Sorting Out and Staking Claims
January 28, 2009
The skyline of Miami sparkled in the background as US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR kicked off today in perfect 8-12 knot breezes. The venue of Biscayne Bay is "one of the finest for sailing in North America," said US SAILING's Olympic Sailing Committee Chairman Dean Brenner (Wallingford, Conn.). The distinction is apropos, especially considering that this regatta is the second and only U.S. stop for the International Sailing Federation's (ISAF) World Cup, which moves to seven different countries for as many of its "circuit" events. The Rolex Miami OCR's solid 20-year track record also has figured in to attracting this year's fleet of 444 sailors from 41 countries who consider this their first milestone competition in a four-year cycle, one that culminates in July 2012 with the Olympic Games and August 2012 with the Paralympic Games. "Not only does the Bay provide good breezes and protected water but also there's enough space for running six racing circles and 13 events simultaneously," added Brenner. The 10 Olympic classes competing at US SAILING's 2009 Rolex Miami OCR are: Laser Radial, Laser, Finn, Men's RS:X, Women's RS:X, 49er, Men's 470, Women's 470, Star, and the SB3 Laser (replacing the Elliott 6m only at this regatta, for the new women's match racing discipline). The three Paralympic classes are: 2.4mR, SKUD-18 and Sonar.
Though being at the top of the leader board is always important, few would call today's results all-telling with still four days of fleet racing to go and a medal race on Saturday for the top-ten in the Olympic classes. "Today just helped me to see who is going to be consistent," said USA's Mark Le Blanc (New Orleans, La.), who is facing a daunting fleet of 20 in the 2.4mR class and thinks consistency is going to be what wins in the end. After three races today, LeBlanc posted a 7-7-6 for sixth place, while three Canadians (Allan Leibel, Paul Tingley, Bruce Millar, the latter two of whom are Paralympic medalists), filled the top-three positions in overall scoring. "I know that with this fleet, I can't afford to make mistakes," said LeBlanc, noting that other medalists in the fleet include the USA's John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wis.), currently in fourth, and France's Damien Seguin, in tenth.
U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics Coach Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.) says the ISAF World Cup has the potential to increase participation in Paralympic sailing worldwide. "We are excited that ISAF has included us; as the quad ramps up, we'll get more competitors," she said, noting that the USA teams of Paul Callahan / Roger Cleworth/ Tom Brown (Cape Coral, Fla. / Lithia, Fla. / Castine, Maine) and Scott Whitman/ Julia Dorsett (Brick, N.J. / Boca Raton, Fla.) are currently leading in the additional two Paralympic classes (Sonar and SKUD 18, respectively), each with two first-place "bullets".
Another fleet that completed three races today was the 49er, in which the top three positions were filled by three different countries: Austria (Nico Luca Marc Delle Karth/Nikolaus Leopold Resch), Great Britain (John Pink/Rick Peacock) and Canada (Billy Gooderham/Ian Hogan). The feisty two-man skiffs sailed closest to the shore, skipping along with crew members hanging out over the water on trapezes.
Another class that uses trapezes for crew leverage is the 470, for which there are both men's and women's divisions in the Olympics. Alison Jolly (St. Petersburg, Fla.), the first-ever gold medalist for her class when the 470 Women's event was introduced at the 1988 Olympics, says the "fun" of the boat is what keeps her in the class and coming back to the Rolex Miami OCR. She has recruited as her crew the 19-year-old Darby Smith, daughter of Jud Smith (Marblehead, Mass.), who was named Rolex Yachtsman of the Year in 2007 and is skippering in the Star class here. "I just love the boats," she said, "and it's great to have a crew that is so excited about sailing in it, too." Jolly laughed when asked about her youth in comparison to Smith's college age: "I'm old enough to sail in masters, let's just say that."
Jolly sits in eighth out of ten while U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics members Erin Maxwell/Isabelle Kinsolving (Norwalk, Conn. / New York, N.Y. hold the lead after posting a 1-2 today. In men's division, fellow team members Stuart McNay/Graham Biehl (Lincoln, Mass. / San Diego, Calif.) are leading, with a 3-1 from today.
In Women's Match Racing, a new Olympic discipline for 2012, the 12-team fleet is sailing a double round-robin which means they will complete 132 total races over the course of the regatta, if weather permits. Today's solid breezes allowed for a total of 35 one-on-one matches. In the end, it was the USA's Debbie Capozzi/ Jackie Schmitz/ Emily Hill (Bayport, N.Y. / Washington D.C. / New Haven, Conn.) who posted the most points (six--one from each of the six races they won; they lost zero).
Cumulative points tallied from the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup 2008-2009 will determine World Cup champions in each of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic classes. The series started with Sail Melbourne (Australia) last December and rounds out with the Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia (Palma, Spain) and Semaine Olympique Française (Hyères, France) in April; Delta Lloyd Regatta (Medemblik, The Netherlands) in May; Kieler Woche (Kiel, Germany) in June; and Skandia Sail for Gold (Weymouth, Great Britain) in September.
