Miami heat

Day one of the Olympic classes regatta sees the results going the host's way

Wednesday January 29th 2003, Author: Barby MacGowan, Location: United States
Despite cooler-than-normal temperatures in Southern Florida, 526 athletes sailing 328 boats generated their own kind of competitive heat today as they began racing in the 2003 Rolex Miami OCR. The global importance of this event, which hosts competition in 11 Olympic and Paralympic classes, is evident in the number of foreign sailors - representing 34 countries - lured here by the knowledge that they would find excellent competition against the best American sailors. More than half of the 328 boats sailing are foreign entries. Canada has the largest contingent with 55 entries, followed by Germany with 13, and Great Britain with 12. In its 14th year, the Rolex Miami OCR features six racing circles on Biscayne Bay, providing a spectacular show for spectators as well as high-rise dwellers.

68 Stars make for the largest class at this year's event and perhaps the most intriguing line-up of internationally recognized sailing names. Olympians from Greece, Ireland and Switzerland are among the foreign entries, who comprise over half the fleet, but it was Peter Bromby who leads after three races today. Paul Cayard (above) is currently fifth with Freddie Loof in seventh and John Kostecki eighth. It was not a good day for GBR with Iain Percy lying a lowly 52nd behind his sparring partner Jez Fanstone.

US sailors are at the top of the scoreboard in seven classes. Skipper Meg Gaillard leads the Europe fleet, while Steve Hunt leads 470 Men's; Katie McDowell tops 470 Women's; and Andy Mack leads the 49ers.

In the Laser class, Mark Mendleblatt came straight from his One World America's Cup campaign to take a one-point lead over Britain's Daniel Holman after today's three races with Paul Goodison in third. The class is the second largest here, with 49 entries.

In the Tornados the Argentinian team is leading with Hugh Styles and Adam May picking up a second in the third race to pick them up to fifth place.

The much anticipated Yngling debut at the 2004 Olympics was previewed by skipper Betsy Alison's overall win today in that class. Alison is a five-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year (see photo below).

The leaders in the two Paralympic classes each posted three straight victories: John Ross-Duggan in the Sonar, and Germany's Heiko Kroeger in the 2.4 Metre.

A perennial favourite on the Olympic circuit and a gold medallist from 1996, Greece's Nikos Kaklimanakis won all three races in the Mistral Men's class, while Switzerland's Anja Kaeser topped the women's class.

Other leading foreign skippers are Chris Cook (Whitby, CAN) in Finn, and Santiago Lange/Carlos Espinola (ARG) in Tornado.

For U.S. sailors in the Europe, Finn, 49er, Laser, Star, Tornado, Yngling, 2.4 Metre and Sonar classes, this event is a "must-sail" to count toward the 2003 US Sailing Team (USST) and US Disabled Sailing Team (USDST) rankings. For U.S. 470 sailors, it is the final ranking event in their 2003 ranking system. (The members of the 2003 USST in the Mistral class were determined at the conclusion of their Olympic Pre-Trials last October.)

Golden Torch Award - This year, for the first time, an award will be presented for the best performance by a U.S. sailor. Andy Kostanecki, Chairman of the Olympic Sailing Committee from 1985-88, had been given a Torch from the 1980 Olympics by the Russian Olympic Committee, which he in turn presented to US SAILING. Kostanecki, who was instrumental in the creation of the US Sailing Team and the establishment of the Miami Olympic Classes Regatta, which started as one of a series of American-Canadian training events, asked that the Torch be connected to the regatta and the efforts of U.S. sailors with Olympic aspirations. The "Golden Torch" along with a Roll of Honor, will be maintained at US SAILING’s headquarters in Portsmouth, R.I.. A keeper trophy will be presented to the winner.

(Results Attached - Protests Pending)

Europe (25 boats)
1. Meg Gaillard, Jamestown, R.I., 1-2-1; 4
2. Lenka Smidova, CZE, 2-1-2; 5.
3. Tory Crowker, Toronto, CAN, 3-4-3; 10

Finns (32 boats)
1. Chris Cook, Whitby, CAN, 6-1-1; 8
2. Chris Hoegh-Christensen, DEN, 8-2-5; 15
3. Geoff Ewenson, Annapolis, MD/Newport, R.I., 4-7-4; 15

470 Men Mixed (12 boats)
1. Steve Hunt/Michael Miller, San Diego, Calif., 1-1-6; 8
2. Mark Ivey/Howard Cromwell, Huntington Beach, Calif., 3-2-4; 9
3. Paul Foerster/Kevin Burnham, Rockwall, Texas, 2-9-1; 12

470 Women (9 boats)
1. Katie McDowell/Isabelle Kinsolving, Barrington, R.I., 4-6-3; 13
2. Erin Maxwell/Jen Morgan, Stonington, Conn., 9-13-2; 24
3. Amanda Clark/Sarah Mergenthaler, Shelter Island, N.Y., 12-8-11; 31

49er (17 boats)
1. Andy Mack/Adam Lowry, White Salmon, Wash., 1-2-2-1; 6
2. Tim Wadlow/Peter Spaulding, Branford, Conn., 2-1-1-3; 7
3. Dave Fagen/Bora Gulari, St. Petersburg, Fla., 3-5-4-2; 14

Laser (49 boats)
1. Mark Mendleblatt, St. Petersburg, Fla., 10-1-1; 12
2. Daniel Holman, GBR, 1-2-10; 13
3. Paul Goodison, GBR, 9-6-5; 20

Mistral Men (22 boards)
1. Nikos Kaklimanakis, GRE, 1-1-1; 3
2. David Mier y Teran, MEX, 3-2-2; 7
3. Peter Wells, Newport Beach, Calif., 4-5-6; 15

Mistral Women (11 boards)
1. Anja Kaeser, SUI, 6-9-5; 20
2. Dominique Vallee, Trois-Rivieres, CAN, 11-3-8; 22
3. Swaine Gregoire, Montreal, CAN, 13-8-14; 35

Star (68 boats)
1. Peter Bromby/Martin Siese, Sandys, BER, 8-7-11; 26
2. Andy Lovell/Eric Oetgen, New Orleans, La., 9-20-1; 30
3. Max Treacy/Anthony Shanks, IRL, 21/ZFP-9-3; 33

Tornado (28 boats)
1. Santiago Lange/Carlos Espinola, ARG, 2-3-6; 11
2. Roman Hagara/Hans-Peter Steinacher, AUT, 1-6-8; 15
3. Robbie Daniel/Eric Jacobsen, Clearwater, Fla., 17-1-1; 19

Yngling (24 boats)
1. Betsy Alison/Lee Icyda/Suzy Leech, Newport, R.I., 1-1-7; 9
2. Carol Cronin/Bridget Hallawell/Liz Filter, Jamestown, R.I., 4-7-1; 12
3. Katerina Giakoumidou/Elena Dimitrakopoulou/Efi Mantzaraki, GRE, 2-10-6; 18

2.4 Metre (20 boats)
1. Heiko Kroeger, GER, 1-1-1; 3
2. Hans Meyer, Pewaukee, Wis., 3-4-2; 9
3. Stellan Berlin, SWE, 2-6-7; 15

Sonar (7 boats)
1. John Ross-Duggan/JP Creignou/Mikey Ross, Newport Beach, Calif., 1-1-1; 3.
2. Paul Callahan/Keith Burhans/Mike Hersey, Providence, R.I., 2-3-2; 7
3. Ken Kelly/Peter Steel/Kirk Westergaard, Victoria, CAN, 3-2-6; 11

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