The ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami is set to take place 28th January-2nd February in Biscayne Bay and marks the first major event for many Canadian sailors since the big show in Weymouth, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games with medal racing held on the final day.
Canadian Laser sailor Chris Dold in action
'Canadians will face their final opportunity for 2013 team qualification in Miami, and as such performance is a focal point for these sailors' explains Sail Canada HP Director Ken Dool. For those that have already met the performance criteria, Miami provides an opportunity to measure the progress of winter training and evaluate areas that need further focus.
The Canadian Laser team have been Miami based since December training hard in preparation for the start of the World Cup circuit. David Wright, third at 2012 Miami OCR and London Olympian, was looking forward to competing in his first Laser regatta since August however may not be cleared for sailing after an unfortunate bike crash early in the week. Teammates Chris Dold (featured image), Lee Parkhill, Robert Davis, Tom Ramshaw, Alex Heinzemann and Greg Clunies are all ready to take on the hefty 70 boat laser fleet next week. National Team Coach Steve Mitchell states 'The goal of the Laser team will be to have at least two boats in the medal race with a shot at the podium.'
Similar to the Lasers, the Finn and Radial Teams have been slaving away under guidance of National Team Coach and former Olympian Chris Cook. Daily morning on-water sessions were held in Toronto until late November when they moved camp to sunny Florida in December. 2012 Olympian and Miami OCR Bronze medallist Greg Douglas tweets 'I am looking forward to a great regatta. We have 30 Finns registered.' Douglas will be in good company with 2012 Junior World Champion Martin Robitaille and the rest of the Canadian Finn squad.
The Canadian Radial team includes Isabella Bertold, Erin Rafuse, Brenda Bowskill, Ingrid Merry (injured) and provincial team training partners. Bertold tweets, 'Such gorgeous sailing in Miami. Sunny, warm, and windy. Can't wait for racing to start next week!'
A new CAN team has formed to take on the Nacra 17, Luke Ramsay (470 Olympian) and Nikola Girke (RSX Olympian, Female Sailor of the Year) are trying the mixed multihull on for size (newly named Black Tusk) and with their boat arriving only a few weeks ago, they are squeezing out every minute of training they can get before racing begins on Monday.
Nikola Girke (CAN) competing in the Women’s Windsurfer (RSX) event in The London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.
There are three Canadian boats in the 49er FX next week, including Danielle Boyd and Erin Berry who tested out the FX last summer and are looking forward to getting back into it.
Jon Ladha and Dan Inkpen are looking to make their mark at the top of the 49er fleet as they spark up their 2016 campaign after a very narrow miss of the 2012 Olympic berth to Cook/Lowden.
RSX sailors on the scene include Zachary Plavsic (Eighth Olympics, Male Sailor of the Year) along with Youth Worlds sailor Jean-Sebastien Fugere. Olympic Champion Dorian van Rijsselberge will be challenging good friend Plavsic on the water as they compete for the first time since the Olympic Games.
2016 hopefuls Jake and Graeme Chaplin-Saunders will be putting all their hard work to the test in the men's 470. They are the lone entry for Canada and hope to climb the ranks by the end of the week.
Paralympic sailors, launching from the Shake a Leg Centre next week, include many familiar faces including 2012 Paralympian Bruce Millar, sailing the 2.4mR along with National team member Jackie Gay and seven other Canadian 2.4 training partners. Paul Tingley has joined forces with fellow 2012 Paralympic sailors Logan Campbell and Scott Lutes to challenge their skills in the Sonar.
There will be a full Canadian contingent at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami with exciting results and stories unfolding as the sailors look to make their mark on the 2013 sailing season!
Full details on the event can be found at www.sailing.org and tweeting live results @ISAFupdates.