NO WIND ON FRIDAY, LEADERBOARD ADVANCES TO MEDAL RACE DAY31 Jan 2015
What could be sweeter than to wrap an Olympic-style event with a medal guaranteed before the Medal Race even starts? That's what 2012 Olympic Champions, Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie of New Zealand have done at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami. Such is their points advantage, they just have to finish Saturday's medal race to win.
What can you say about a race day with no racing?
Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie of New Zealand were the Olympic gold medal winners at the 2012 Games, They've been solid since, and they have a handy lead now. Today, that lead did not grow, or shrink.
"We went out and waited for breeze," Aleh said. "It looked promising a couple of times, and then it didn't. But the race committee has done a good job through the week, and I think they were right today to not send us off in a race that would have turned into a lottery."
Only the 2012 silver medalists, Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark, could take the gold medal spot away from Aleh and Powrie, and then, given a 19-point difference, only if the Kiwis stumble very badly in a way that they just have not done yet. The pair just need to finish the race.
Mills and Clark are by no means assured of silver, so will have a tough day on Saturday. The battle for bronze? There are six boats within a 10-point range.
Luke Patience and Elliott Willis of Great Britain are in a position very much like that of the Women's 470 leaders. Like them, they drifted around for a long day with no result but time lost. They too have a nice lead. They're ahead by 15 points, and second place is the only team with a shot at them. It could happen, but it would buck the trend. Again, it's all about the color of the medal.
That second-place team would be Australians Mat Belcher and Will Ryan, who have a 13-point lead over third and a 15-point lead over fourth. In a dream scenario for those two boats, a nightmare scenario for Belcher and Ryan, they could knock the Australians out of silver, or even out of the medals.
So let's give them names.
Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabrera of Spain are in third, two points ahead of a pair of New Zealanders, Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Wilcox, with another points gap behind them.
A striking fact about the ten boats in the Men's 470 fleet: Ten countries are represented. In order: Great Britain, Australia, Spain, New Zealand Sweden, Greece, South Africa, Russia, France, Japan.
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