race was a wire-to-wire win, by nearly two minutes over the second place boat. The second required some work, and van Schaardenburg isn’t afraid to say, a little help from above after struggling off the line. The comeback could be broken into two distinct components. Halfway up the first beat, a favorable shift helped him to get back in touch with the lead group. Then he was able to move from 10th to first on the run.

“Downwind [it was] both being in the pressure and having the opportunity to go quick not having anyone on the back blocking the wind from me,” said van Schaardenburg. “Freedom, pressure and obviously the boatspeed was good.”

Milivoj Dukic of Montenegro also had a strong day with a third and a second, as did van Schaardenburg’s countryman, Nicholas Heiner, who stands third with nine points.

Sailing World Cup Miami 2016With their start pushed back due to the mid-day lull in the breeze, the first of two fleets of Laser Radials didn’t get started until after 15:00 local time, and the second didn’t cross the line until after 16:00. In both groups a familiar face lead the way around the track. Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN), the reigning world champion, won the earlier race, beating Emma Plasschaert (BEL) by 18 seconds. In the second group, it was London 2012 Olympic Gold medalist Lijia Xu (CHN) crossing the line first, followed by Silvia Zennaro (ITA).

49er and 49erFX

Following two races in the Blue and Yellow 49er fleets, Nico Delle-Karth and Nikolaus Resch (AUT) and Portugal’s Jorge Lima and Jose Costa are tied on four points after a bullet and a third apiece.

However, the top of the pack could be different. Having won the opening race in the Yellow fleet Jonas Warrer and Anders Thomsen (DEN) crossed the finish line of the second thinking they had the perfect start with back to back victories.

Sailing World Cup Miami 2016Unfortunately, it was not to be as the pair were black flagged as Warrer explained, “We were a little surprised by the current. I think we got caught about a minute, half a minute before. We won the race even though we had a bad start and we sailed well, we’re happy about that but it’s a shame that we were over the line, that’s life. It’s important that we sailed well.”

Counting the 32nd the Danes sit in 25th but Warrer and Thomsen won’t be disheartened. They know the venue well, taking bronze together in 2015 with Warrer winning gold in 2014 with Peter Lang.

“We like Miami and the shifty stuff as we’re used to shifty conditions from back home,” said Warrer. “It’s good to come over here this time of year. We’ve come from cold, grey and raining in Denmark and Miami is a good place to sail.

“The level is high, it’s always like this with a year until the Olympics. Everybody is improving, including ourselves and the level goes up. A lot of boats can win races. You can be punished for even small mistakes.”

Sailing World Cup Miami acts as a Danish qualifier for Rio 2016 but Warrer and Thomsen are left uncontested so will book their spot to the Olympic Games this week.

After a number of years of Danish skiff success, resulting in Warrer winning gold at Beijing 2008 and Allan Norregaard and Peter Lang picking up bronze at London 2012 the lack of strong Danish skiff crews in Miami can be seen as a bit of surprise.

“I guess I scared everybody away,” smiled Warrer. “It’s a shame, but most of the sailors were my age and stopped, wanting to try something else. We have good young crews coming up but they need one, two or three years more.

“It is a challenge for us as we need to find someone outside of Denmark to train and to push us. We’ve found that. We are training with the Germans and it’s a really good cooperation and good teamwork. It’s good for us as they’re based in Kiel but it would be easier if we had some Danish crews at our level. Give it two years though and it will come.”

For now, the Danes are focusing on racing in Miami and have four further races on Tuesday that they will use to propel themselves up the leaderboard. The day’s other race win went the way of France’s Kévin Fischer and Yann Jauvin.

In the 34-boat 49erFX pack, Norwegian twins Ragna and Maia Agerup took the single race win late in the day. They were followed by Danish sisters Maiken Foght and Anne-Julie Schütt.

Four races follow for both fleets on Tuesday. The 49er Blue fleet will start at 10:00, Yellow at 10:20 and the 49erFX at 14:00.

