ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2014 - Australian sailors go for Gold

Medal race - Laser / Tom Burton (AUS) GOLD 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup - Melbourne Sail Melbourne
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2014- Aussie crews will figure in four of the medal races.

Young Australian Finn sailor Oliver Tweddell, having his best ever regatta is already guaranteed a podium place, he leads the fleet ahead of the medal race with a handy lead over Giles Scott (GBR).

The 18 regatta winning streak by Mat Belcher and Will Ryan is under threat, with a shortened event, they are in third place going into the medal race. However Belcher has won more than his share of medal races so they could pull this one out of the fire.

Laser World number one Tom Burton is back on the pace after a disappointing Worlds, then a good result in Melbourne, he is in close second place in Miami and could take gold.

Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis are in fifth place in the Nacra 17 class in conditions which do not suit the Olympic silver medallists. Unfortunately it will be hard for them to improve their placing and their is a close pack behind them. However Bundock has had a lot of medal race experience so it will be interesting to watch the race.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2014 - Lack of wind tested teams' patience at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami on the penultimate race day on Friday - as another day of racing was lost due to an absence of breeze. The sailors and Race Committee made valiant attempts to get in racing on a hazy, humid day with light air to no avail. Only the 49er and 49erFX fleets were able to complete some races.

After a week of challenging conditions with very light, no and at times unpredictable winds on Biscayne Bay, contenders will aim to elevate their game in tomorrow’s Medal Races (Saturday, February 1, 2014 Florida (USA/EST) time – thus Sunday, February 2, 2014 Australian time). With podium places still open in most of the classes double-points medal races, some tight racing is to be expected.

470 mens/ Mathew BELCHER & Will RYAN (AUS) - 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup - Melbourne


470M

Racing has been a mixed bag for Mat Belcher (QLD) and Will Ryan (QLD) in the 470M class this week with the duo ranked in overall third position ahead of tomorrow’s one double-points medal race.

'Unfortunately we didn’t have any racing today. And after spending more than 35 hours on the water for just six races over the past five days, it’s been a long week. The conditions have been quite interesting but great to race in. We’re looking forward to the medal race tomorrow and we’ll see what tomorrow brings… We hope to finish off strongly', Mat Belcher commented about the week.

The 470 Men will be up on the race track first on Course Area Bravo for an 1100 hours (EST) start (0300 AEDT). Podium places in this event are still open.

Australian Sailing Squad members Mathew and Robert Crawford finished an overall 23rd after the qualifying series with Angus Galloway (QLD) and Tim Hannah (VIC) in 26th.

Finn

A medal is guaranteed for Australian Sailing Squad member Oliver Tweddell (VIC) after he extended his lead yesterday to be nine points clear of second place after six races.

'Unfortunately we sat around for seven hours on the water today and got no racing in! It was a very stressful and also frustrating day on the water, with everyone getting excited when a two knots puff came through! No racing today means I go into the medal race first overall, guaranteed with a medal and it's now up to me to decide the colour - bring on tomorrow', Tweddell said ahead of tomorrow’s final racing.

In absence of the last race day and after finishing overall 11th and 12th in the qualifying series, Australian Sailing Squad member Jake Lilley (QLD) and Olympian Brendan Casey (QLD) are out of the medal race.

Laser

Medal hopes are high for World #1 ranked Tom Burton in the Laser, who heads into the medal race in second place and is expecting tight racing:

'With not many races to spread the scores it’s all very close, so tomorrow should be interesting. I am hoping to race well tomorrow and just see what happens.'

Nacra17

With no racing today, yesterday’s final overall count of the qualifying series was the decider for the medal race.

And with a 19th place after the qualifying races this meant for Lisa Darmanin (NSW) and Jason Waterhouse (NSW) miss out on tomorrow’s medal race.

Two Australian Sailing Team crews will race the medal race with Olympic silver medallists Darren Bundock (NSW) and Nina Curtis (NSW) going into the race from fifth position and Olympic silver medallist Lucinda Whitty (NSW) and Olympic silver medallist coach now turned athlete Euan McNicol (NSW) on their heels in eighth.

About the conditions in Miami this week McNicol said:

'The last few weeks in Miami have been a great chance to check in with the world fleet after some training domestically in Australia. We are always looking at improving and progressing against our competitors and have made some good gains and put some consistent races together early in the regatta in testing light air conditions. Race day three was not a very good day for us as we made some mistakes and did not sail very well as reflected on the score sheet. In a regatta like this where conditions are challenging it is important to remain focused and patient, although not always easy.'

Saturday's Medal Race includes the top ten ranked sailors in each fleet competing in one race with double points applied.

Here is the schedule with course assignments for races with Australian Sailing Team and Squad participants:

Course Area Bravo:
1100 (EST / 0300 AEDT) – 470 Men Medal Race
1200 (EST / 0400 AEDT) – Finn Medal Race
1330 (EST / 0530 AEDT) – Nacra 17 Medal Race

Course Area Alpha:
1400 (EST / 0600 AEDT)– Laser Medal Race (EST / 0600 AEDT)
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