Author: Jake Fish

Champions Return to 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami

The 2019 World Cup Series Miami, held out of Coconut Grove from 29 to 3 February, will see nine 2018 champions return to Biscayne Bay determined to defend their titles.

2019 marks the 30th edition of an Olympic sailing regatta in Miami and, with 650 sailors from 60 nations registered to race across ten events, it’s expected to be another strong year of competition.

Of the 2018 Miami gold medallists, Giles Scott (GBR) is the only athlete not competing this year. Across the ten events, there are 34 Olympic medallists racing alongside numerous World and World Cup podium finishers, and the best sailors will be vying for a World Cup medal as the race to Tokyo 2020 continues.

Australia’s Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin will come into Miami as favourites in the Nacra 17 after securing gold at the first round of the Hempel World Cup Series in Enoshima, Japan last September.

Waterhouse and Darmanin overthrew Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti (ITA) in the Medal Race to claim a hard-earned title – but exactly one year ago, the competition was slightly less stressful for the Aussies. Racing on the Biscayne Bay waters in 2018, Waterhouse and Darmanin controlled the fleet all week long and simply needed to finish the Medal Race to secure gold. They did that with ease and are back to defend their title.

Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) and Thomas Zajac and Barbara Matz (AUT) joined them on the podium in 2018 and also return this year.

Further contenders in the 31-boat Nacra 17 fleet include Samuel Albrecht and Gabriela Nicolino de Sá (BRA), Iker Martinez and Olga Maslivets (ESP), John Gimson and Anna Burnet (GBR) and Bora Gulari and Louisa Chafee (USA).

Helen Noesmoen, of France, will aim to repeat her winning performance from last January in the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami, which will be held from 29 January through 3 February 2019, racing will be held in all ten of the Olympic events. © Jesus Renedo /Sailing Energy/World Sailing

In 2018, Louis Giard and Helene Noesmoen (right) made it a double French gold in the Men’s and Women’s RS:X windsurfer.

Both will star in their respective fleets again in 2019, but bigger fleets with strength in depth will ensure it won’t be easy for them to retain their title.

Joining Noesmoen in the 44 strong Women’s RS:X fleet will be her compatriot and Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Charline Picon, who has been competing again for less than a year after becoming a mother post Rio 2016. Although Picon spent considerable time away from the RS:X, it was almost as if she never left as she finished second at the Hempel Sailing World Championships and seventh on Olympic waters at the Enoshima round of the Hempel World Cup Series.

After a sustained period of training and preparation, Picon will have her eyes set on overthrowing Noesmoen in Miami.

Enoshima World Cup gold medallist Peina Chen will be amongst the Women’s RS:X fleet, as will 2018 World Champion Lilian de Geus (NED) and Olympic medallists Zofia Noceti Klepacka (POL) and Bryony Shaw (GBR).

In the Men’s RS:X, a similar French battle is expected to unfold; one that has been ongoing almost immediately after Rio 2016. Giard has locked horns with compatriot Pierre Le Coq in the World Cup Series over recent years, the pair continuously sharing podiums with minimal separation. Thomas Goyard (FRA) has also been in the hunt as the fight between the French is set to resume in Miami.

The Men’s RS:X fleet will welcome 61 racers, many of whom know what it takes to stake a claim for gold.

Hopefuls for the podium include Mengfan Gao (CHN), Tom Squires (GBR), Byron Kokkalanis (GRE), Shahar Zubari (ISR), Mattia Camboni (ITA), Pawel Tarnowski (POL) and Mateo Sanz Lanz (SUI).

American hopes will be pinned on 2018 Youth World Champion, Geronimo Nores (USA).

Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz (GER) plans to defend their 49erFX championship at the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami will be tested by the return of two-time Miami champions and 2016 gold medalists in the class, Martine Grael and Kahene Kunze of Brazil. The regatta will run from 29 January to 3 February 2013, racing will be held in all ten of the Olympic events. © Jesus Renedo /Sailing Energy/World Sailing

In the 49erFX class, Germany’s Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz won their first World Cup title in Miami last year and, following a mixed bag of results after that, they’ll be hoping to find that winning form once again.

Elsewhere, Rio 2016 gold medallists and 2013 and 2017 World Cup Miami winners Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) are fully back into the Tokyo 2020 campaign trail. The pair stepped away from the 49erFX after Rio as Grael focused on a Volvo Ocean Race campaign, but they’re 100% focused on the next Olympic Games.

They showcased their skillset at the opening round of the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series in Enoshima, Japan, claiming gold, and recently won the Miami Skiff Mid-Winter Regatta, so they will be firm favourites this week.

Their long-term training partners and on-water rivals Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) will also be in the hunt, as will Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey (GBR) and Tanja Frank and Lorena Abicht (AUT).

The final returning champions from 2018 are Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stu Bithell (GBR). They weathered a late charge from Diego Botin and Iago Lopez Marra (ESP) last year to take gold by a single point. With the Spaniards returning as well, a familiar rivalry will resume.

A fleet of 43 will sail in the 49er, and Croatian brothers Sime and Mihovil Fantela will also be in the hunt after they emerged as serious contenders following victory at the Hempel Sailing World Championships in Aarhus last year.

Germany’s Rio 2016 bronze medallists Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel, James Peters and Fynn Sterritt (GBR) and Jonas Warrer and Jakob Precht Jensen (DEN) will also fancy their chances of a podium finish.

Returnees in the remaining classes include Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol (SLO) in the Women’s 470, Luke Patience and Chris Grube (GBR) in the Men’s 470, Alison Young (GBR) in the Laser Radial and Tom Burton (AUS) in the Laser.

Racing is scheduled to commence on Tuesday 29 January and run through to Sunday 3 February.

Hempel World Cup Series Miami Is the First Test of 2019

The world’s leading Olympic sailors, including 34 Olympic medallists, are preparing for the second round of the Hempel World Cup Series in Miami, Florida, USA.

More than 650 sailors from 60 nations are gearing up to race on the waters of Biscayne Bay for the first big event of 2019. Racing is scheduled to commence on Tuesday 29 January and run through two days of Medal Races on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 February.

The 2020 Olympic venue in Enoshima, Japan was the last big opportunity for the world’s top sailors to test themselves as the battle to Tokyo heats up. After a few months of rest, training and intense preparations, excitement for another busy year of Olympic class sailing is high, starting with the Hempel World Cup Series event in Miami.

