Please select your home edition
Edition
Spinlock 728x90

World Series Cup - Hitting the right notes in Miami

by Stuart Streuli on 30 Jan
Laser Radial - Vasileia Karachaliou - 2017 World Cup Series Miami Pedro Martinez / Sailing Energy / World Sailing
A classically trained concert pianist, Afrodite Zegers (NED) is no stranger to the big stage. So when the pressure was at fever pitch in the final race of the 2017 World Series Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella, and the proverbial lights of a live worldwide broadcast at its brightest, Zegers and teammate Annaloes van Veen displayed incredible poise to grab the Women's 470 title.

The Dutch team entered the final race essentially tied with Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) for first in the overall standings. While there were other teams mathematically alive for each spot on the podium, when Zegers and van Veen rounded the first mark in the lead, with Weguelin and McIntyre close behind, the race for gold was distilled to a two-boat battle.

'It was a stressful race,” said van Veen. 'On the first upwind we caught up quite some metres and then the downwind was OK. But on the second upwind we didn't cover too well.”



The British pair made the pass halfway up the second upwind leg and first place in the regatta came down to the final run. Zegers and van Veen patiently waited for the opportunity to strike. Three quarters of the way through the leg, they final got close enough steal the wind of their British team, roll over the top, get around the final mark in first place and cruise down the final leg to the win.

'There were only a few options,” said Zegers of that final downwind leg. 'I think we just did what we had to do, jibe when we had the opportunity and sail the boat in a way would give bad air to the British. I don't think there was another opportunity.”

After the ultimate heartbreak of finishing fourth by a single point in Rio 2016, Zegers and van Veen were quite excited that their campaign for a medal in Tokyo 2020 is off to a great start.

'We made a lot of mistakes as it was our first regatta after the Games,” said Zegers. 'But it was a very good week.”



The Finn Medal Race featured a similar who-beat-who battle, but this time for the silver medal as Jorge Zarif (BRA) had locked up a successful defense of his 2016 championship prior to the start. Ben Cornish (GBR) and Anders Pedersen (NOR) started the deciding race essentially tied for second place; battle that ensued had more twists and turns than the average regatta.

Cornish got the better of the pre-start with Pedersen being whistled for a foul. But the first beat went Pederson's way as Cornish opted for a loose cover, got stuck in a bad lane and lost ground trying to clear his air. Cornish got back in touch on the first run only to see Pedersen regain control on the second beat. The race was eventually decided just moments before the final turning mark when Cornish, who had the speed edge downwind all day, was able to just break the overlap and force Pedersen to round behind him for the final reach to the finish and grab the silver medal. Finland's Oskari Muhonen and Mikael Hyrylåinen went into the Medal Race in ninth and 10th respectively and were the first two sailors across the finish line in the Medal Race.

Zarif finished third in the race and was rightfully pleased with his week of sailing.

'Very tricky regatta, when (the wind) is from the shore here it is really hard,” said Zarif. 'I'm happy that we won. It was a great week, I don't have any bad things to say. (In the future maybe) I can try to sail a little bit more like I did here, trying to take less risks.”



Soon after Zarif successfully defended his title from the 2016 World Cup Series Miami, Stu McNay and David Hughes (USA) had an opportunity to do the same in the Men's 470. They also entered the race as the lone U.S. hope for a regatta win.

Around the top mark it didn't look good for the American team as the two teams with a shot at gold, Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) and Tetsuya Isozaki and Akira Takayanagi (JPN) rounded third and first, respectively, while McNay and Hughes were seventh.

The first run was pivotal. McNay and Hughes moved to fourth, while Mantis and Kagialis fell all the way to ninth. The American team would lose a boat before the finish, but by staying in fifth and ahead of the Greek duo they assured themselves of first overall. Isozaki and Takayanagi led all the way around for the win, which was enough to move them into second overall.

Patience, said Hughes, was the key to success this week. 'It was a type of regatta where you had to be mentally fit and keep ready to strike back when the opportunity presented itself,” he said. 'If you tried to force an opportunity you'd be punished.”

