Category: Home Page Featured

Miami Breeze Plays Hide and Seek on Day 1 of World Cup Series Miami

For athletes looking to burst out of the blocks and vigorously shake off any holiday rust at the 2018 World Cup Series Miami, USA, the opening day was a struggle.

The wind played hide and seek for all of the morning—tempting at least one race officer into starting a race that would eventually be abandoned—before filling in the afternoon and allowing six of the 10 fleets to get in at least one race.

Miami is welcoming 543 sailors from 50 nations and when the wind did fill it, it remained light and fickle, and the challenge on Biscayne Bay was more mental than physical. But the mantra was still the same for any first day of a big regatta: minimize risk and avoid the big mistakes.

“We managed to play it conservatively and we did well,” said Sime Fantela, who races the 49er with his brother Mihovil. “We came fifth in the first race, but first in the second, so we are pleased.”

The Fantela brothers are veterans of the Olympic sailing circuit. Mihovil spent two Olympic cycles campaigning in the RS:X Windsurfer while Sime competed in three Olympic Games in the Men’s 470, finishing fourth in London 2012 and earning a gold medal at Rio 2016. They started competing in the 49er class last summer and are quickly climbing the skiff’s significant learning curve.

While Biscayne Bay didn’t show its best face today, the brothers are happy to be in Miami for at least two reasons.

“Miami is great, it’s enjoyable to sail here,” said Sime. “[The competition] is quite tough. All the best are here, and I think the rest of week will be challenging.”

Sime and Mihovil hold an early lead over 2016 Miami World Cup winners Diego Botin and Iago Lopez Marra (ESP).

© Richard Langdon/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

The 49erFX fleet also squeezed in two races despite the wind challenges faced today. Victoria Travascio and Maria Branz (ARG, at right) hold first place overnight followed by the Norwegian twins, Ragna and Maia Agerup.

The Nacra 17 was the only class to fit three races in. There is no separation in the top three as they are all tied on five points.

Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, Thomas Zajac and his crew for the Tokyo 2020 quadrennial, Barbara Matz (AUT) sit on top after discarding their first race. Rio 2016 silver medalists Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin (AUS) are second and Italians, Lorenzo Bressani and Cecilia Zorzi are third.

If British Men’s 470 skipper Luke Patience hasn’t seen everything Biscayne Bay can throw, then he’s darn close. Patience first sailed this event in 2006.

“It was long,” he said of his day. “We waited many hours for one race but it’s often like that here in Miami. Some days are good and some days you wait a long time. It was a good race in the end. It was tight, nose-to-tail for the whole fleet.”

© Richard Langdon/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

Patience and crew Chris Grube (at left) finished second, grinding from fourth after the first mark and started their regatta off on a strong note.

“Everyone on the top of the fleet are here,” he said, “so it’s going to be a tough week. But we are looking forward to it.”

The men’s and women’s Japanese 470 Japanese made a great start. Ai Kondo Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka (JPN), who sail in the women’s 470 fleet, secured their win today. The men’s Japanese 470 team, Naoki Ichino and Hasegawa Takashi, also managed to gain first place in their fleet on day one with the British team following in second.

In the Laser class, Philipp Buhl (GER) sits top after two races and is has a eight point advantage over Loïc Queyroux (FRA). The discard comes into play after three races so tomorrow’s action could see some significant shifts in the leader board.

With very light winds and a compact race schedule, the Laser Radial didn’t get a chance to race. The Finn and Men’s RS:X fleets were also unable to compete.

The Women’s RS:X sailors squeezed in a single race and yet again the Japanese managed to claim another race win. Fujiko Onishi (JPN) scored first followed by Noga Geller (ISR), and Hélène Noesmoen from France.

The Race Committee will look to catch up on races missed on Wednesday, in a bid to get back on schedule. Competition is due to commence at 11:00 local time.

International Debut is Worth the Wait for Gulari and Scutt

The international regatta debut for Bora Gulari (Detroit, Mich.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.) came nearly a half-year after it was initially scheduled. Not surprisingly, the Nacra 17 duo (above) was chomping at the bit to get going on Day 1 of the 2018 World Cup Series Miami, USA, which is taking place on Florida’s Biscayne Bay through Sunday, January 28. The regatta is the second of four stops on World Sailing’s 2018 World Cup Series tour.