Luke Patience and Chris Grube (GBR) dominated the Men’s 470 fleet last year in Miami and make a return to the waters in a bid to defend their title.

Home nation hopes will be pinned on Stu McNay and Dave Hughes (USA). McNay sailed with former crew Graham Biehl one year ago, finishing seventh, but is back in the boat with his regular partner. McNay and Hughes have tasted success on the Miami waters in the past having won gold in both 2016 and 2017. They will be joined by four additional American crews who are all aiming to put the pressure on them in the chase for a spot in Tokyo.

The Men’s 470 fleet will comprise of 37 strong teams. Hempel Sailing World Championships gold medallists Kevin Peponnet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) will join the Brits and Americans as favourites but further strength is evident in the five Japanese teams, Greece’s Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis and Sweden’s Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergström.

In the Women’s 470, 31 crews will fight for supremacy on Biscayne Bay.

Slovenia’s Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol controlled the pack in 2018 and are back in Miami in a bid to make it two golds in a row. They will face stiff competition from a strong fleet of competitors, including Japan’s Ai Kondo Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka.

The Japanese duo won gold at the Hempel Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark and finish third on the podium in Miami one year ago. After finishing second at the first 2019 Hempel World Cup Series event in Enoshima, Japan, they’ll be aiming for a similar high-level performance this time.

Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes van Veen (NED) picked up gold in Enoshima ahead of the Japanese and narrowly missed out on a medal in Miami last year. Zegers has a new partner for 2019 – London 2012 bronze medallist and multiple World Champion Lobke Berkhout (NED) – so they will be ones to watch out for during the early days of their partnership.

Rio 2016 gold medallist Hannah Mills, sailing with Eilidh McIntyre (GBR), will also be on the start line, as will the experienced Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA), Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz (FRA) and Poland’s Agnieszka Skrzypulec and Jolanta Ogar.

American hopes will be pinned on two-time Youth Sailing World Champions Carmen and Emma Cowles.

Olympic bronze medalist Caleb Paine (left, with Malcolm Park, Chief of US Sailing Team) will be aiming for another top finish at the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami, held January 29 to February 3, in Regatta Park, Coconut Grove, Florida, USA. © Jesus Renedo /Sailing Energy/World Sailing

The 27-boat Finn fleet will be spearheaded by American favourite and Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Caleb Paine, who snapped up a silver in 2018 as the accomplished Giles Scott (GBR) claimed a well-deserved title.

Paine finished a disappointing 12th at the Hempel Sailing World Championships, missing out on qualifying USA to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. He’ll have another shot at qualifying the nation at the Finn Gold Cup later this year but will be aiming to start off 2019 with another medal.

Scott won’t be in Miami to defend his title, but there is an abundance of top sailing talent who will contend for the podium. Jorge Zarif (BRA) has moved back into the Finn following his success at the Star Sailors League Final in the Bahamas and has a great pedigree racing in Miami. He has two gold medals to his name – in 2016 and 2017 – and will be targeting a third.

Further medal hopefuls in the Finn include Max Salminen (SWE), 2017 Finn Gold Cup winner, London 2012 bronze medallist Jonathan Lobert (FRA), Finland’s Tapio Nirkko and Canada’s Tom Ramshaw.

The leading lights in the Laser Radial will all be in Miami, making for one of the most competitive fights since the Hempel Sailing World Championships.

World Champion Emma Plasschaert (BEL), Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and returning Miami champion Alison Young (GBR) will all feature in the 68-boat pack.

The trio have raced competitively against each other throughout the Tokyo 2020 quadrennial and, as the clock ticks down to the Olympic Games, they will be looking for opportunities to demonstrate their abilities to perform on the biggest stage.

World Champion Emma Plasschaert of Belgium is one of the favorites in the 68-boat Laser Radial fleet at the 2019 Hempel Sailing World Cup, helped January 29 to February 3, in Regatta Park, Coconut Grove, Fla. © Jesus Renedo /Sailing Energy/World Sailing

Although Plasschaert, Bouwmeester and Young have enjoyed the recent accolades, there are also plenty of stars who have what it takes to reach the top step of the podium.

Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN), Sweden’s Josefin Olsson and Greece’s Vasileia Karachaliou have been consistent performers over the last two years and will be aiming for a medal. Dolores Moreira Fraschini (URU), Sarah Douglas (CAN), Tuula Tenkanen (FIN), Maria Erdi (HUN) and Paige Railey (USA) will also be targeting a top finish.

The Laser will be the largest fleet in Miami with 105 entrants on the start line. Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Tom Burton (AUS) dominated the pack in 2018, winning with a day to spare. As of late, he has been locked in an intensive battle with compatriot Matt Wearn as the two fight for the single Tokyo 2020 spot for Australia. The battle will resume in Miami and is expected to be fiercer than ever.

The Laser pack does not feature Rolex World Sailor of the Year and 2017 and 2018 World Champion Pavlos Kontides (CYP) but there are numerous competitors all capable of claiming a medal.

After finishing a lowly 35th last year, Jean Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) will have his 2017 victory in mind as he aims to regain his form this time round. Nick Thompson (GBR) will be another contender; the Brit has secured five medals in Miami, two of those gold, and will be at the front of the pack once again.

Elsewhere, Elliot Hanson (GBR), Philipp Buhl (GER), Rio 2016 bronze medallist Sam Meech (NZL) and Charlie Buckingham (USA) will also be in the mix for a podium spot.

Racing is scheduled to commence on Tuesday 29 January and run through to Sunday 3 February.

Sustainability Plays Leading Role in 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami 

For the sailors entered in the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series regatta, the racing starts on Monday, January 28, and ends with Medal Races for each class the following weekend. The racing is mentally and physically taxing, and the stakes are high. For 30 years, Olympic dreams have been made—and crushed—on Biscayne Bay. However, the end of the regatta is defined. For sailors, and others, who care about the future of the marine playing field, the race is ongoing and there is no end in sight.

In recognition of this critical battle, the organizers of the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series are committed to doing their part to reduce the environmental impact of their event while also educating competitors and spectators about what they can both on and off the water to help improve the health of the world’s oceans and inland waterways.

The 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami is one of four stops on World Sailing’s World Cup Series tour, the premiere competitive circuit for sailors with aspirations of representing their country at the Tokyo Games in 2020. For 30 years, international sailors from around the globe have made Miami and Biscayne Bay a de facto winter training base, ensuring that the competition at the Hempel World Cup Series Miami is always of the highest level. Many of the sailors competing in the event will be standing on the podium in Tokyo in 18 months’ time.