Men’s and Women’s 470

Sailing World Cup Miami 2016Starting first wasn’t necessarily lucky for the 470 fleets competing in the 2016 Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella. While Miami woke up to a nice breeze, it had started to fade by the time the first gun sounded at 10:00. There was enough wind to make it through one race for both fleets, but that was it. After waiting in vain for something to materialize, the 470s were sent in for the day.

The race for first in the Men’s 470 race came down to a battle between Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson (RSA) and the Ducasse brothers (CHI). The South Americans had the upper hand initially, but Jim and Hudson ground them down on the second beat to take the win.

American medal hopefuls Stu McNay and David Hughes (USA) struggled off the line, but managed to stem the bleeding quickly and go on the attack.

“We did not have a very good start because of our own errors, but were able to be in the mix with the peleton working our way up [the first beat],” said Hughes. “We got flagged [for a rule violation] during the run, but we ended up only losing one boat on those penalty turns. Things really came together for us on the second upwind, we were able to pass a few more boats.”

Skipping by one more boat on the final run lifted the Americans into fourth, a solid opening race. Thomas Klemens and Timothy Hannah (AUS) were third in the race, with Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP) in fifth.

The duo of Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA) won the only Women’s 470 race, getting the upper hand in a see-saw battle with Tsuf Zamet and Stav Brokman (ISR). The Israeli team led around the first mark, and stretched away to nearly a half minute lead on the run. But Oliveira and Barbachan turned the tables on the second beat and took over the lead, which they held for the remainder of the race. Marina Gallego and Fatima Reyes (ESP) finished third with Xiaomei Xu and Ping Zhang (CHN) in fourth and Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar (AUT) in fifth.

Nacra 17

Early days in the Nacra 17 as two races were completed. Dutch racers Mandy Mulder and Coen de Koning enjoyed the best of the day with two single digit scores, a first and a seventh. They lead and are followed by race two victors, Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG).

Men’s and Women’s RS:X

Chinese light wind specialists came to the forefront in the Men’s RS:X. Chunzhuang Liu claimed the opening victory and was followed by compatriot and 2015 Olympic test event winner Aichen Wang.

London 2012 gold medallist Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) completed the top three.

Van Rijsselberge’s compatriot Lilian de Geus revelled in the light breeze, taking the single Women’s RS:X race. De Geus beat Patricia Freitas (BRA) to the post by eight seconds with defending champion Bryony Shaw (GBR) a further 26 seconds behind.


Like a fine wine, Jonas Hoegh-Christensen (DEN) appears to only be getting better with age.

The silver medalist from the 2012 Olympics and two-time world champion rounded the first mark in third, jumped into the lead by the leeward mark and never let go. He was, however, pushed all the way to the finish by Lei Gong (CHN) who was within 10 seconds of the lead around the final two marks. Teammates Arkadiy Kistanov (RUS) and Aleksey Borisov (RUS) finished third and fourth with Facundo Olezza (ARG) in fifth. American sailors finished seventh, eighth, 12th, 13th and 15th in the first race of the selection series for the Finn berth at the Rio Olympics.

Paralympic Events

Sailing World Cup Miami 2016France’s Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary put their 2015 Para World Sailing World Championships disappointment behind them on the opening day of Sonar racing.

The French trio have been a mainstay on the Sonar podium following a fourth place at London 2012 but the Worlds in Williamstown, Melbourne saw them finish seventh overall.

They came out firing in the single Sonar racing, winning by a massive three minute 30 second margin over Norway’s Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Jacob Haug and Per Eugen Kristiansen.

In the light Miami breeze the French pair showed their worth but with the wind to pick up on Tuesday they’ll have bigger challenges ahead.

One race was completed in the 2.4mR and the victory was picked up by Canada’s Bruce Miller. He was followed by Charles Rosenfield of the USA and Peter Eagar (CAN).

Racing resumes on Tuesday 26 January at 10:00 local time. Having lost races on Monday, the Race Committee will use the day to catch up on the schedule.

SWC Miami Day 1 Morning Brief: Light wind start to 2016

Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella, the first big Olympic sailing battle of the Olympic year, will see its opening day on played out across Biscayne Bay in light winds.

A mixed bag of conditions on Miami’s waters were prevalent in the build to the regatta and that trend does not look like changing with ups and downs in wind strength, wind direction and temperature predicted this the week.