A lack of wind this morning made them wait just a little bit longer, but it eventually filled in enough for three light-air races. Of the 10 classes competing on Biscayne Bay in the 2018 World Cup Series Miami, USA, the Nacra 17 fleet was one of just two to get in the scheduled number of races, with four classes getting completely shut out.

“Today was our first international regatta together ever, so we were very excited about that,” said Scutt, who finished 10th in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the 49erFX class before switching the coed Nacra 17 catamaran. “We were postponed on shore for a while because it was very light, but it ended up getting sailable. I thought the committee did a great job of getting off three races with the conditions that we had.”

While the breeze never built into the double digits, it was enough for the catamarans to utilize their lifting foils—a new addition for this Olympic cycle—on the downwind legs, hitting speeds in the low to mid-teens.

“It was definitely too light to foil upwind, and honestly sometimes we were just trying to even fly one hull,” said Scutt. “But except for the last race, we could foil downwind. These boats can get foiling downwind in very light air. Then it’s a game of looking for the puffs and just trying to stay on the foils as long as possible, which is not easy when it gets that light.”

The difference in speed between a boat up on the foils and one still dragging a hull through the water is dramatic.

“Downwind most people pop up [on the foils] at the same time, after the offset mark,” said Scutt. “The real game is coming out of a gybe—how good is your gybe, and how soon can you get back foiling because you can’t foil-to-foil gybe—so there’s definitely some focus demanded there.”

As for Gulari and Scutt’s overall results, it was a bit of a mixed bag: a second in Race 1, followed by a 16th in Race 2 and a fifth to close out the day. But that was the case for most of the fleet, with all but one of the 19 teams recording a double-digit result. With their lowest score dropped from the results, Gulari and Scutt currently sit sixth, two points off the lead.

“It was a fun day for us,” she said. “Our middle race was not great, but our other two were really solid. We’re happy and we’re excited for more.”

The highest-placed American after Day 1 is Laser sailor Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif., at left), who started off strongly with a second in the first race and then had to grind out of the cheap seats in Race 2 to score a 21st. He is fifth in the 70-boat fleet, the largest of the regatta.

Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Graham Biehl (San Francisco, Calif.), who sailed in two Olympic Games together and have reunited for this event while McNay’s regular crew, David Hughes (Miami, Fla.) recovers from a knee injury, finished ninth in the single Men’s 470 Race.

In the Women’s 49erFX, Stephanie Roble (Easy Troy, Wis.) and Maggie Shea (Wilmiette, Ill.) are sixth after two solid races, while in the 49er class, Judge Ryan (San Diego, Calif.) and Alain Sign, who is substituting for Ryan’s normal crew Hans Henken (Coronado, Calif.), are 13th of 38.

A young group of U.S. women’s 470 teams struggled in today’s lone race, with Madeleine Rice and Laura Slovensky leading the way in 25th.

Day 1 results can be found here.

All photos: © Jesus Renedo/Sailing Energy/World Sailing

Day #1 Morning Report – How to Follow World Cup Series Miami

Day one of racing at Sailing’s World Cup Series Miami, USA, will be mostly cloudy and sailors will face light winds throughout the day.

For practice racing on Monday, Coconut Grove was blessed with glorious sunshine but on the morning of the first day of the competition there was a distinct contrast with grey skies throughout Miami.

The cloud cover is expected to increase through the day and there is also a possibility of isolated showers during the morning.

For the 561 sailors from 50 nations, Tuesday’s racing will be a chance to ease into the competition, as Biscayne Bay will deliver light wind speeds of 5–10 knots. The wind direction will be coming in from east south east and will eventfully move in further south.

Tuesday 23 January Schedule* 
*Subject to change

Event / Class Race Area Warning Number of Races
Men’s Windsurfer – RS:X M Bravo 11:05 3
Women’s Windsurfer – RS:X W Bravo 13:35 3
Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Charlie 12:35 2
Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial Charlie 14:35 2
Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy – Finn Delta 14:05 2
Men’s Skiff – 49er Alpha 11:05 3
Women’s Skiff – 49er FX Alpha 13:35 3
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470 M Delta 11:35 2
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470 W Delta 11:45 2
Mixed Two Person Multihull – Nacra 17 Echo 13:35 3

How to follow:

27 Olympic medallists as well as World and Continental Champions have registered to compete in Miami. Click here to view the entry list in full.
Results will be available from Tuesday 23 January here –

All fleets will commence racing on Tuesday 23 January. To view the full schedule click here.

