SQUALLS HIT RACE COURSE AT ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP MIAMI27 Jan 2015
Numerous challenges were posed to the competitors in wet and windy day of action. Racing commenced shortly after 10:00 local time with a confirmed number of 856 sailors from 63 nations competing across the ten Olympic and three Paralympic events.
Perennial threats Luke Patience and crew Elliot Willis of the UK comfortably topped a fleet of 45 entries in the 470 class, on a challenging day, on scores of first and second.
As in other fleets, the people at or near the top of the leaderboard were grateful to be just that. Australian 470 skipper Mat Belcher figured, "The job was to get around the course. We were happy with a first and a fifth and a boat that was still working. We have the whole week to make points." Perhaps it is fair to add, Belcher was busy gluing and screwing new parts onto his "still working" mast as he spoke.
And Belcher has earned whatever confidence he can muster. A five time world champion - all in a row - he and crew Will Ryan won the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup Final title in Abu Dhabi, UAE, in November.
Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson of the Republic of South Africa stand second off a 4-6 day, followed by the French threat of Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion, 3-8. They're the defending champions. At this regatta one year ago, Bouvet and Mion broke a seventeen-regatta winning streak that Belcher and Ryan had been riding.
Stories stories, everybody had a story. The Japanese duo of Tetsuya Matsunaga (a second generation sailor) and Yugo Yoshida used both sides of the course, "sometimes" to good effect, said Matsunaga, "It was very shifty. It the second race, we went left and the wind came from the right. We rounded the top mark 20th or so. I really don't know." But that "20th or so" turned into a 10th for a 2-10 day and fifth in the standings.
In the Women's 470 racing, London 2012 gold medalists Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie of New Zealand, "had just made it around the gybe mark" of race one, Aleh said, when THE SQUALL hit.
"We looked back and the blast was fairly flattening the fleet. You wanted to ask, where did everybody go? But we got the kite down, we stayed on our feet and we made some nice gains."
The day wrapped up with Aleh and Powrie leading the standings off a pair of seconds.
Two top British teams, Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark and Sophie Weguelin, won a race apiece and stand second and third, respectively.
"The team of the moment," in the words of a close series observer, fared less well. That would be Austria's Lara Vadlau and crew Jolanta Ogar The 2014 World and World Cup champions presently stand ninth off finishes of 15th and 16th - remarkably consistent, but.
Again, stories and stories. Americans Anna Haeger and Briana Provancha were gybing at the mark when squall's blast arrived. It did not go well. Haeger and Provancha had an 11-10 day and some body pain to take home.
Follow ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami
Results will be available here - www.sailing.org/worldcup/results/index.php
High resolution, free for editorial use images will be available to download view US Sailing's Flickr account here. For specific requests please contact the ISAF Communications Department below.
The racing will be available to watch in 2D and 3D via the live tracking.
Click here to view live tracking.
Live Tracking via the Sailviewer-3D Tablet App will be available for devices with 7" or greater screens.
Click here to download the iOS Application.
Click here to download the Android Application
ISAF Sailing World Cup website
ISAF Sailing World Cup Facebook
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami Facebook
The @ISAFupdates and @SailingWCMiami Twitter accounts will be following the action throughout the week.