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Pittwater SailExpo 2018 728x90

American sailors ready to challenge for Medals on Sunday in Miami

by Will Ricketson on 29 Jan 2017
David Liebenburg (Livermore, Calif.) and Ian MacDiarmid (Delray Beach, Fla.), Men's 49er, far left. - World Cup Series Miami 2017 Jen Edney / US Sailing Team
Five of the ten scheduled medal races took place on Saturday at World Cup Series Miami 2017, Presented by Sunbrella (January 22-29, 2017), with US Sailing Team boats competing in the Men’s 49er and Nacra 17 classes as online audiences watched from around the world. On Sunday, multiple American boats will have a shot at the podium as the regatta comes to a close.

Watch Live TV Broadcast begins at 12:00 EST (Medal Races – 470, Finn, Laser, Laser Radial).

Medal Race Schedule (Sunday, January 29, EST)

1. 12:05 PM – Men’s Laser (Charlie Buckingham, USA)
2. 12:50 PM – Women’s Laser Radial (Erika Reineke, USA)
3. 1:35 PM – Men’s Finn (Luke Muller, USA)
4. 2:20 PM – Men’s 470 (Stu McNay and Dave Hughes, USA)
5. 3:05 PM – Women’s 470 (Atlantic Brugman and Nora Brugman, USA)

In the Nacra 17, Olympian Louisa Chafee (Warwick, R.I.) and helmsman Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.) took fifth in the medal race in the mixed multihull class, and finished the event in sixth overall. “I think today was only our 12th day as a team, but we bring together a lot of other experience from different boats,” said Chafee. “It just came together really nicely, and we molded together really well.” Gibbs is a relative newcomer to the Nacra 17, but showed little trepidation throughout the week as the U.S. pair consistently battled near the front of the pack. “Sailing with an Olympian like Louisa really taught me a lot about preparation, and how to handle a high level regatta like this,” said Gibbs, who was a Youth Worlds silver medalist in 2014.

David Liebenburg (Livermore, Calif.) and Ian MacDiarmid (Delray Beach, Fla.) finished the Men’s 49er medal race in ninth, and their 10th place overall position remained unchanged from Friday. “This week has been a bit different from the last major regatta I did, which was the Rio 2016 Olympic selection event,” said Liebenberg. “We just started sailing together, so when you’re with a new partner, you have to take a step back and focus on what’s most important on the racecourse.” MacDiarmid succeeded in qualifying for his first career medal race in what was only his first Sailing World Cup event. “The 49er is the most fun Olympic class, because of the combination of the speed you get, together with the strength and balance that you need in order to sail these boats,” said MacDiarmid. “This boat pushes you every time you go on the water.”

U.S. Olympians Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) entered day five in the overall lead in the Men’s 470, and managed to stay on top with scores of one, fourteen, eight on Saturday. “It wasn’t our best day out there, and we know we have to do better tomorrow,” said McNay. “We were happy to climb back into contention in the third race after a slow start, and get a decent score.” McNay and Hughes now have an eight point lead over Rio 2016 bronze medalists Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis of Greece in the Men’s 470, and 12 points over Tetsuya Isozaki and Akira Takayanagi of Japan. The Americans will go for gold on Sunday, but the points gap to fourth place means they are assured of a medal heading into the final race.

2016 I420 Youth Sailing World Champions Wiley Rogers (Houston, Texas) and Jack Parkin (Riverside, Conn.) have made an impressive second career appearance at World Cup Series Miami, and finished full-fleet racing on Saturday with a solid three, five, nine scoreline. This moved the young guns up to seventh overall, with a firm chance to move higher during the medal race. Rogers and Parkin are also in medal contention, with a 16 point gap to third.

Luke Muller (Ft. Pierce, Fla.) once again flashed elite speed and tactical skills on Saturday, notching finishes of nine and three to remain in the medal hunt. Muller is now in fifth overall, 14 points from the podium, and will need to finish at or near the top of the fleet to have a chance for a medal on Sunday.

Erika Reineke (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) dropped from fourth overall to seventh overall in the Laser Radial fleet after scores of 34 and 22 on day five. Reineke, who has been the top U.S. finisher at the Radial worlds in three of the past five years, has battled in the top 10 of the 51 boat fleet for the majority of the week. Unfortunately, the Florida native will not be able to climb into podium position on Sunday due to the current points spread.

In the Men’s Laser, U.S. Olympian Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) recorded finishes of 28 and 17 on Saturday, and will head into the medal race in seventh overall. Like Reineke, Buckingham will not have a chance for a medal at this event, though for both sailors, their medal race appearances are a firm reminder of their high international standing in the notably deep Laser and Radial fleets.

Women’s 470 newcomers Atlantic Brugman (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Nora Brugman (Palo Alto, Calif.) had their best day of the event on Saturday, finishing with scores of five and six, propelling the sisters up to ninth overall. Sunday will see them make their medal race debut at their first career Sailing World Cup event as a 470 pair.

Notable US Standings: Day 5 of 6

Men’s 470:

• 1st overall, Stu McNay (Providence, R.I., Rio 2016 U.S. Olympian) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla., Rio 2016 U.S. Olympian)
• 7th, Wiley Rogers (Houston, Texas) and Jack Parkin (Riverside, Conn.)

Men’s Finn:

• 5th overall, Luke Muller (Ft. Pierce, Fla.)

Nacra 17:

• 6th overall, Louisa Chafee (Warwick, R.I., Rio 2016 U.S. Olympian) sailing with Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.)

Women’s Laser Radial:

• 7th overall, Erika Reineke (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)

Men’s Laser:

• 7th overall, Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif., Rio 2016 Olympian)

Women’s 470:

• 9th overall, Atlantic Brugman (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Nora Brugman (Palo Alto, Calif.)

Men’s 49er:

• 10th overall, David Liebenburg (Livermore, Calif.) and Ian MacDiarmid (Delray Beach, Fla.)

Women’s 49erFX:

• 13th overall, Steph Roble (East Troy, Wisc.) and Maggie Shea (Chicago, Ill.)

Women’s RS:X:

• 14th overall, Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md., London 2012 U.S. Olympian)

Men’s RS:X:

• 25th overall, Pedro Pascual (West Palm Beach, Fla., Rio 2016 U.S. Olympian)

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