by Dana Paxton
The ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami has already started the competition on Monday, completing all scheduled races in 10 Olympic and two Paralympic classes under spectacular sailing conditions on Biscayne Bay. This regatta serves as the selection event for 2013 US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider, in all classes except for SKUD-18 and Nacra 17, as well as for the 2013 US Sailing Development Team. For the past 24 years, this regatta has played a special role for U.S. sailors looking to set sail toward the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the turnout of American sailors competing is a testament to the importance of this competition.
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Day 1
49er FX – Racing in the women’s high performance skiff began with three races. American teams were tight and hold places fourth, fifth and sixth, with top U.S. team of Olympic gold medalist Anna Tunnicliffe (Miami, Fla.) and Olympian Molly Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.) and their Team Maclaren FX. Tunnicliffe and Vandemoer sailed together at the 2012 Games in Women’s Match Racing, and with their 2012 results qualified for the 2013 US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. Two US Sailing Development Teams follow close behind and will duel for the remaining national team slot: Kristen Lane and Molly Carapiet (both Tiburon, Calif.) and Allie Blecher (Santa Monica, Calif.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.). Photo Mick Anderson/US Sailing
Sonar – Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (Boston, Mass.) returned to the Three Person Keelboat competition determined to reclaim their US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider position. After narrowly missing out on qualifying for the 2012 Paralympic Team, the three friends explained that they are eager to return to the national team. Their results of fourth and third put them into third overall behind the Norwegian and Canadian teams. Three additional American teams are in the hunt: Chris Murphy (Charleston, S.C.), Cindy Walker (Abington, Mass.) and Joe Moore; Bridget Bodo (Chicago, Ill.), Gary Pierce and Chris Martin; and Andrew Fisher (Greenwich, Conn.), Michael Hersey and Ryan Levinson.
470 Men and Women – Eight out of 11 entries in Men’s 470 class are American teams, and at the top after two races are two-time Olympian Stuart McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.). The duo moved to Miami with plans to pursue a campaign together. McNay, who teamed up with Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.) for two Olympic Games, has the big picture in mind. 'We've done a bit of preparation for this event and hope to get stronger,' he said. He added that their goals for the event are to have fun and continue to learn and improve.
For Hughes, who coached the USA 49er team in the last quad and before that was a member of US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider, getting back into the boat is a new challenge. 'It’s a hard boat to sail and it rewards people who work on technique and the technical side,' he said. 'Working with a partner is always a tough thing and you have to be good at sail shape and tuning, and really so many things at once.'
Austrian teams finished in second and third, with Canada third and Wade Waddell (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) and Henry Fernberger (New York, N.Y.) in fifth. Earlier this month, Waddelll and Fernberger qualified for US Sailing’s Youth World Team and will compete in the I420 at this summer’s ISAF Youth World Championship. Listen to an interview with Waddell talking about making the transition from the 420 to 470, and how training as one American group is helpful: Miami Wade Waddle
In the women’s fleet, with nine boats, the three American teams hold seventh, eighth and ninth places. All three teams are fairly new to and most are members of US Sailing Development Team. Top American team Anne Haeger (East Troy, Wis.) and Briana Provancha (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) recently graduated from Boston College and relocated to Miami to begin their full-time campaign toward Rio 2016.
Laser – In the largest fleet of the regatta, US Sailing Development Team member Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) leads the 73-boat fleet. Chris Barnhard, who is the 2012 College Sailor of the Year and a senior at Georgetown University, summed up his first day of competition on the World Cup stage. 'A little bit of an up and down day,' he said. When asked about making the transition from college sailing to Olympic level, he said: 'It’s totally different to go from two minute beats to 20 minute beats. It’s the same thing, get on the lifted tack and cross when you can. In simple terms, it’s pretty simple and all about going fast and hiking hard.'
To listen to Barnhard talk about developing America’s Laser sailors and how the group works together, click here: Miami College Sailors
About Selection for US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider American sailors qualify for the team based on their 2012 results or performance at 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, scheduled for January 28-February 2. Selection in the Nacra 17 and SKUD-18 will take place at future events. The event to qualify in the Nacra 17 will be the class World Championship, scheduled for July 20-28 in The Hague, NED. SKUD-18 selection will take place at the 2013 C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta, scheduled for July 26-30.
For the US Sailing Development Team, one American sailor or team in each of nine Olympic classes will be selected at ISAF Sailing World Cup. Team members in the Nacra 17 will be selected at the World Championship.
ISAF Sailing World Cup