Getting Ready for the Showdown

January 29, 2009

Hiking hard upwind: USA's Erin Maxwell & Isabelle Kinsolving and FIN's Joonas Lindgren & Niklas Lindgren.

It's getting down to the wire at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR, where 444 sailors from 41 countries have been competing since Monday. Medal winners will be determined tomorrow in three Paralympic Classes (Sonar, SKUD 18 and 2.4mR) as well as in the Laser SB3 class (which is being used instead of the Olympic Elliott 6 in the Women's Match Racing event). The remaining nine Olympic classes also will have somewhat of a final hour tomorrow in that cumulative scores for their five days of fleet racing will determine who gets to move on to Saturday's medal race. In that race, which will count double for points, it will only be the top ten from each class competing.

Even though Austrian 49er sailors Nico Delle Karth and Nikolaus Resch have been leading since the regatta's first day, they are still only 10 points ahead of Spain's Federico Alonso and crew Arturo Alonso and 13 points ahead of Great Britain's John Pink and Rick Peacock. "After today, Spain is our main concern, because they gained a lot of places yesterday," said Resch, who is a two-time Olympian with Delle Karth. He explained that with 22 aggressive teams sailing these feisty, high-speed skiffs, a rise to the top of the fleet can be as fast as a fall to the bottom of it. "Today it was so patchy that it was always quite tricky; to stay in the wind was difficult. In the first race it was 3-4 knots but the next two races were more perfect, as the breeze was more stable (6-7 knots). " He added that tomorrow he expects three more races and it is supposed to be a windier day. "In those conditions you can win a lot or lose a lot, and with the medal race counting double we have to do our best to have the lowest points going into it."

Spain's 470 Men's team of Onan Barreiros and Aaron Sarmiento, who finished fifth at the Olympic Regatta in Qingdao, are also posting a 10-point lead over their closest rivals, the USA's Stuart McNay and Graham Biehl (Lincoln, Mass. /San Diego, Calif.), and will be watching them closely tomorrow.

According to Barreiros' Coach Jorge Angulo, the U.S. team came on particularly strong in three races today, finishing 2-1-2 to Spain's 1-2-1. "They might have been concentrating against their other U.S. teams earlier (to position for making the U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics), but now they are sailing like they used to sail against us." McNay and Biehl also sailed in the 2008 Olympics, so they, like many other teams competing, are not meeting their international counterparts here for the first time.

The battle is even closer in the 470 Women's class between Danish leaders Henriette Koch and Lene Sommer and the USA's Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving (Norwalk, Conn. / New York, N.Y., USA), who are defending World Champions in their class. Only two points separate the two after three races were completed today. "We haven't been in the boat since the Worlds," said Maxwell, noting that Koch and Sommer seem to be sailing in every event on the European and World circuit. "We're just here to get back in it and enjoy sailing again. Out first goal was to make the U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics but now that we see that this is very attainable, we've transitioned into how we are going to win the event." Since there are nine boats in the fleet, it is not a do-or-die day tomorrow like it is in other classes; Maxwell and Kinsolving will automatically get to sail in Saturday's medal race. "Our strategy against the Danish has been to beat them off the starting line and be aware of where they are at all times. It has been interesting because we have to pick them out among the men's teams, since both fleets stat together but are scored separately. Usually all boats matter; here all boats don't."

Italy's team of Giulia Conti, Alessandra Marenzi and Alessandra Angelini are the leaders in Women's Match2008 Olympian Pieter Jan Postma (Medemblik, NED) racing in the Finn class on Day 4. Racing going into tomorrow's four-boat Semi Finals, which will then boil down to a Finals Match among two boats. In the Semis, Conti's team will sail in a first-to-win-three match series against today's fourth-place finishers, USA's Genevieve Tulloch/Jennifer Morgan Glass/Jamie Haines (Tiburon, Calif./Seattle, Wash./Jamestown, R.I.), while today's second-place finishers, Great Britain's Lucy MacGregor/Annie Lush/Ally Martin, sail against the third-place finishers, Denmark's Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen/Tina Schmidt/Trine Palludan. The winners advance to the Finals to sail for gold and silver medals, while the losers are left to battle it out for bronze in the Petit Finals.

US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR is part of the 2008 - 2009 ISAF Sailing World Cup for Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and is also the USA's only qualifying regatta for determining its 2009 U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. 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 seven-round series started with Sail Melbourne (Australia) last December and finishes with Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta at the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition venue (Weymouth and Portland, England) next September.

Regatta results, photos and updates are posted at Video highlights, produced by, are airing Thursday through Saturday and can be viewed at the same URL.

