ISAF Sailing World Cup, Miami

The road to Rio continues with six days of racing in Miami, FL.
6 days, 678 sailors, 599 boats, 150 races, 10 Olympic and 3 Paralympic classes. The ISAF Sailing World Cup in Miami, presented by Sunbrella, is one of the final events on the “Road to Rio.” Walter Cooper
Page Railey (USA), who missed the ISAF World Championship earlier this year in Santander, Spain due to a bicycle crash injury, finished fourth in the Laser Radial. Railey took first in the final medal race in the class, but it wasn’t enough to get her on the podium for the World Cup. “It was exciting to win the race, because I went into it with a slim chance at the medals, and that’s what I needed to do,” said Railey. “To start the year off with a win at the [Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta] and to get 4th here means that I’m pretty excited.” Christine deSilva
Phillip Buhl (GER) took first in the Laser class, after Nick Thompson (GBR) struggled with a broken vang in the final day of racing. “You can’t sail a Laser in 15 knots of wind with a broken vang, ” said Thompson, who finished 7th, even with the equipment failure, and still had a 12 points lead to hold onto silver. Walter Cooper
Charlie Buckingham (USA) finished 4th in the Laser medal race, which boosted him two positions overall and secured his place for the ISAF finale in Abu Dhabi in November. “I had a tough start, but I picked a nice shift at the beginning to get myself back into the race,” said Buckingham, who rounded the first mark in second place, and finished the race in fourth place (and in seventh place overall). “I love medal races, and being a part of them. The top guys are there, and it is definitely a challenge. You really have to be at your best.” Walter Cooper
Nico Delle-Karth and Nickolaus Resch (AUT) were victorious in the 49er class, going into the medal race just one point ahead of Joel Turner and Iaian Jensen (AUS). With a strong start in the medal race, the Austrians out maneuvered the Australians to take first, and are looking forward to the ISAF World Cup Final this November in Abu Dhabi. Walter Cooper
Alex Malone and Molly Meech (NZL) had already sealed their victory before the 49erFX medal race, but the week overall was hardly a walk in the park. It turned out the be the highest scoring ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta ever, with Maloney observing, “The whole fleet had its moments. It was all about being consistent this week but no one quite found that consistency.” Walter Cooper
In the Women’s 470, Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha fought through injuries to put together yet another top-10 finish “I would say that we accomplished most of our goals this week,” said Haeger. “With the injury I’ve been battling, we knew that we would face some setbacks on speed on the racecourse, so we tried to focus on things more in our control, like starting and communication. We had a tough medal race as well, but we fought back and passed a bunch of boats at the end. Briana is always the cheerleader in tough situations, and she keeps my head on straight. She keeps the attitude positive, which is super important.” Walter Cooper
Luke Patience and Elliot Willis (GBR) went into the Men’s 470 medal race leading their Australian opponents, and wrapped it up the same way. Even among the regulars on this scene, Patience stood out in finding the extremely shifty sailing conditions, “Not unusual. We had lots of northwesterlies, and what was unusual was having that for a week. We go all over the world, and wherever you are, you have to adapt.” Patience and Willis arrived in Miami two weeks ahead of the regatta, “to focus, to treat this the same way we would treat a world championship.” The tactic seems to have worked, with the Brits taking the gold and the championship ahead of Australia’s Matthew Belcher and William Ryan who finished second, and Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP) who finished third overall. Walter Cooper
Italians Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri had their gold medal secure before the start of the final Nacra 17 race, but they finished it properly with a bullet in the medal race as well. Bissaro and Sicouri enjoyed their time in Miami. “Well first of all, because we won,” said Sicouri. “It’s really nice, the sea is warm so it is very good sailing and it is very challenging because you never have the same conditions. You really have to use your mind to be at the top. The race area was so challenging and until the fourth day the top of the fleet was really close on points. It was just that yesterday, we managed to do what we did to win early.” Walter Cooper
Bryony Shaw (GBR) had gold in the bag in advance of the medal race in the Women’s RS:X class. The race was on for the remaining medals ended in heartbreak for Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) who was on the course side and as a result was dropped out of the medal running. Lilian de Geus (NED) claimed a silver while Olga Maslivets (RUS) was a major benefactor of Tartaglini’s OCS and a seventh pushed her up into bronze medal position. Christine deSilva
London 2012 gold medalist Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) continued to lead the Men’s RS:X in Miami by taking a narrow victory over France’s Thomas Goyard. The Dutchman held a ten point lead over Goyard going into the Medal Race but a late surge from the Frenchman saw van Rijsselberge edge it out by two points.”I had a poor performance in the Medal Race,” said van Rijsselberge. “I’m not super happy with how it went but I did just enough to win. I was lucky because I had enough places already for me to keep in the lead.” Walter Cooper
In the Finn Class, Caleb Paine (USA) finished 8th in the medal race and his overall position did not change. The world #2 ranked athlete in the men’s heavyweight dinghy class noted that his downwind speed hampered him slightly this week, and that it would be a primary focus of his training after the event. Walter Cooper
Giles Scott (GBR) took gold, continuing his 18-month winning streak in the Finn class. Walter Cooper
Norway’s Paralympic team of Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Per Eugen Kristiansen and Marie Solberg just edged out the top-finishing American team to take first in the Sonar Disabled class. The Americans—Alphonasus Doerr, Brad Kendell and Hugh Freund—finished just one point behind the Norwegians in an exciting final race. Walter Cooper
In the Skud-18 Disabled class, the Australian team of Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch took top honors, just ahead of Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR). Walter Cooper
Norway’s Bjørnar Erikstad had a decisive victory in the 2.4 Metre Disabled class, finishing no race lower than third after the throwout. Courtesy of Erikstad Sailing Team