WINS TO USA AND CHINA AT WORLD CUP MIAMI30 Jan 2016
The tension on the water at Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella was fully loaded as Medal Races across the ten Olympic fleets drew the first big regatta of 2016, the Olympic year, to a close.
Many podium finishers from six days of racing in Miami will feature on the Rio 2016 pedestal in 188 days' time and Miami can be viewed as a marker of what is to come this year.
In a week plagued by grey skies and fickle breeze the sun shone brightly in Miami but the light winds remained.
For the Men's 470 fleet, the crucial moment in the Medal Race came right at the starting gun. Stu McNay and David Hughes (USA), one of three teams that entered the race in a virtual tie for first, controlled the left end of the starting line and were able to tack at the gun and cross the fleet, putting themselves in a very strong position right out of the starting blocks.
"We saw an opportunity at the start and we were able to take advantage of it and get an early lead on the fleet," said McNay, a two-time Olympian in the 470. "Dave called some great shifts on the first upwind."
McNay and Hughes rounded the first mark with a 30-second lead over the fleet and never looked back, at least figuratively. In light conditions, no lead is ever truly safe.
"It was an easy race course to become frustrated with as it was very shifty and variable," said Hughes. "By the same token, the teams that did well at this event just embraced it and played it forward from whatever position they were in. We are happy to better them all in the end."
The most interesting battle of the race was for the silver medal, with Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) and Onan Barreiros and Juan Curbelo Cabrera (ESP) rounding the first mark separated by just 4 seconds. On the second upwind leg the Greek duo was able to put over a minute on their rivals and all but clinch the silver medal. Jacob and Graeme Chaplin-Saunders finished second in the medal race and moved up a spot, to seventh, in the overall standings.
McNay and Hughes will hope to carry the momentum they earned in Miami this winter into the class's world championships in Argentina in February.
"This is the third of three events in Miami this winter and we can proudly say we have won all three of them," McNay said. "We felt that to do that many competitions back to back to back would be the best way to prepare ourselves for the upcoming World championships."
Consider it a job well done, on to the next challenge.
"There are many events between now and Rio and we are just going to chip away at one event of a time," said Hughes. "We've got lots to work on and as with any Olympic campaign there are a lot of different boxes to tick."
Shasha Chen and Haiyan Gao (CHN) started the Medal Race much the way they started the regatta, in last place. The first race of the event, which might seem like it took place a month ago given the twists and turns of this event, resulted in a DSQ for the Chinese team. Likewise, the first leg of the Medal Race didn't go well and Chen and Gao rounded the first mark in last place, 48 seconds off the lead and in real danger of missing the podium entirely.
But in the light and shifty conditions, persistence was the key; and passing opportunities were there for the taking. Chen and Gao found a few on each of the next three legs, moving to sixth on the first run and then to third on the final run. Meanwhile, their chief rivals for gold, Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar (AUT) and Fernanda Oliveira and Luiza Ana Barbachan (BRA) found the going much more challenging. With those teams finishing in eighth and 10th respectively, Chen and Gao claimed the gold medal, with the Austrians in second and the Brazilian team, which led for much of the regatta, in third.
Live sailing will be available from 11:00 EST on Saturday here:
URL - https://youtu.be/_V2YQYar0IU
Embed - <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_V2YQYar0IU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Further information on how to follow the event is available below:
RESULTS / ENTRIES
Entries for Sailing World Cup Miami are available to view here - http://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_registrant_list.php?regatta_id=11442&custom_report_id=66 and results will be available throughout when racing commences on 25 January here - http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/results/index.php
The racing will be available to watch in 2D and 3D via the live tracking. Live tracking will be available when racing commences via - http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/multimedia/tracking.php
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 - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sailviewer-3d/id912801278
Click here to download the Android Application - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.stsportservice.sailviewer
The Competition Status Screen feeds in straight from the Race Committee boats with the teams inputting data such as race times, course type, the status of each race and the plan moving forward. The competition status screen will be available when racing commences via - http://www.sailing.org/worldcup/multimedia/tracking.php
High resolution imagery free for editorial usage will be provided throughout Sailing World Cup Miami by Sailing Energy. Imagery will be available to download via http://worldsailing.photoshelter.com/gallery-collection/SWC-Miami-2016/C0000XsZ8MOIfCnE. The password is SWCMiami16
Agency news feeds will be available from Sailing World Cup Miami.
Four VNRs will be sent throughout the event:
Tuesday 26th of January
Friday 29th of January
Saturday 30th January (Medal races)
VNR duration and content: 2:30 minutes agency news feed. Includes long lens shots, on board action, mounted cameras and sound on tape.
For further TV news information or interview requests please contact:
M: +44 (0) 7922 140 148