A complete and final roster can be viewed at www.rolexmiamiocr.org, where regatta results, photos and updates will be posted daily once racing begins. Video highlights, produced by T2P.tv, will air Thursday through Saturday and can be viewed at the same URL.
Regatta Headquarters are located at the US Sailing Center Miami, an official Olympic training center, in the Coconut Grove section of Miami, Florida. Event organizers have partnered with the City of Miami to provide world-class venues for competition. Additional hosts for the event include Coral Reef Yacht Club, Key Biscayne Yacht Club, Coconut Grove Sailing Club and Shake-a-Leg-Miami. These sailing organizations host classes onshore, as well as help run the on-the-water racing. The Coral Reef Yacht Club also hosts the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as a mid-week dinner hosted by Nautica. In addition, the University of Miami's Sports Medicine Center will provide on-site medical care during the event.
In addition to title sponsor Rolex Watch U.S.A., US SAILING's 2009 Rolex Miami OCR is also sponsored by AlphaGraphics, Nautica, LaserPerformance, Harken, New England Ropes, Sperry Top-Sider and Team McLube.
US SAILING's 2009 Rolex Miami OCR
Laser (62 boats) - 2 races
1. Pavlos Kontides (CYP), 5-2, 7
2. Nick Thompson (GBR), 3-8, 11
3. Kyle Rogachenko (Collegeville, Penn.,USA), 2-12, 14
Laser Radial (42 boats) - 2 races
1. Jennifer Spalding (CAN), 1-2, 3
2. Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla., USA), 2-5, 7
3. Emily Billing (Clearwater, Fla.,USA), 3-4, 7
Finn (30 boats) - 2 races
1. Christopher Cook (CAN), 1-3, 4
2. Pieter Jan Postma (NED), 3-2, 5
3. Edward Wright (GBR), 2-4, 6
470 Men (18 boats) - 2 races
1. Stuart McNay / Graham Biehl (Lincoln, Mass. / San Diego, Calif.,USA), 3-1, 4
2. Charles Modica / Hans Jensen (Hobe Sound, Fla., / Duxbury, Mass.,USA), 2-2, 4
3. Onan Barreiros / Aaron Sarmiento (ESP), 1-6, 7
470 Women (9 boats) - 2 races
1. Erin Maxwell / Isabelle Kinsolving (Norwalk, Conn. / New York, N.Y., USA), 1-2, 3
2. Henriette Koch / Lene Sommer (DEN), 4-1, 5
3. Sylvia Vogl / Alexandra Wollner (AUT), 2-3, 5
49er (22 boats) - 3 races
1. Nico Luca Marc Delle Karth/ Nikolaus Leoplod Resch (AUT), 1-1-3, 5
2. John Pink/ Rick Peacok (GBR), 7-2-2, 11
3. Billy Gooderham/ Ian Hogan (CAN), 4-7-1, 12
Star (32 boats) - 2 races
1. Flavio Marazzi/ Petter Morland Pedersen (SUI), 1-3, 4
2. John MacCausland/ Kevin Murphy (Laguna Beach, Calif. / Miami, Fla. USA), 5-2, 7
3. George Szabo/ Rick Peters (San Diego, Calif. / Marina del Ray, Calif.,USA), 2-7, 9
RS:X Men (35 boats) - 2 races
1. Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED), 2-1, 3
2. Ivan Pastor (ESP), 1-3,4
3. Joao Rodrigues (POR), 3-2, 5
RS:X Women (24 boats) - 2 races
1. Blanca Manchon (ESP), 1-1, 2
2. Marina Alabau (ESP), 2-2, 4
3. Zofia Klepacka (POL), 5-3, 8
Women's Match Racing
1. Debbie Capozzi/ Jackie Schmitz/ Emily Hill (Bayport, N.Y. / Washington D.C. / New Haven, Conn.,USA) 6-0
2. Lucy MacGregor/ Annie Lush/ Ally Martin (GBR) 5-0
3. Giulia Conti/ Alessandra Marenzi/ Alessandra Angelini (ITA) 5-1
2.4mR (20 boats) - 3 races
1. Allan Leibel (CAN), 2-1-2, 5
2. Paul Tingley (CAN), 1-3-4, 8
3. Bruce Millar (CAN), 6-6-1, 13
Sonar (5 boats) - 2 races
1. Paul Callahan/ Roger Cleworth/ Tom Brown (Cape Coral, Fla. / Lithia, Fla. / Castine, Maine,USA), 1-1, 2
2. John Robertson/ Hannah Stodel/ Alex Wang-Hansen (GBR), 2-4, 6
3. Rick Doerr/ Maureen McKinnon-Tucker/ Hugh Freund (Clifton, N.J. / Beverly, Mass. / South Freeport, Maine, USA), 5-2, 7
SKUD 18 (5 boats) - 2 races
1. Scott Whitman/ Julia Dorsett (Brick, N.J. / Boca Raton, Fla., USA), 1-1, 2
2. Danny McCoy/ Audrey Kobayashi (CAN) 5-2, 7
3. Alexandra Rickham/ Niki Birrell (GBR), 2-5, 7
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