In Miami, the sustainability initiative will be led by former US Sailing Team member Elizabeth Kratzig, who quarterbacked the award-winning sustainability effort at the 2018 Youth World Sailing Championships in Corpus Christi, Texas, last summer.

“Having been involved in this regatta as a past competitor and coach on and off since 1991, I am excited that the organizers have recognized the large impact that the World Cup Series regatta has on the local community, its resources and its waterways,” says Kratzig, a long-time Miami resident. “We want to make sure we leave Regatta Park and Biscayne Bay in better shape than we found it. We also want to provide to anyone who comes in contact with the regatta the tools to reduce their environmental impact in their day-to-day lives.”

The effort kicked off on Sunday, January 13, as US Sailing Team athletes joined sailors from around the world and other volunteers for the Coconut Grove Coastal Clean-Up. The event was organized by US Sailing in partnership with VolunteerCleanup.Org and was sponsored by World Sailing. Upwards of 100 individuals collected over 850 pounds of trash from the mangroves lining Kennedy Park, Shake-A-Leg and Prime Point Marina. The evening prior to the clean-up, volunteers and members of the general public listened to a moving presentation from ocean advocate and explorer Emily Penn.

Click here for a story and video on the Coastal Cleanup

Kratzig also has some specific goals for the regatta itself, including a drastic reduction in single-use plastics and a Clean Regattas Silver Level certification, as outlined by Sailors for the Sea.

“We have a unique opportunity to use the sport of sailing to promote environmental stewardship and sustainability not only to the competitors, race committee officials, but also to sailing fans and the local Miami community,” says Kratzig. “By following environmentally friendly practices and incorporating an educational component in the regatta festivities, we hope to lead by example and inspire changed behaviors. This year’s event will include a special emphasis on promoting environmental best practices for motorboat operation, including information on using fuel spill pads and tips for reducing fuel consumption. We are also excited about growing the educational zone at the regatta festival. This year, the festival will include interactive displays from Miami Waterkeepers, Women’s Club of Coconut Grove and University of Miami’s Rescue a Reef program, among others.

Looking further down the road, the regatta hopes to establish a robust approach to sustainability at the World Cup Series Miami, sharing best practices and setting standards and targets, reduce the World Cup Series Miami carbon footprint and promote resource efficiency and create lasting legacy programs from this event.

Spectators who come to Regatta Park to watch the Medal Races on Saturday, February 2, and Sunday, February 3, will be enjoy fun and educational activities designed to develop individual awareness of what it takes to maintain a healthy relationship with the environment.

Onshore Festival Returns for 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami

After a successful debut last January, the US Sailing Education Zone and onshore festival will return to Regatta Park in Coconut Grove, Fla., during the final two days of the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami, which will take place January 26 to February 3 on Biscayne Bay. On Saturday, February 2, and Sunday, February 3, food trucks along with entertaining and educational activities will complement a live broadcast of the deciding Medal Races for all 10 classes competing in the Olympic-class regatta. An onshore medal ceremony for each class will follow the races.

The 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami is one of four stops on World Sailing’s World Cup Series tour, the premiere competitive circuit for sailors with aspirations of representing their country at the Tokyo Games in 2020. The Hempel World Cup Series Miami is known around the world for reliable wind, great mid-winter weather and the famous South Florida hospitality. For 30 years, international sailors from around the globe have made Miami and Biscayne Bay a de facto winter training base, ensuring that the competition at the Hempel World Cup Series Miami is always of the highest level. Many of the sailors competing in the event will be standing on the podium in Tokyo in 18 months’ time.

US Sailing Reach Activities for STEM Education at Race Village

Through interactive and hands-on activities, children participating in the US Sailing Education Zone will have the opportunity to learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics through the sport of sailing. Activities will test problem solving skills and inspire a greater appreciation for the marine environment.

  • Participants in the “Reach Simple Machine Scavenger Hunt” will connect science and sailing through mechanical advantage by exploring the association between six simple machines: wheel and axle, lever, pulley, screw, wedge and inclined plane. Participants will be challenged to find examples of all six simple machines in the Race Village.
  • In the “Sustainability Navigation Challenge”, students will navigate their way throughout the Education Zone and Race Village to various checkpoints using an authentic sailing compass. At each checkpoint students will discover a sustainable tool or step that the event made to minimize their impact on the environment. When they return to the finish they can make their own pledge on how to be more sustainable in your everyday life!
  • Other activities in the Education Zone will be presented by the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Florida International University and Tropic Sport Sunscreen.

The onshore festival at the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami is a great weekend activity for families and anyone who enjoys watching elite-level competition in a pristine waterfront park.

Paine Puts Silver Lining on 2018 World Cup Series Miami

A year and a half ago, with the majestic hills of Rio de Janeiro as a backdrop, Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.) proved that he’s not afraid of sporting’s bright lights, claiming the Finn class bronze medal in the Rio 2016 Olympics with a stirring win in the Medal Race. Earlier today, on Biscayne Bay, Paine came up big again when the pressure was its most intense, earning the Finn silver medal in the 2018 World Cup Series Miami, USA.

“For the first event back in the year and a half, it was a great result,” said Paine (above), who officially launched his campaign for Tokyo 2020 this week. “I look forward to improving that in the near future.”

Paine started the Medal Race needing to place one boat between himself and Alican Kaynar (TUR) to move from third to second in the overall standings, while also not letting Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) finish too far ahead. Giles Scott (GBR), the reigning Olympic gold medalist, had simply to finish the race to ensure himself of the gold medal.

World Sailing Recap: Leaders Shine on Final Day of 2018 World Cup Series Miami

Paine put himself in a difficult spot when his start didn’t quite go as planned. Fortunately Kaynar didn’t shine off the line either and both were quickly forced to make clearing tacks and work the right side of the course while the bulk of the fleet streaked off toward the left. While the Medal Race is short, there’s still plenty of opportunity to come back from a bad start as the smaller fleet—10 versus 26 boats in the case of Finn class—makes it easier to find clean lanes. Paine was patient, working past Kaynar on the first beat and then making the decisive move on the final run, slipping past Max Salminen (SWE) and Tapio Nirkko (FIN) to put two boats between himself and Kaynar and claim the silver medal.