A promising note for the future of the US Sailing Team was the performance of 2016 Youth Sailing World Champions Wiley Rogers and Jack Parkin, who finished third in the Medal Race and sixth overall in their second international regatta in the 470.

'I really look forward to [competing against] future generations of sailors,” said McNay, a three-time Olympian in the 470. 'It's a wonderful sport because you can compete for a long time. It's great as Dave and I get older that there are some younger guys on the way.”

For Pavlos Kontides the plan for the Laser Medal Race was simple. By keeping Nick Thompson in fifth or lower, Kontides ensured himself of a silver medal. Jean Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) had locked up the gold medal position courtesy of the 39-point lead he built through the first 10 races of the regatta.



Thompson's situation was a little more complex as three sailors were within striking distance of the bronze medal position. Off the line Thompson had the freedom he needed and rounded the first mark in third, but Kontides stayed close and made a pass right before the leeward mark.

'I thought that wind would come back right [on the first upwind] but then it went more left so he was able to gain a bit of an advantage on me,” said Kontides. 'But downwind you can catch the pressure first. One good maneuver and I manage to pass him.”

Once he got the lead, Kontides placed a tight cover on the British athlete and sailed both of them to the back of the pack. In doing so, he took Thompson out of bronze medal position when Lorenzo Chiavarini (GBR) moved from eighth to fifth on the final downwind leg.

'I felt a little bit sorry for him that he lost the bronze, but this is the sport of sailing,” said Kontides. 'We are enemies on the water, but friends back on the shore.”

Italy's Giovanni Coccoluto won the race and moved from 10th to eighth in the overall standings. Bernaz, sailing what amounted to a victory lap, finished second.

Vasileia Karachaliou (GRE) and Evi Van Acker (BEL) went into the Laser Radial Medal Race in first and second, respectively, and that's how they crossed the finish line. Karachaliou needed to finish eighth or better to lock up gold, while Van Acker held a similar advantage over third, as she needed to finish ninth or better to ensure silver.

Nonetheless, Karachaliou approached the race with the same goal as the first 10, only one of which she finished outside the top five. She started near the pin, played the first beat to perfection and, despite the instability of the breeze, never dropped lower than second. Van Acker's second was a little more challenging as she rounded the first mark in fifth and had to work through the fleet to second. Mathilde de Karangat (FRA) finished fifth in the Medal Race and third in the regatta.

'I can't describe how I'm feeling now,” said an elated Karachaliou. 'I'm really happy. Being calm and focused always helps a lot. If you're stressed you can make easy mistakes, sail away from the fleet. After the start I went away from the fleet (on the left side) and I saw the right shift and I tacked and I came back again to the fleet and it was OK.”

Karachaliou, just 20 years old and with no previous top-10 finishes in a World Cup-level regatta, was something of an unknown heading into Miami. But she has clearly made a significant leap in her ability and caught the eye of the Laser Radial establishment.

'She had a really good week, all respect for her,” said Van Acker, the London 2012 bronze medallist in the class. 'She really was the best this week. I'm happy to be back racing, and happy to win the silver medal here. It was all about consistency and (Karachaliou) was the most consistent girl this week.”

The World Cup Series Miami came to its conclusion with the closing ceremony and prizegiving held at the Coral Reef Yacht Club in Coconut Grove, Miami.

Doyle Sails NZ - Never Look BackWildwind 2016 660x82Beneteau SAIL Oceanis 51 and 57 660x82 1

