by Cora Zillich
At the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Miami (27 January to 1 February 2014) two days of racing have finished. This 25th edition of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami annually attracts top ranked one-design sailors in 10 Olympic and three Paralympic events selected for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Tom Burton - ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2014
Little to no breeze created mirror-like conditions on the calm waters of Biscayne Bay at the regatta start on Monday morning. This was not ideal for the 580 sailors representing 50 countries, who were ready to go for the start of this six-day international regatta.
Racing was postponed at approximately 9:00 local time due to insufficient wind. This delay pushed back the start times for the morning and early afternoon fleets. At around 12:00, the fleets started their launch from their respective venue sites in an attempt to get in as much racing as possible, despite the still conditions.
Fortunately, racing picked up in the afternoon and all fleets completed races in the consistent light breeze. Wind speeds ranged from four to eight knots for most of the afternoon.
On the second day of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, tight tactical racing was the name of the game as light breeze tested the patience and nerves of the sailors. Sailors and their coaches made the most of morning down time for the second consecutive day, as the breeze refused to cooperate early on Biscayne Bay.
The AP flags began to drop around the five sailing venues in Miami between 14:00 and 15:00 local time. Race Committees prepared to fit in one race each during the afternoon session. The local breeze on the bay hit four knots by late afternoon, giving the committee hope that racing was possible.
Whilst the sun was out, the breeze came in slowly allowing one race per fleet apart from the RS:X and Nacra 17 fleets that managed to squeeze in two.
Australian Sailing results from Monday, 27 January and Tuesday, 28 January:
World number one Tom Burton (NSW) is currently the highest ranked Australian Sailing Team member sitting in the overall lead in the Laser fleet, which is this week's largest fleet with 91 competitors. Burton won both races on the first day and came 26th in the third.
The Men's 470 is stacked with a strong fleet of world ranked teams, including Australian Sailing Team’s number one ranked Mat Belcher (QLD) and Will Ryan (QLD), who are looking to extend their unbeaten streak as a team to eleven this week. Belcher has won his last 18 consecutive 470 regattas.
The 2013 World Champions were third and ninth on the opening day in Miami and 13th on the second day. This currently puts them into eighth position overall in a fleet of 30 teams.
Australian Sailing Squad members Matthew Crawford (NSW) and Robert Crawford (NSW) are currently ranked 24th while Angus Galloway (QLD) and Tim Hannah (VIC) are 28th.
The Nacra17 fleet saw two races on day one of the regatta and two on the second day. Euan McNicol (NSW) and Lucinda Whitty (NSW) are the top ranked Australian crew in an overall seventh, followed by Darren Bundock (NSW) and Nina Curtis (NSW) in eight. Lisa Darmanin (NSW) and Jason Waterhouse (NSW).
Olympic silver medallist Nina Curtis after today’s racing: 'We managed to get two races in and the conditions were again super light. With a fourth and a 16th it was mixed results for us and we are hoping for a little bit more wind tomorrow.'
The heavyweights in the Finn class tallied a pair of races on the first day, but only one on day two. The fleet had to wait a long time for the 470 fleets to get away cleanly and ended up racing in a dying sea breeze finishing the race in the dark – tricky conditions with very tight racing.
Australian Sailing Squad member Oliver Tweddell (VIC) was the early leader at the end of day one after placing second and first, respectively. A tenth finish on Tuesday put him into an overall second. Fellow training squad members Jake Lilley (QLD) finished eighth on day two putting him in 14th overall, while Olympian Brendan Casey (QLD) finished seventh on day two and is now ranked 13th overall.
Tess Lloyd (VIC) and Caitlin Elks (WA) are the only Australian Sailing crew in this field and after two days of racing are ranked 13th.
There is some optimism that the breeze will be sufficient on Wednesday and Thursday (Miami time). Wednesday's forecast predicts seven to nine knots in the morning out of the south. Rain showers are expected to move through in the afternoon and possibly make for unstable breeze. Temperatures are expected to reach the high 70s.
Event website: click here