“I was fortunate to be close enough to those guys [on the final run] and I saw some pressure on the downwind,” said Paine. “I just knew that was my moment to make the jump, and I worked hard as I could to make it happen. Fortunately enough, I was able to pass them by the bottom mark.”

As the top-placing American in the regatta, Paine also earned US Sailing’s Golden Torch Award.

The only other American team to sail on the regatta’s closing day was the Men’s 470 team of Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Graham Biehl (San Francisco, Calif.). McNay and Biehl sailed together in two Olympics, but Biehl retired from Olympic competition after the 2012 Olympics and McNay teamed up with David Hughes (Miami, Fla.) to finish fourth in Rio. With Hughes recovering from a knee injury, McNay called upon his former partner to help him stay sharp.

While a seventh-place finish—they moved up one spot with a third in the Medal Race—isn’t up to McNay’s usual standards at this event, which he’s won three times, but the team’s goal this week wasn’t focused on the results.

“The results this week in Miami I think are a good indication of exactly where our team is at, performance wise,” said Malcolm Page, Chief of U.S. Olympic Sailing. “We had one medal here with Caleb Paine in the Finn, but have also had some other class results in single digits. Although this is a marker of where we are today, it’s certainly not an indicator of where we’re going. We are steadily building a process and a system to take America back to the top of the podium.”

Luke Patience and Chris Grube (GBR) just needed to beat one boat to lock up the gold medal in the Men’s 470 division. They beat eight, finishing just behind Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) in the race. Kevin Peponnet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) finished seventh in the Medal Race, but were close enough to Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergström (SWE) to hold onto the silver medal position.

“It was an amazing week,” said Peponnet. “We had light winds to begin and that was really good for us because we really want to know how well we were in these conditions, and it turns out we were really good in them. We had very strong winds towards the final days and that also turned out to be good. Overall, we are really happy because we’ve only been sailing together for six months and we’ve done so well.”

If there was a common thread to the five Medal Races on the final day of the 2018 World Cup Series Miami, USA, it was that the hard work put in early in the regatta was the key to victory. In three of the five classes, the leader coming into the day was assured or all but assured of the gold medal due to the advantage build up during the full-fleet portion of the regatta. The leaders in the other two classes had solid, if not invincible, cushions over second place.

All five class leaders going into the day stood on the top of the podium at the end of it. But there was plenty of excitement when it came to the remaining podium positions.

It was the final race of the day, in the Women’s 470 class, that proved to be the most entertaining. Regatta leaders Tina Mrak and Veronkia Macarol (SLO) gave the fleet a hint of hope by rounding the first mark in fourth. But an impressive run, which vaulted them into the lead, all but squashed any chance of another team closing the 13-point gap. The real battle settled on silver and bronze, with three teams—Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes Van Veen (NED), Agnieszka Skrzypulec and Irmina Mrózek Gliszczynska (POL) and Ai Konda Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka (JPN)—separated by 3 points going into the race and a fourth, Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter (GBR), with an outside chance should two of the three falter.

© Richard Langdon/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

The race turned at the bottom of the second run when Zegers and Van Veen ran into equipment issues with their spinnaker, which required Van Veen to come off the trapeze and spend a few minutes inside the boat. In the breezy conditions, this proved fatal as the fleet streaked away from the Dutch team. The Polish and Japanese teams matched each other for the second lap of the race, with Skrzypulec and Mrózek Gliszczynska maintaining the advantage and locking up the silver medal. With a 10th place in the race, Zegers and Van Veen, the defending champions at this event, dropped from second to fifth. Seabright and Anna won the Medal Race and jumped to fourth in the overall standings.

The Laser Radial was the most wide-open of the five classes, with nine of 10 sailors starting the Medal Race mathematically alive for a medal. Alison Young (GBR) had a five-point advantage over second place starting the day. But the way that Young closed the regatta—with four wins in five heavy-air races—there didn’t appear to be much chance to unseat her at the head of the class with the Medal Race being sailed in much the same conditions as the previous six races, 16 knots and choppy seas.

Young jumped out to the early lead with an impressive first beat. Mári Érdi (HUN) would slip past on the second beat, but second was more than enough for the Briton to clinch the overall title. Emma Plasschaert (BEL) played solid defense to hold on to the silver while Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) did the same to claim bronze.

With the gold medal locked up courtesy of a 30-point advantage, Tom Burton decided to use the Medal Race to work on his starts. All evidence to the contrary—his results for the week include two race wins and eight top-seven finishes—Burton wasn’t quite satisfied with his ability to get off the line. That item will remain on his worklist as he pulled the trigger just a hair early in the Medal Race and was called OCS by the race committee. Without anything to gain or lose, Burton was content to follow the fleet around the track after re-starting. He finished ninth and still winning the class by 17 points. Nick Thompson (GBR) and Philipp Buhl (GER) were effectively tied going into the race. And Sam Meech (NZL), the bronze medalist from the Rio 2016 Olympics, was lurking just three points back.

© Richard Langdon/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

It all looked good for Buhl (right, in red) when he rounded the first mark in sixth, with Meech in sixth and Thompson (right, in blue) in ninth. But Thompson, who was whistled for a tacking-too-close penalty on the first beat, ground back into contention. It was anyone’s race as the Lasers surfed down the final downwind leg, flicking their bows from side to side and aggressively working the short, steep chop of Biscayne Bay.

In the end, Thompson was unable to dig himself completely out of the hole created by his penalty on the first leg. Like many Olympic veterans in this regatta, however, Thompson is able to look at the big picture.

“Today was a real tricky day in Miami,” said Thompson. “I was tied with three boats going into the medal race. First place was already gone. I knew it was going to be a tough battle but, in the end, I came away with third place. It’s another year where me and Philip had a good battle. I like competing with him. He’s a great sailor.

“The penalty was my mistake. I thought I was probably okay, but the jury ultimately made the decision. Basically, I was coming in starboard and I had a boat going to duck behind me. I tacked a bit too close and that was a bit frustrating on my part. Overall, I am pleased with my performance this week. Just came to work in a few areas, and I walk away with a medal, so I feel pretty amazing.”

Photos: © Jesus Renedo & Richard Langdon / Sailing Energy / World Sailing

Last Set of Champions Crowned in Miami

If there was a common thread to the five Medal Races on the final day of the 2018 World Cup Series Miami, USA, it was that the hard work put in earlier in the regatta proved the decisive component in determining the champion.

