KEY BISCAYNE, Fla.–Most of the sailors gathered in Miami for the 2002 Olympic Classes Regatta spent the days before the regatta tuning up, shaking off the rust, and working on their base tan. However, for 13 49er teams there was some serious business to attend to, the first of three ranking regattas that will be used to determine the 2002 US Sailing Team. Light and shifty conditions dominated the two-day event. Tim Wadlow and Peter Spaulding won the first two races on Sunday and were able to fend on a strong charge by David Fagen and Bora Gulari on Monday to win the regatta.
“Our strength has always been light air,” said Wadlow. “This just showed were still on top of the heap in light air. But Dave and Bora made huge strides. They pushed us pretty hard this regatta.
“The first day there was so much powerboat wake it was like sailing in a washing machine. It was a little flatter today and not as shifty. There were longer phases between the shifts.”
In third, 13 points behind Wadlow and Spaulding was the West Coast duo of Andy Mack and Adam Lowry. Mack and Lowry are the most experienced American team, and one of the few teams in this regatta who also sailed together in the 2000 Olympic trials. While they werent the fastest team in the light and shifty conditions on Biscayne Bay, Wadlow still feels they are the team to beat in the OCR and down the road.
“I think theyre definitely still the best team in a range of conditions,” said Wadlow. “Weve always had an edge in the light stuff, but theyre better than us in a breeze. Were closing the gap, but regattas like this [light air] arent helping us much.”
The first day of racing for the 2002 Olympic Classes Regatta is Wednesday. The OCR runs through Saturday.
Key Biscayne YC, Fla., Jan. 27-28, 13 boats, light winds
1. Tim Wadlow & Peter Spaudling, Brookline, MA (11) 2. David Fagen & Bora Gulari, Chesapeake, VA (14) 3. Andy Mack & Adam Lowry, Seattle, WA (24) 4. Dalton Bergan & Zack Maxam, Coronado, CA (26) 5. Sean Couvreux & Allan Johnson, Petaluma, CA (42).