Related Articles

Kiel Week Gold in the 470 Men and 49er, Silver in 2.4m at Para Worlds
In the 49er class, the young Aussie crew of David Gilmour and Joel Turner came second in the medal race overnight In the 470 Men’s event, Rio Silver Medallists Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan won today’s medal race to clinch the win overall. The Aussies also had a strong week, going into the medal race with an 18 point lead. Chris Charlwood (WA) and Josh Dawson (NSW) finished eighth overall after an impressive fourth placing in today’s medal race.
Posted on 26 Jun
RS Aero World Championship – Preview
Already one month in advance, the entry stands at an incredible 81 from no less than 16 countries and four continents. Since achieving World Sailing (ISAF) status in November 2015 the RS Aero International Class has eagerly looked forward to hosting its first World Championship. In 2016 the class held its first European Championship in Travemunde, Germany, with 57 entries from 11 countries. The eastern European nations of Russia, Estonia and Lithuania all made their mark on the podiums.
Posted on 26 Jun
Marrai tiebreaks his way to Laser gold at Kiel Week
Francesco Marrai charged past his rivals to clinch Laser gold by the smallest of margins on the final day Marrai’s fourth place in the Medal Race was sufficient to put him on equal points with Karl Martin Rammo, but it was the Italian’s better placing in the Medal Race that clinched victory ahead of the Estonian who had to settle for silver.
Posted on 25 Jun
1977 Finn Gold Cup Regatta ends in Palamos with everyone a winner
Many sailors old and new came to Palamos this weekend to sail a great boat and renew old friendships. The event was held to commemorate the 1977 Finn Gold Cup which was plagued by political problems and caused the Finn Gold Cup to be withdrawn from the competition, and the event being renamed the Finn World Week.
Posted on 25 Jun
German, Polish and Spanish racers claim Para World Sailing titles
Home nation favourite Kröger claimed the title in the 2.4 Norlin OD, Poland's Piotr Cichocki clinically snapped up gold Heading into the final 2.4 Norlin OD races, there was just two points of separation between Kröger, Matt Bugg (AUS) and Damien Seguin (FRA). The title was up for grabs and the top performer on the day would take the title.
Posted on 25 Jun
Joaquín Blanco awarded Finn Gold Cup 40 years late
Now, 40 years later, Spaniard, Joaquín Blanco has been acknowledged by the class and his peers The wind at that 1977 event matched the mood of the competitors, with only five races possible in unusually light and feeble breezes. Blanco, who was already European Champion, won two races, was always in the top 10 and finished 23.3 points ahead of second placed José Luis Doreste, also of Spain, who would go on to win gold in Pusan at the 1988 Olympics
Posted on 25 Jun
Finns set for match race duel in Kiel Week Medal Races
After winning the final race on afternoon, Salminen sits at the top of the leaderboard on equal points with his rival. The Medal Races on Sunday are set to take place in strong westerly winds, so those who enjoyed today will be looking forward to similar conditions to decide the medals in the Olympic classes.
Posted on 24 Jun
Para World Sailing Championships going down to the wire
Three races across all three Para World Sailing disciplines were conducted and the leaderboards going into Sunday In amongst Kieler Woche (Kiel Week) sailing festival, the sailors racing across the 2.4 Norlin OD, Men’s Hansa 303 and Women’s Hansa 303, all One Person Keelboats, were tested by a south westerly 13-16 knot breeze, somewhat less than the 20+ knots that pushed them to survival mode the day prior.
Posted on 24 Jun
Triple bullets for 470 stars in a windy westerly at Kiel Week
In Men’s 470, Mat Belcher and Will Ryan scored three bullets and have launched into a commanding lead over their fleet. In Men’s 470, multiple world and Olympic medallists Mat Belcher and Will Ryan scored three bullets and have launched into a commanding lead over their fleet. It was a stellar day too for the Polish team now in charge of Women’s 470 leaderboard. Agnieszka Skrzypulec and Irmina Gliszczynska won all three of their heats and have displaced Germany’s Frederike Loewe and Anna Markfort from the top spot.
Posted on 24 Jun
'Survival' sailing at the Para World Sailing Championships
Whatever wind was lacking on Thursday at the 2017 Para World Sailing Championships certainly wasn't on Friday Whatever wind was lacking on Thursday at the 2017 Para World Sailing Championships certainly wasn't on Friday, as the breeze turned up several notches, pushing sailors into 'survival” mode.
Posted on 24 Jun