In three of the five classes, the leader coming into the day was assured or all but assured of the gold medal due to the advantage built up during the full-fleet portion of the regatta.

The leaders in the other two classes had solid, if not invincible, cushions over second place.

Not surprisingly, all five class leaders going into the day stood on the top of the podium at the end of it. But there was plenty of excitement when it came to the remaining podium positions.

© Richard Langdon/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

It was the final race of the day, in the Women’s 470 division, that proved to be the most entertaining. Tina Mrak and Veronkia Macarol (SLO) gave the fleet a hint of hope by rounding the first mark in fourth. But an impressive run, which vaulted them into the lead, all but squashed any hope of another team closing the 13-point gap and taking over first place.

“It was a great week of sailing, particularly on the first few days of racing, we did really well,” said Mrak.

Their biggest challenge this week was sailing downwind in lighter winds.

The real battle then settled on silver and bronze with three teams, Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes Van Veen (NED), Agnieszka Skrzypulec and Irmina Mrózek Gliszczynska (POL) and Ai Kondo Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka (JPN), separated by three points going into the race and a fourth, Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter (GBR), with an outside chance should two of the three falter.

The race turned at the bottom of the second run when Zegers and Van Veen ran into some equipment issues with their boat, which required Van Veen to come off the trapeze and spend a few minutes inside the boat.

In the breezy conditions, this was fatal as the fleet streaked away from the Dutch team. The Polish and Japanese teams matched each other for the second lap of the race, with Skrzypulec and Mrózek Gliszczynska maintaining the advantage and locking up the silver medal.

“We’ve had a week and it’s been great sharing the podium with our sparring partners. We’ve done our best and we’ve managed to achieve silver so we are blessed,” expressed Gliszczynsk.

With a 10th place in the race, Zegers and Van Veen, the defending champions at this event, dropped from second to fifth. Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter (GBR) won the Medal Race and jumped to fourth in the overall standings.

The Laser Radial was the most wide-open of the five classes, with nine of 10 sailors starting the Medal Race mathematically alive for a medal.

© Richard Langdon/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

Alison Young (GBR) had a five-point advantage over second place starting the day. But the way that Young closed the regatta—with four wins in five heavy-air races—there didn’t appear to be much chance to unseat her at the head of the class with the Medal Race being sailed in much the same conditions, 16 knots and choppy seas.

Young jumped out to the early lead with an impressive first beat. Mári Érdi (HUN) would slip past on the second beat, but second was more than enough for the Briton to clinch the overall title. Emma Plasschaert (BEL) played solid defense to hold on to the silver while Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) did the same to claim bronze.

Rindom says she could improve on her hiking, “I’ve been struggling with hiking this week and that’s something I definitely need to improve on.”

With the gold medal locked up courtesy of a 30-point advantage, Tom Burton decided to use the Medal Race to work on his starts. All evidence to the contrary—including two race wins and eighth top-seven finishes in this event—Burton wasn’t quite satisfied with his ability to get off the line.

He’ll need a little more work as he pulled the trigger just a hair early and was called OCS by the race committee. Without anything to gain or lose, Burton was content to follow the fleet around the track, finishing ninth and still winning the class by 17 points.

Separated by just a point going into the race, Nick Thompson (GBR) and Philipp Buhl (GER) were effectively tied going into the race. And Sam Meech (NZL), the bronze medalist from the Rio 2016 Olympics, was lurking just three points back.

It all looked good for Buhl when he rounded the first mark in sixth, with Meech in sixth and Thompson in ninth. But Thompson ground back into contention and it was anyone’s race as the Lasers surfed down the final run, flicking side to side and aggressively working the short, steep chop of Biscayne Bay.

A year and a half ago, with the majestic hills of Rio de Janeiro as a backdrop, Caleb Paine (USA) proved that he’s not afraid of the bright lights, claiming the Finn class bronze medal in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with a stirring win in the Medal Race. Earlier today, on Biscayne Bay, Paine came up big again, earning the Finn silver medal.

Paine started the Medal Race needing to place one boat between himself and Alican Kaynar (TUR) to move from third to second in the overall standings, while also not letting Ioannis Mitakis finish too far ahead. Giles Scott (GBR), the reigning Olympic Medalist, had simply to finish the race to ensure himself of the gold medal.

Scott shares his secret on his this week, “I think consistency in the top positions is key and that applies to most fleets.

“The trick is just to say steady and easy into it at the start and don’t do anything outstanding during the first couple of races of an event. You just keep plugging away and try and secure the top three results. This was my strategy in Miami.”

Paine put himself in a difficult spot at the start when his plan to attack Kaynar before the start didn’t quite go as planned, forcing both sailors to make an early clearing tack and work the right side of the course while the bulk of the fleet streaked off toward the left.

While the Medal Race is short, there’s still plenty of opportunity to come back from a bad start as the smaller fleet—10 versus 26 boats in the case of Finn—makes it easier to find clean lanes. Paine was patient, working himself past Kaynar on the first beat and then making the decisive move on the final run, slipping past Max Salminen (SWE) and Tapio Nirkko (FIN) to put two boats between himself and Kaynar and claim the silver medal.

© Richard Langdon/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

In the Men’s 470, Luke Patience and Chris Grube (GBR) won gold. The pair lead the fleet majority of the week and triumphant by a 27-point margin ahead of the French, Kevin Peponnet and Jeremie Mion, who took silver.

Peponnet and Mion have only sailed together for six months and they walk away with silver medals, “Overall we are really happy because we’ve only been sailing together for six months and we’ve done so well. Our height and weight is perfect, that’s what us perform better than most in the fleet.” Said Peponnet.

Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergström (SWE) claimed bronze in Men’s 470.

You can watch the final Medal Races here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZcq- EHxZ3M

The third leg of Sailing’s 2018 World Cup Series will be held in Hyères, France, this April.

By Stuart Streuli & Aadil Seedat – World Sailing

Resilient South Florida Sailing Community Rebounded to Keep World Cup Series Tradition Alive

Every January, for nearly three decades, sailors from around the world have brought their Olympic hopes and dreams to Miami. Getting here, especially for sailors—and boats—based in Europe or farther afield, requires some effort. But there simply are not many places in the Northern Hemisphere where you can find reliably good sailing conditions in January. When you combine great sailing with warm mid-winter weather, Miami’s diverse international flavor and the hospitable local yacht clubs that line the shores of Biscayne Bay—and have always been more than willing to help run such a broad regatta—it’s easy to understand why this event has become such an important fixture on the international dinghy circuit.