As sailors arrived at the venues – US Sailing Center Miami, City of Miami’s Regatta Park, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Coral Reef Yacht Club and Shake-A-Leg Miami – a slight flutter of flags and palm trees could be seen.

A north easterly 4 knot flicker will kick off the morning. As the day progresses the direction will shift to the east and pick up later in the afternoon to 8-11 knots. The 470 and 49er fleets are due to start first at 10:00 local time. The remainder of the fleets will follow as the day advances.

The day’s schedule is available below:

Class Course # of Races Start time
Men’s RS:X Delta 3 11:00
Women’s RS:X Delta 3 13:30
Laser Blue Echo 2 11:00
Laser Yellow Echo 2 11:10
Laser Radial Blue Echo 2 13:00
Laser Radial Yellow Echo 2 13:10
Finn Foxtrot 2 13:00
49er Blue Charlie 3 10:00
49er Yellow Alpha 3 10:20
49erFX Alpha 3 13:20
Men’s 470 Foxtrot 2 10:00
Women’s 470 Foxtrot 2 10:10
Nacra 17 Charlie 3 13:00
2.4mR Bravo 2 13:00
Sonar Bravo 2 11:00

A confirmed number of 711 sailors from 64 nations in 514 boats will race across the ten Olympic and two Paralympic fleets throughout the week.

As well as World Cup glory being on the line, a number of North and South American nations will by vying for an Olympic berth. One spot in each of the fleets for both continents will be up for grabs with two available in the Men’s RS:X.

The nations aiming for Olympic qualification are:

Nacra 17

North – Canada, Puerto Rico

South – Guatemala, Uruguay, Venezuela

RS:X Men

North – Aruba, Canada, USA

South – Chile, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela

RS:X Women

North – Canada

South – Argentina, Peru, Venezuela


North – Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico

South – Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela

Laser Radial

North – Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Cuba, St. Lucia, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago

South – Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru, Venezuela

470 Men

North – Canada, Mexico

South – Chile, Ecuador

470 Women

North – Canada

South – Argentina, Chile


North – Canada, British Virgin Islands, USA

South – Chile, Uruguay


North – Aruba, US Virgin Islands, USA

South – Chile


North – Canada

South – Argentina, Chile

—Daniel Smith, World Sailing

Olympic Dreams On the Line at Sailing World Cup Miami

With the calendar switched to an Olympic year, the intensity on the water at the 2016 Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella is a match for the famously bright South Florida sun. In less than 200 days, many of the nearly 800 sailors gathered in Coconut Grove this week will walk in the Opening Ceremonies of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. For the sailors with a confirmed spot in the Olympic Regatta, this event is about sharpening their tactical game, refining their equipment and improving their conditioning. Others have a more immediate focus as they are in the midst of a selection series for their respective countries or working to qualify their country for the Olympic regatta.

“There’s a lot at stake this year at Sailing World Cup Miami,” said Josh Adams, Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing. “For the first time in the event’s 27-year history, it’s being used as part of the U.S. selection process and part of country qualification process for the 2016 Olympic Games.”

For American sailors in eight of the Olympic classes and the 2.4mR, this event is the first of two events that will determine the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team for this summer’s Games.

Sailing World Cup Miami is the second of six regattas in the 2016 series. From 25-30 January 2016, Coconut Grove, Miami, USA is hosting more than 780 sailors who are competing across the ten Olympic and two Paralympic classes on the beautiful waters of Biscayne Bay.

Sailing World Cup Miami is the second of six regattas in the 2016 series. From January 25-30, 2016, Coconut Grove, Fla., is hosting more than 780 sailors from around the world who are competing across the ten Olympic and two Paralympic classes on the beautiful waters of Biscayne Bay.

The Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella is the second event in the six-regatta 2016 Sailing World Cup. Competition in US Sailing’s premiere racing event gets underway this Monday in all 10 Olympic classes and two of three Paralympic classes. Saturday’s Medal Races will be carried live on ESPN3.