Event organizers have partnered with the City of Miami, and additional hosts for the event include Coral Reef Yacht Club, Key Biscayne Yacht Club, Coconut Grove Sailing Club and Shake-a-Leg-Miami. 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 is providing 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

Top-three Finishes
Day Four

Laser (63 boats) - 8 races
1. Pavlos Kontides (CYP), 5-2-6-12-[23]-8-4-4, 41
2. Nick Thompson (GBR), 3-8-1-1-18-16-[23]-5, 52
3. Lee Parkhill (CAN), 9-[23]-8-14-2-5-8-16, 62

Laser Radial (41 boats) - 8 races
1. Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla., USA), 6-3-2-3-[42/OCS]-1-1-2, 18
2. Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla., USA), 2-5-1-2-1-[7]-7-1, 19
3. Jennifer Spalding (CAN), 1-2-6-7-[11]-10-2-3, 31

Finn (30 boats) - 9 races
1. Christopher Cook (CAN), 1-3-2-4-1-1-[7]-1-2, 15
2. Edward Wright (GBR), 2-4-[6]-3-2-2-1-3-4, 21
3. Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla., USA), 4-5-1-1-6-[7]-4-6-1, 28

470 Men (18 boats) - 9 races
1. Onan Barreiros / Aaron Sarmiento (ESP), 1-[6]-2-1-2-1-1-1-2-1, 11
2. Stuart McNay / Graham Biehl (Lincoln, Mass. / San Diego, Calif.,USA), 3-1-[6]-3-6-3-2-1-2, 21
3. Matthias Schmid / Florian Reichstaedter (AUT), [10]-5-3-2-4-2-4-3-4, 27

470 Women (9 boats) - 9 races
1. Henriette Koch / Lene Sommer (DEN), [4]-1-2-1-1-2-3-2-1, 13
2. Erin Maxwell / Isabelle Kinsolving (Norwalk, Conn. / New York, N.Y., USA), 1-2-[10/OCS]-3-2-1-1-1-4, 15
3. Hanna Saari / Mikaela Wulff (FIN), [5]-5-1-2-3-5-2-5-3, 26

49er (22 boats) - 11 races
1. Nico Delle Karth/ Nikolaus Resch (AUT), 1-1-3-8-2-2-2-[16]-5-2-1, 27
2. Federico Alonso / Arturo Alonso (ESP), 3-[9]-8-3-8-4-1-4-1-3-2, 37
3. John Pink/ Rick Peacok (GBR), 7-2-2-9-1-1-5-5-3-[10]-5, 40

Star (31 boats) - 8 races
1. Rick Merriman / Phil Trinter (New York, N.Y. / Charlottesville, Va., USA), 3-6-[13]-4-2-8-1-2, 26
2. George Szabo/ Rick Peters (San Diego, Calif. / Marina del Ray, Calif.,USA), 2-7-4-12-1-[25]-4-11, 41
3. Geoffrey Ewenson / Skip Dieball (Annapolis, Md. / Toledo, Ohio, USA),6-12-2-1-12-11-2-[17], 46

RS:X Men (34 boats) - 7 races
1. Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED), 2-1-1-4-4-[15]-2, 14
2. Ivan Pastor (ESP), 1-3-2-3-1-6-[11], 16
3. Joao Rodrigues (POR), 3-2-6-7-3-[8]-3, 24

RS:X Women (23 boats) - 7 races
1. Marina Alabau (ESP), 2-2-1-2-1-[3]-1, 9
2. Zofia Klepacka (POL), [5]-3-2-1-3-1-4, 14
3. Blanca Manchon (ESP), 1-1-5-4-[8]-2-3, 16

Women's Match Racing (12 boats) - After Two Round Robins
1. Giulia Conti / Alessandra Marenzi / Alessandra Angelini (ITA)
2. Lucy MacGregor / Annie Lush / Ally Martin (GBR)
3. Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen / Tina Schmidt / Trine Palludan (DEN)
4. Genevieve Tulloch / Jennifer Morgan Glass / Jamie Haines (Tiburon, Calif. / Seattle, Wash. / Jamestown, R.I., USA)

2.4mR (19 boats) - 10 races
1. Allan Leibel (CAN), 2-1-2-1-3-1-1-[4]-4-2, 17
2. Damien Sguin (FRA), [21/OCS]-4-5-2-4-4-4-1-2-1, 27
3. Paul Tingley (CAN), 1-3-4-3-1-5-6-5-1-[8], 29

Sonar (5 boats) - 10 races
1. John Robertson/ Hannah Stodel/ Alex Wang-Hansen (GBR), 2-[4]-1-2-2-2-2-1-1-1, 14
2. Paul Callahan/ Roger Cleworth/ Tom Brown (Cape Coral, Fla. / Lithia, Fla. / Castine, Maine,USA), 1-1-2-4-1-3-1-[5]-3-4, 20
3. Rick Doerr/ Maureen McKinnon-Tucker/ Hugh Freund (Clifton, N.J. / Beverly, Mass. / South Freeport, Maine, USA), [5]-2-5-1-3-5-3-3-2-3, 27

SKUD 18 (5 boats) - 9 races
1. Scott Whitman/ Julia Dorsett (Brick, N.J. / Boca Raton, Fla., USA), [1]-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1, 8
2. John McRoberts / Brenda Hopkin (CAN), 3-4-[6/RAF]-6/DSQ-2-2-2-2-2, 23
3. Alexandra Rickham/ Niki Birrell (GBR), 2-5-3-2-5-3-[6/DNF]-3-4, 27



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