“We love Miami,” said Anika Lorenz (GER) who is won the 49erFX divsion with her teammate Victoria Jurczok. “It’s so warm, and you don’t need big wet suits. There is great weather and facilities.”

© Tomas Moya/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

But Hurricane Irma almost put a stop to a tradition that dates back to 1990. The Category 5 storm, which made landfall in early September, did greater than $50 billion in damage to Southern Florida. The recovery, especially along the coastlines, is ongoing.

“Irma sunk over 100 large vessels in the mooring fields in the Coconut Grove-area,” said Meredith Brody, regatta co-chair. “Those vessels, between November through January, were pulled out at our regatta site, onto the staging ground of our event. But we worked very hard with the city and lots of different partners to get them removed so the show could go on.”

In addition, the Clubs that play such an integral role in running the event—providing support boats, volunteers, event space and many other invaluable resources—were all dealing with their own issues in the wake of Irma.

“The piers where we do our launching, those were completely destroyed until just days before the athletes showed up,” said Brody. “So, it really was an incredible effort from multiple levels. From the city of Miami, from the state of Florida, [and] we had some government entities involved. We had a huge team that worked on it, and it’s incredible that it all came together.”

© Tomas Moya/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

Losing the 2018 regatta would’ve been particularly painful. After many years of running the regatta from multiple locations around Biscayne Bay, the event organizers have put a tremendous amount of effort into developing Regatta Park into a single on-shore venue capable of hosting all the boats, along with regatta management offices and an on-shore festival designed to expose Olympic sailing to a wider audience. The 2017 event served a something of a proof of concept and, spurred on by World Sailing, the sport’s global governing body, event organizers were ready to go all-in in 2018.  

While the use of Regatta Park was touch-and-go during the months and even weeks prior to the Opening Ceremonies at the Coral Reef Yacht Club last Monday, the regatta has gone off seamlessly. Brody’s hope that the athletes “wouldn’t even notice,” seems to have come to fruition as they’ve been free to focus on the competition.

“I love it,” said RS:X competitor Noga Geller (ISR). “The weather is great and you get really good conditions to sail here. There is hardly any seaweed, so it definitely makes it much more enjoyable to windsurf.”

With this regatta wrapping up today, Brody and the rest of her organizing team, including co-chair John Craig, can breathe a sigh of relief, and then focus on making next year event better.

“We have 50 countries competing and over 394 boats with over 500-plus athletes. So really excited to have the world gathered here in Coconut Grove.” said Brody. “We’re looking forward to our big 30 next year.”

Day #6 Morning Report – Final Five Medal Race to Close out 2018 World Cup Series Miami

Miami, USA has delivered a range of conditions for the 543 sailors, from 50 nations, competing in Round two of Sailing’s World Cup Series 2018.
From light winds, at the start of the regatta, to heavy winds towards the end. Sailors racing on Biscayne Bay have seen it all the diversity has caused big movements on the leaderboard.

Yesterday the Nacra 17, RS:X Men and Women, and the 49er and 49erFX completed their Medal Races in perfect sailing conditions.

Today is the last day of the competition and the second, of two, Medal Race days and champions will be crowned in the 470 Men and Women, Finn, Laser and Laser Radial.

The breeze will be slightly calmer than yesterday and is expected to be ranging from 10 to 15 knots, traveling in from the east southeast. There is a slight chance of showers in the morning and the afternoon.

The Laser Radials will be the first class to commence racing, scheduled for 12:00. You can watch today’s sailing action here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZcq-EHxZ3M

Sunday 28 January Schedule*
*Subject to change

Laser – 12:00
Laser Radial – 12:58
Finn Dinghy – 13:43
470 Men – 14:28
470 Women – 15:13

How to follow:

ENTRIES / RESULTS / SCHEDULE
27 Olympic medallists as well as World and Continental Champions have registered to compete in Miami. Click here to view the entry list in full.
Results will be available from Tuesday 23 January here – http://sailing.org/worldcup/results/index.php
All fleets will commence racing on Tuesday 23 January. To view the full schedule click here.

WATCH
Daily highlights and live streamed Medal Races on Saturday and Sunday will be available across the World Sailing Network. Click here to subscribe.

Set yourself a reminder for the Medal Races below:
Saturday Live
Sunday Live

SAP SAILING ANALYTICS
SAP Sailing Analytics will be available from Tuesday 23 January. Live tracking, sailor analytics, live weather data and racing status will be available on the platform here – https://wcs2018-miami.sapsailing.com/

SOCIAL MEDIA
Follow the event on World Sailing’s social networks and get involved in the conversation using #WCSMiami
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/worldsailingofficial/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/worldsailingofficial/
Twitter – @worldsailing

PRESS RELEASES
All World Sailing international press releases throughout the duration of the World Cup Series, including the latest news and reports, are available to read here – http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/news/index.php

LIVE ALERTS
Click here to sign up to receive all of the latest alerts and announcements from Miami.

WORLD CUP SERIES
The World Cup Series is a world-class, annual series of Olympic sailing for elite and professional sailors. Over 2,000 of the World’s leading sailors, representing over 75 nations have competed in the World Cup Series which offers a definitive guide to the best-of-the-best in the Olympic sailing world.

Roble, Shea Find Redemption with 49erFX Medal Race Win

Mathematically eliminated from medal contention before the start of the Medal Race, the American 49erFX squad of Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wis.) and Maggie Shea (Wilmette, Ill.) went into their final race of the 2018 World Cup Series Miami, USA, looking for something less tangible, but no less important on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

© Jesus Renedo /Sailing Energy/World Sailing

“This week has been full of highs and lows for us,” said Roble. “The first few days of the lighter air, we had some up-and-down scores. As the breeze built, we had an unfortunate capsize in one of the races that caused the time limit to expire on us. I’m really looking forward to getting more consistent results as we move forward as a team. That being said, heading into the medal race today, we were really hungry for redemption and really wanted to have a solid race against this group of girls, so we were fired up and ready to roll today.”

World Sailing Recap: France’s Noesmoen Shines in Medal Race to Take Women’s RS:X Gold

Roble and Shea showed impressive speed and boathandling in conditions that tested the fleet and caused more than one of their competitors to capsize. They rounded the first mark in seventh and then progressively moved up through the fleet and won the race.