The Olympic classes competing this week will be: Laser Radial (women), Laser (men), Finn (men), Men’s RS:X, Women’s RS:X, 49er (men), Men’s 470, Women’s 470, Nacra 17 (mixed) and 49erFX (women). Paralympic classes included are the 2.4mR (open, Para World Sailing) and Sonar (open, Para World Sailing).

Befitting an event of this magnitude, this evening athletes, volunteers and regatta officials participated in an Opening Ceremony on the lawn of the Coral Reef Yacht Club. The 68 national flags ringing the lawn—and the variety of languages heard in the various boat parks—are a stirring reminder of the global popularity of this event. The event record of 855 sailors, which was set last year, is safe; the 2016 edition of the Sailing World Cup will rank third in terms of attendance. The 68 nations attending breaks the record set in 2015.

“Sailing World Cup Miami is a pivotal event for Olympic sailors on the road to Rio. The caliber of the athletes that will be on show in Miami is exceptional and many of the medalists here will be on the Olympic podium in August,” said Sailing World Cup Manager, Antonio Gonzalez de la Madrid. “Racing in Miami in January provides a welcome respite for the European sailors looking to escape the European winter. We have World Champions Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich (ITA) in the 49erFX, Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) in the Nacra 17 and Danish Laser Radial star Anne Marie Rindom. That’s to name but a few in the world class fields we have on show in the ten Olympic and two Paralympic events.”

The trickle down of having all these top international athletes training and racing in the United States every January should not be understated.

“The training leading up to this regatta is at a very high level,” said Adams. “For the US Sailing Team Sperry and our overall Olympic program, there’s great value in this event. Our athletes are able to go out and train against the world’s best.”

Racing gets underway tomorrow at 10 a.m. (EST), weather providing and will run until the late afternoon each day through Friday. Saturday’s double-point medal races—a shorter sprint for glory with just the top 10 sailors in each class competing—will start at 11 a.m., and be broadcast live on ESPN3.

—Stuart Streuli, Sailing World Cup Miami

Photo credits: Pedro Martinez & Jesus Renedo/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

An entry list for Sailing World Cup Miami can be found here
Once racing starts on Monday, January 25, results will be available hereLIVE VIDEO
Medal Races on Saturday 30 January will be broadcast live on the World Sailing YouTube channel as well as on 10 major broadcasters including ESPN3 in the USA.LIVE TRACKING
A majority of the fleets will be available to watch in 2D and 3D via the live tracking, which will be available here

Live Tracking via the Sailviewer-3D Tablet App will be available for devices with 7″ or greater screens.
Click here to download the iOS Application –
Click here to download the Android Application –

The Competition Status Screen feeds in straight from the Race Committee boats with the teams inputting data such as race times, course type, the status of each race and the plan moving forward. Once racing commences, the competition status screen will be available here\

Sailing World Cup Miami
The Sailing World Cup Miami 2016 presented by Sunbrella is the premier North American event for top-level Olympic and Paralympic class sailors, and the only North American regatta to be included in World Sailing’s 2015-16 Sailing World Cup series. Competitors in the 10 Olympic and two Paralympic events will have five days of fleet racing from Monday, January 25 to Friday, January 29. Medal Races across the Olympic classes will bring the regatta to a close on Saturday, January 30, where medals will be awarded to the top three boats. The regatta is organized by US Sailing.

Regatta Headquarters will be located at the US Sailing Center Miami, a U.S. Olympic Training Site, in Coconut Grove, Miami, Fla. Additional hosts for the event include the City of Miami’s Regatta Park, Coconut Grove Sailing Club and Shake-A-Leg Miami. The Coral Reef Yacht Club hosts the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and is the site for the Regatta Village throughout the week.

Sailing World Cup Miami is presented by Sunbrella, and sponsored by BeneteauJeanneauLagoonSperryChubb Personal InsuranceCity of MiamiHarkenMcLubeCoral Reef Sailing ApparelUHealth Sports Performance and Wellness InstituteAdventure Sports MiamiSwitlikSturgis Boat WorksVetus-MaxwellPapa’s Pilar RumNacra Racing, and Beneath the Waves.

US Sailing
Sailing World Cup Miami Presented by Sunbrella is organized by the United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, which provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry. For more information, please visit us at

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