Daily highlights and live streamed Medal Races on Saturday and Sunday will be available across the World Sailing Network. Click here to subscribe.

Set yourself a reminder for the Medal Races below:
Saturday Live
Sunday Live

SAP Sailing Analytics will be available from Tuesday 23 January. Live tracking, sailor analytics, live weather data and racing status will be available on the platform here –

Follow the event on World Sailing’s social networks and get involved in the conversation using #WCSMiami

Facebook –
Instagram –
Twitter – @worldsailing

All World Sailing international press releases throughout the duration of the World Cup Series, including the latest news and reports, are available to read here –

Click here to sign up to receive all of the latest alerts and announcements from Miami.

The World Cup Series is a world-class, annual series of Olympic sailing for elite and professional sailors. Over 2,000 of the World’s leading sailors, representing over 75 nations have competed in the World Cup Series which offers a definitive guide to the best-of-the-best in the Olympic sailing world.

Familiar Faces Looking for a Return to Form at 2018 World Cup Series Miami, USA

The sparkling athletic career of Anna Tunnicliffe Tobias, which includes a gold medal in the singlehanded Laser Radial class, a world match racing championship, an appearance au naturel in ESPN the Magazine’s The Body Issue and a transition to an elite-level Crossfit career, bears the hallmarks of someone in full control of her destiny.

But if the next phase is to be successful, Tunnicliffe Tobias (Pittsburgh, Pa.) must come to grips with having someone else at the helm, at least on the race course. After a five-year layoff, she is contemplating a return to Olympic-level sailing, but not as a skipper. This week, she will test out a new partnership by crewing for 2016 Olympian Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) in the 49erFX class in the 2018 World Cup Series Miami, USA. Racing starts tomorrow and runs through Sunday, January 28. The Medal Races on Saturday and Sunday will be streamed live to the web and via a Jumbotron in Coconut Grove’s Regatta Park.

“The transition, it’s harder going to the front of the boat,” says Tunnicliffe Tobias. “I haven’t really ever crewed in a permanent position before so that’s a little different, but what’s fun about the FX is that there’s so much going on at the front. You kind of forget that you’re not driving. There are times when it feels odd, like we’ll be in close quarters and I want to do something. But you know, I trust [Paris], she’s very good at what she does. Coming into it, being able to trust her right away is a pretty good feeling.”

The 49erFX class (right) is one of 10 sailing disciplines that will compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Regatta. Medal contenders in all 10 will be competing at the 2018 World Cup Series Miami, USA, the second stop, of four, on World Sailing’s 2017-’18 World Series Cup tour. Among the more than 540 sailors competing in the 29th edition of this regatta are 27 Olympic medalists.

Henken and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.) finished 10th in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games—an impressive Olympic debut—but Scutt is now sailing in the coed Nacra 17 class with Bora Gulari. That leaves the 49erFX class without a clear favorite for the lone U.S. berth. Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wis.), US Sailing’s 2014 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, and Maggie Shea (Wilmette, Ill.) have been the most active U.S. team in the early part of this Olympic cycle, earning a bronze at last year’s test event for the 2018 Hempel Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, this coming summer. And there are two younger teams competing in Miami this year as well. While this coming week should serve to clarify the pecking order amongst the four teams as well as where the U.S. group stands relative to the rest of the world, Tunnicliffe Tobias, a veteran a numerous Olympic campaigns, knows the importance of not looking too far ahead.

“I think our main goal for the week is to kind of get comfortable racing with each other,” she says. “We’ve got nine days in the boat coming into the regatta, so obviously still have got a huge learning curve to climb and to get more comfortable with boat handling. Then from that, get our heads out so we can race smart. So, we’re gonna go have fun and try to let results take care of themselves.”

For Olympic class sailors, Miami has become something of a home away from home. The combination of an established event with great onshore facilities and South Florida’s reliable mid-winter weather have made this area a popular training destination for sailors from all over the Northern Hemisphere.