“We had basically a lay day because we couldn’t sail [on Friday due to too much wind], and that gave us some time to really reflect on what we struggled with on the breezy day before, diagnose the problems and focus on how we were going to change techniques and maneuvers,” said Shea. “We focused on a couple of critical moments that led to a bad result earlier in the week, and we corrected some things that really helped us achieve a solid result today. Steph kept her head out of the boat and nailed some really critical laylines. I just put my head down and pulled really hard at times. But Steph was really comfortable with the boat going fast and, you know, she loves the boat-on-boat stuff.”

The race win moved Roble and Shea from ninth in the overall standings to eighth. But the real reward is the momentum they’ll carry into the rest of the season.

“From here on out, we’re going to head to Europe for a bit,” said Roble. “There’s some big training camps going on in Portugal, so we’ll head over there to gain some more experience on the starting line and just racing against other boats. We feel like our boat handling is pretty solid, and we want to continue making gains against the fleet. It will be a pretty Europe-heavy spring and summer leading up to [Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus 2018, in late July], and we’re just looking to make as many gains we can for the big event.”

Among the other Americans competing in the Medal Races, results-based highlights were rare. But, there was plenty of optimism on shore nonetheless. And Finn sailor Caleb Paine has put himself in a very strong position to finish either second or third in his first regatta back after the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Finn, Laser, Laser Radial and Men’s and Women’s 470 classes will sail their Medal Races tomorrow, starting at noon.

“We came into the day pretty happy with how we were doing so far, and we had nowhere to go but up,” said Nacra 17 skipper Ravi Parent (Bradenton, Fla.), who finished ninth in today’s Medal Race for the foiling catamaran class. “We had set our expectations of just having fun and sailing fast around the course, pushing ourselves as hard as we could, and we achieved that, plus some. We were really happy to be up there in the mix at the top mark with those top guys. We’re looking forward to getting the next opportunity to really push it against them.”

As the top American team in the regatta—and because they made the Medal Race—Parent and Persson were named to the US Sailing Team after today’s sailing, putting a big smile on both of their faces.

“I’m humbled by the events of today,” said Persson (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) “It’s just been really great working with all the other teams, just getting to know everybody and sailing together and learning together and pushing one another. It’s been a really great experience, so for me, that’s really important.”

Bora Gulari (Detroit, Mich.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.) capsized in the Nacra 17 Medal Race and did not finish. But their 10th place finish in their first regatta together is a good sign of what’s to come for this duo, both of whom who participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Judge Ryan (San Diego, Calif.) and Alain Sign (GBR) were eighth in the 49er Medal Race and finished ninth in the overall standings. Sign was a one-time fill-in for Ryan’s normal partner Hans Henken (Coronado, Calif.). For Ryan, the opportunity to sail with a Rio Olympian and continue to refine his skills while Henken recovered from injury was quite valuable.

© Jesus Renedo /Sailing Energy/World Sailing

“The 49er demands consistent sailing all the time,” said Ryan. “A 49er sailor needs to get reps in, and it makes a big difference. After Hans needed time off for a medical issue, I was contemplating sitting out in Miami depending on which crew could come. My coach, Mark Asquith, set things up with Alain Sign, an Olympian and world-class crew. The opportunity to sail with a top-notch athlete from a different program was great, and brought value for the future. Hans is now 100-percent recovered, and after he finishes his masters degree in March, we will be fully back to campaigning toward Tokyo 2020. We’ll be stronger than ever, and ready to crush racing this summer.”

The only other American team to qualify for Sunday’s Medal Races was the 470 team of Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Graham Biehl (San Francisco, Calif.). As with Ryan, McNay had the choice of sailing with a replacement crew, while David Hughes (Miami, Fla.) recovers from a knee injury, or not sailing. The opportunity to reunite with Biehl, with whom McNay sailed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, made it an easy decision. After a sixth and an eighth today, McNay and Biehl are eighth overall. They will sail in tomorrow’s Medal Race, but are mathematically eliminated from podium contention.

Paige Railey’s return to competition in the Laser Radial netted the two-time Olympian a 13th place. It’s a solid start for Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) especially considering her lack of time in the boat over the past 18 months and the heavy-air sailing that dominated the second half of the regatta. Haddon Hughes (Houston, Texas) finished strongly for the United States, with four top-10 finishes in the final five races. She was 17th overall. Newly-crowned Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) was 32nd.

Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) missed the Medal Race in the Laser class by just six points. He finished 12th, with Malcolm Lamphere (Lake Forest, Ill.) in 27th and Christopher Barnard (Newport Beach, Calif.) in 31st.

Atlantic and Nora Brugman (Miami, Fla.) were the top American team in the Women’s 470 class, finishing 24th.

Photos: Jesus Renedo & Richard Langdon / Sailing Energy / World Sailing

France’s Noesmoen Shines in Medal Race to Take Women’s RS:X Gold

With five sailors in striking distance of the gold medal and seven mathematically alive for a podium position, the Medal Race for the Women’s RS:X at the 2018 World Cup Series Miami, USA, was projected to be the most exciting of the five Medal Races scheduled for the penultimate day of the regatta.

Watch today’s Medal Races here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3t_sodLO8g

And it delivered with abundant speed and excitement in champagne sailing conditions on Biscayne Bay.

 © Tomas Moya/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

When the spray cleared, Hélène Noesmoen (FRA, center) was zipping across the finish line in first in excess of 20 knots and, in the process, moving from fourth to first in the overall standings. Rounding out the medals were Flavia Tartaglini (ITA, left) and Blanca Manchon (ESP, right).

“Today was windy, and I think that is my strong point,” said Noesmoen. “I tried to keep consistent during the week and really push myself in the Medal Race, and it paid off. I had a bad second day, I think that was due to the wind conditions, which dropped me to the middle of the [results] table. But I had an amazing third day, which kept me in the top 10 and allowed me to compete at the Medal Race.”

The turning point in the double-points Medal Race came on the first downwind leg when Stefania Elfutina (RUS), the defending Olympic bronze medalist and regatta leader going into the day, caught the edge of her board after leaping off a wave and crashed into the water. It the time it took her to recover her sail and get going again, five sailors-and her medal chances-passed her by. One of those zipping past was Noesmoen, who rounded the second of five marks in sixth place. While the breeze velocity was quite steady, there were gains to be made by playing the shifts correctly. On the third leg, Noesmoen found an elevator to the podium, moving to second and then to first for the final two legs of the race.

