In the Men’s Laser, North American Champion Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) carved out an eight-point lead over closest rival and US Sailing Team Sperry teammate Erik Bowers (Excelsior, Minn.) at the first selection event, Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella (Jan. 25-30, 2016), and will look to defend his position in Palma. Buckingham has been the top-ranked American Laser sailor since 2012, and represented the United States at two Rio de Janeiro Olympic Test Events (2014 and 2015) and the Pan American Games (2015). “I’m excited to get the second half of the Olympic selection series underway,” said Buckingham, a two-time College Sailor of the Year who is competing in his second Olympic selection series. “Although my first selection experience was four years ago, time has flown by and it pretty much feels like yesterday. For the London Trials I was right out of college, but now I have four years of proper preparation behind me and I can feel the difference.” Buckingham is looking to qualify for his first career Olympics.