Published Date: 22/01/2012
Life in Miami’s always-bustling Coconut Grove neighborhood was punctuated today by the added activity of 529 sailors from 41 countries preparing for tomorrow’s start of US Sailing’s Rolex Miami OCR. The six-day annual regatta, which will be sailed on Biscayne Bay for its 23rd time, is the second of seven 2011-2012 ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas and, as such, plays host to elite sailors from around the globe, with an emphasis on those preparing for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The day started early with registration at the U.S. Sailing Center, which is serving as the event’s headquarters and staging area for Lasers (One Person Dinghy Men), Laser Radials (One Person Dinghy Women) and 470s (Two Person Dinghy Men and Women).
Next door, Stars (Men’s Keelboat) used the Coral Reef Yacht Club’s two two-ton hoists to launch throughout the day for a bit of practice, while another door down, Finns (One Person Dinghy Men Heavy) tuned up at Biscayne Bay Yacht Club. Still farther down the road, but not by much, Paralympic classes (Single Person 2.4mR, Two Person Skud 18 and Three Person Sonar) used the expansive and accessible Shake-A-Leg facilities, while RS:X (Windsurfer Men and Women) sailors spread their sails on the lawn of Coconut Grove Sailing Club, nearest to the “The Grove’s” hub and shopping/dining destination “Cocowalk.” And as if that were not enough host venues to make an organizer’s head spin, across the bay at Key Biscayne Yacht Club and Miami Rowing Club, the Elliott 6m (Women’s Keelboat Match Racing) and 49er (Two Person Dinghy Men High Performance) sailors readied physically and mentally for tomorrow’s out-of-the-gate challenges.
“It’s going to be a great week here in Miami,” said Dean Brenner, Chairman of the U.S. Olympic Sailing Committee. “We’re now into the final sprint for the Games, and for all of the competitors, this World Cup event has many implications. There are ranking implications, both internationally and within each country, and there are funding implications. Each country’s system is a little different, but in the U.S. we have prize money available to our athletes, and every regatta between now and the Games will take on increased importance, because these are the final dry runs before the Olympics in August.”
For fleet racing in the Olympic classes, the Rolex Miami OCR will consist of a five-day opening series (Monday – Friday) and a double-point medal race (Saturday). The top 10 finishers in the opening series of each class will advance to the medal race. For match racing (Elliott 6m), which makes its debut in the 2012 Olympic Games, the regatta will consist of an opening series, a knockout series, and a sail-off for boats not advancing to the knockout series. Competitors in the Paralympic classes will have five days of fleet racing (Monday-Friday) and no medal race.
Medals will be awarded to the top three boats in each Olympic and Paralympic class on Saturday, January 28.
The event’s website rmocr.ussailing.org is where real-time racecourse blogging, commentary and fan interaction, regatta results, photos and news updates will be integrated into a live coverage platform once racing begins.
In addition to title sponsor Rolex Watch U.S.A., the 2012 Rolex Miami OCR is also sponsored by AlphaGraphics, Sperry Top-Sider, Harken McLube, Kattack, Gowrie-Chubb, Trinity Yachts and the University of Miami Hospital.
Source: Barby MacGowan
Image: Ferdinand Gerz/Patrick Follmann (GER) racing at 2011 Worlds © Kaoru Soehata
Published Date: 22/01/2012