“This race was going well for me until I crashed on the first downwind close to the gate,” said Elfutina. “I’m not sure what happened. I’m trying not to feel disappointed with myself. I enjoyed this regatta and my races. I learned a lot of things on the water. I can’t really say what I learned [about preventing what happened in the final race], it’s just an instinct that your body adjusts to on the water, and it becomes a reflex.”

For the first time, World Sailing employed a reaching start and finish for the RS:X divisions. For sailors that are used to parking close to the starting line and accelerating at the last second-typical of a start in the RS:X class-this America’s Cup-inspired course format required a retooled starting strategy that heavily rewarded precise time-on-distance calculations for the final ramp up. But the course, which features four reaching and downwind legs and two upwind legs, was generally met with positive reviews.

© Jesus Renedo /Sailing Energy/World Sailing

As was the case with the Women’s RS:X, no team in the Men’s 49er fleet had secured a podium position of any color going into the Medal Race. But unlike in the RS:X division, the form guide held true with world champions Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stuart Bithell (GBR) staying right in lockstep with Diego Botín le Chever and Iago López Marra (ESP) throughout the race and ensuring that the British team would emerge from the race with the gold medal. Holding on for third, though they did put themselves in a bit of trouble by rounding the first mark in ninth, were Federico Alonso Tellechea and Arturo Alonso Tellechea (ESP).

“It was brilliant fun out there,” said Bithell, a silver medalist in the 470 class. “We had good breeze and plenty of sunshine. The Medal Race is pretty quick. It was really exciting, and we were just full of adrenaline. It’s just incredible sailing [the 49er]. It was hectic but Dylan did a really good job.

“Our strategy initially was to start at the boat end, windward of the Spanish. But we got a little late at the start so we had to go to Plan B, which was to be a bit quicker so we just had to use our speed.”

Though they were, effectively, as far ahead of third place as they were behind first, Botín le Chever and López Marra attacked the racecourse with the aim of getting a gold.

“We needed to put the boat between the British and us to win,” said Botín le Chever. “So we went full-on in the start. The wind was really strong so we had to keep the boat upright. We found ourselves in second place. We needed to overtake the Austrians and we did it. We thought that we’d won the regatta, but then we found out that we were second. Congrats to the British.”

Unfortunately for the Spanish duo, the Austrian team that crossed the line second in the race had crossed the starting line early and was disqualified from the race. But the silver medal is a strong result for this team, which was ninth at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“It’s a really good position for us,” said Botín le Chever. “We have some of the greatest 49er sailors here. This event is motivation for us to keep on working hard. We have a lot of regattas ahead, we still have a long way ahead.”

Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz started the Medal Race in the 49erFX class with a comfortable cushion. But in the spicy wind and chopped wave conditions-and multiple capsizes-no lead was safe. So the German duo kept the pedal to the metal and finished second in the race behind Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea (USA).

“It was a hard wrestle for us today,” said Lorenz. “Our main focus on the boat was to make sure that all the manoeuvers were safe and that we didn’t capsize. We were not really focusing on the other boats.”

The Norwegian team of Ragna and Maia Agerup was one of the boats that capsized, but in the end it didn’t cost them a place in the overall standings. They took silver with Tanja Frank and Lorena Abicht (AUT) in third.

Even for the sailors at the front of the Nacra 17 class, today’s race was a learning experience. The 19-21 knots conditions, with 1-meter chop, were right on the edge of what the boats can handle, especially given the fleet’s relative inexperience with the lifting foils, which were added to the class less than a year ago. Upwind, most teams chose to keep one hull in the water and go for height over speed. Downwind, however, it was a wild ride with both hulls riding a meter or more out of the water at times. One sailor was swept overboard when her boat crashed down into the water after foiling downwind at 25 knots. She was quickly recovered and her team finished the race.

© Jesus Renedo /Sailing Energy/World Sailing

Lisa Darmanin and skipper Jason Waterhouse (AUS) started the race with a 19-point lead, which meant they only needed to finish the race to ensure the gold medal. Instead they added one more victory to their scorecard, showing exceptional control in challenging conditions.

“We’re from Australia,” said Darmanin, a 2016 Rio silver medalist, “so we love the breeze.”

Defending gold medalists Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) were last around the first two marks, but showed remarkable speed on the final downwind leg, going from seventh to third and preserving the silver medal. Thomas Zajac and Barbara Matz (AUT) were sixth in the race and third overall.

With a second in the Medal Race in the Men’s RS:X, Kiran Badloe broke up a potential one-two finish for France. But it would’ve taken a perfect race and quite a bit of help from the rest of the fleet to unseat Louis Giard (FRA) who started the final race with a 13-point advantage. Tom Squires (GBR) won the race. Pierre Le Coq (FRA) was sixth in the race, which was enough to keep him on the podium.

“Today the conditions were incredible, I really enjoyed the racing,” said Giard. “A lot of the guys in the RS:X class are really good. So we had really close competition and all the time you have to constantly be looking out because if you open a small window someone will slip in.

“I can’t really put my finger on [the key to my success], but I just try my best and I try to enjoy this competition.”

The Finn, Laser and Laser Radial and Men’s and Women’s 470 sailed today and will have their Medal Races tomorrow.

In the Finn class, Giles Scott (GBR) holds first position with a 19-point lead over the Turkish sailor, Alican Kaynar. Caleb Paine (USA) sits third in the fleet.

Tom Burton (AUS) has an unassailable lead in the Laser class with a 30-point cushion over Nick Thompson (GBR). After the tough battle for second place with Thompson, throughout the week, Philipp Buhl (GER) lands in third place on the leaderboard.

Alison Young (GBR) climbed up the fleet and managed to gain first place in the Laser Radial.
Emma Plasschaert (BEL) had led for the majority of the week however she drops to second. The Rio 2016 bronze medalist, Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) is third.

In the Men’s 470, Luke Patience and Chris Grube (GBR) lead the fleet with 17-points ahead of Kevin Peponnet and Jeremie Mion (FRA). The Swedish, Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergström hold third spot.

Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol (SLO) move up from fourth to first in the Women’s 470. Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes van Veen (NED) take second and Agnieszka Skrzypulec
Irmina Mrózek Gliszczynska (POL) third.

The dinghies will sail their Medal Races tomorrow with the racing scheduled to commence at 12:00. You can watch the remaining Medal Races live here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZcq-EHxZ3M

Scroll to top