First winners decided
The first ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami medalists of 2013 were determined on day five. Men’s and Women’s RS:X events conducted semifinal and final round races. The 2.4 mR and Sonar fleets of the Paralympic events took part in their final day of fleet racing.
Israel’s Maayan Davidovich and Spain’s Ivan Pastor saved their best for last in the Women’s and Men’s RS:X events. Davidovich had one win prior to the finals and Pastor had none. They each won their dramatic, winner take all final race to capture gold.
Pastor, a two-time Olympian in 2012 and 2008, was ecstatic about his first ISAF Sailing World Cup title. “It feels incredible to win one of these great World Cup events,” he said. “The conditions were ideal for me with the strong wind. It was more stable and I maneuvered well to get in position.”
The 2012 Olympic silver medalist and defending ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami Champion Nick Dempsey (GBR) finished second to gain silver medal honors. The 2012 Olympic gold medalist and three-time champion of this event finished with the bronze medal. He won five out of 10 races this week.
Davidovich was equally excited about her first World Cup gold medal. “I’m happy to share the podium with Tuuli (Petaja-Siren) and Blanca (Manchon),” said Maayan. “I wasn’t the fastest on the water, but I had a good regatta. This is my first important race for the Rio campaign, so it’s good to start off on the right foot. I love Miami and I’m looking forward to racing here again.”
Finland’s Tuuli Petaja-Siren, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist, won another silver medal with her second place finish. She won four of the 10 races this week. Blanca Manchon, a former World Champion, was third for the bronze medal.
After a recommendation from the Olympic Classes Sub-committee at the 2012 ISAF Annual Conference, Olympic classes have recommended formats to ISAF for testing. The RS:X Class Association’s proposed format has been trialed throughout the week in Miami. The RS:X World Championships take place February 28 to March 7 in Buzios, Brazil.
Great Britain’s Megan Pascoe won her first two races of the week today to seal the win in the 2.4 mR event. Pascoe did not post a finish worse than second following race four out of 10. She tallied six second place finishes. Pascoe won by three points over Canadian Allan Leibel, who was second in both races today. Leibel took the silver medal, while Bruce Millar (CAN) secured the bronze.
Pascoe was fourth last year in Miami and third in the 2.4 mR World Championships last September. The 2013 International 2.4 mR Open World Championship takes place take place September 6-14 in Britain.
Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg and Per Eugen Kristiansen of Norway won the gold medal in the Sonar event and finished strong today with a win in race 10. They were second in race nine. Wang-Hansen and his crew won by a nine point margin. The 2012 Olympic bronze medalists won four races this week. Two American teams secured silver and bronze medals. Andrew Fisher, Mike Hersey and Ryan Levinson took the silver, while Rick Doerr, Brad Kendell and Hugh Freund won bronze.
“We’ve been working hard together for years now and it’s paying off,” said Wang-Hansen. “We have a long way to go, but it’s full speed ahead for Rio.”
49ers Ryan Pesch and Trevor Burd (USA) gained ground on leaders Fred Strammer and Zach Brown (USA). Pesch and Burd tallied impressive scores today by finishing second, first and fourth to pull within two points of the leaders. Strammer and Brown were fourth, second and fifth.
Brazil’s Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze kept their five point lead today in the 49er FX. They were victorious in race 13 and second in race 14. American’s Anna Tunnicliffe and Molly Vandemoer are in second place.
The top six teams in the 49er and 49er FX events will advance to Saturday’s respective medal races. The medal races will be conducted using a unique format and challenging course. The theater style course includes two enclosed parallel lanes approximately 400 meters long and 220 meters wide. The target time for race duration is 10 minutes, with the goal of three laps. The first boat to win two races wins the regatta. Teams entering the medal races with the lead from the fleet series will begin this stage with a win.
Charlie Buckingham surged to the top of the Laser leaderboard this afternoon. He won race 13, which counts as zero points (bonus point for race wins), was second in race 14, and 17th (discard) in the final race of the day.
Perhaps no sailor had a stronger performance today than Ireland’s Annalise Murphy of the Laser Radial event. She won the final two races to take a four point lead over Paige Railey of the United States. Railey won race 13 today and is in second place.
The Lasers and Laser Radials will feature a creative medal round series on Saturday. The top ten will sail three medal races. Each medal race is double points and non-discardable. The final score is the six race series which began Thursday, plus the medal race scores. For more information on this format, read the explanation at the end of this recap.
Caleb Paine (USA) will have a 10 point lead going into Saturday’s medal race. The Finn U.S. National Champion was fourth and second today. Canadian Greg Douglas moved into second place by finishing third twice. The World #1 and ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne Champion Brendan Casey (AUS) won both races today, but a 29 (DNE – disqualification not excludable) on Thursday set him back going into today. He ended the day in sixth place.
Sarah Newberry and John Casey (USA) have a strong hold on the number one spot in the Nacra 17 event. Newberry and Casey finished first and second today and led by 11 points over Sarah Streater and Matthew Whitehead (USA). They were also first and second today.
In the Men’s 470, Matthias Schmid and Floran Reichstaedter (AUS) gained ground with a pair of wins, yet trail by seven points. Stuart McNay and David Hughes of the U.S. scored second and third place results and will be the top team heading into the medal race on Saturday. Xiaoli Wang and Xufeng Huang (CHN) won both Women’s 470 races to pull within nine points of leaders Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA). Both 470 fleets raced together on Friday.
Strong winds permeated a sunshine splashed Biscayne Bay. Wind speed surpassed 20 knots and temperatures were in the 60s and low 70s.