“When everywhere else in the world is cold and difficult,” says American Finn sailor Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.), who broke an 8-year medal drought for the U.S. Sailing Team with a bronze in the Rio 2016 Olympics. “Miami always brings great conditions, beautiful weather, and world-class competition.”

After winning his bronze medal, Paine took some time away from the Finn dinghy, the oldest of the eight boats that will be used for Olympic competition in 2020. This event will mark his return to top-level competition and his eyes are squarely focused on moving up a step or two on the podium in two years time. Luke Muller (Ft. Pierce. Fla.) has been the top American Finn sailor in Paine’s absence. Muller is still climbing the learning curve, but his progress at this regatta—27th in 2015, 14th in 2016 and fourth last year—hints at his potential.

Muller’s rise up the ranks also highlights another important aspect of this event, the value it has for the US Sailing Team and its Olympic Development Program. While the spotlights are focused at the head of the results table in each class, further down the standings the future of the American sailing is learning the ropes or even just trying Olympic classes on for size. Muller’s experience in this event goes back to 2012, when he competed in the Laser class. Scutt also sailed in this event for the first time while still in college. While she’s since graduated, she still relishes the opportunity to compete on home turf each January.

“Since the world circuit is very Euro-centric, it’s an asset to have a regatta on home soil because the world comes to you,” says Scutt. “Especially being at the beginning of the season, it means we have a more extended time ‘at home’ than we would otherwise.”

Scutt and her partner, 2016 Olympian Bora Gulari (Detroit, Mich.), will be sailing the Nacra 17 multihull (at right), which debuted at the 2016 Olympics and has since added lifting foils that allow the boat to often sail with boat hulls clear of the water. The duo was set to sail together at last summer’s class world championship, but an injury to Gulari’s hand forced them to skip that event. Though Gulari has perhaps as much experience as anyone in the world in foiling dinghies—he was an early pioneer in the foiling Moth class and a two-time world champion—this event will be their first chance to really test themselves against the best in the world.

by Stuart Streuli, World Sailing

All photos: © Will Ricketson/US Sailing Team

Olympic Medalists Descend on Miami for 2018 World Cup Series

Over 540 sailors have gathered in Regatta Park, Miami, USA, for the second round of the 2018 World Cup Series, running from 21-28 January 2018.

The event marks the start of a big year for Olympic class sailors, as they prepare for the Hempel Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark this summer.

Sailors from over 50 nations will race over six days in all ten Olympic events on Biscayne Bay, just off Coconut Grove in Miami. The fleets will feature 27 Olympic medallists and they, along with all competitors, will come up against a moderate 12 knot breeze, warm temperatures and intermittent showers during the week.

Erika Reineke (USA) is a local Laser Radial sailor and she is very familiar with the waters. As sailors get set up in Regatta Park, Reineke welcomes the international competitors and is looking forward to the event. “It’s great to see so many faces from across the world come here,” says Reineke.

Linda Fahrni and Maja Siegenthaler (SUI). © Jesús Renedo/Sailing Energy/ World Sailing

Reineke and Women’s 470 sailor, Maja Siegenthaler (SUI) both relate to the thought of Dolphins whenever they think of sailing in Miami.

Siegenthaler will be sailing with Linda Fahrni. The pair also competed at the first event of the Series in Gamagori, Japan, and just missed out on a podium spot. However, they are looking to improve on that showing, ready for the Worlds in Aarhus.

In the Men’s Laser fleet, the finest sailors in the class are here in Miami ready to fight for World Cup Series medals. The ones to beat will once again be Rio 2016 gold medallist, Tom Burton, reigning World Champion, Pavlos Kontides (CYP) and 2017 European Champion, Nick Thompson (GBR).

Ahead of the competition Kontides was at ease in Miami and when asked what he thought about the Sunshine State he responded, “Beautiful, warm and vibrant.”

Pavlos Kontides of Cyprus won a silver medal in the Laser class in 2012. @Pedro Martinez / Sailing Energy / World Sailing

However, Kontides says the competition in Miami isn’t easy, “It’s always tricky. As you can see from the results, sailors finish with high points and competition is very close. It can be unpredictable.”

The London 2012 Olympic medallist, has his sights firmly set on Aarhus as well.

“I have nice memories from Aarhus from 2008. I was able to win the Youth Worlds back then. Right now, my main focus is on training as much as I can and using this event to prepare for the Worlds,” said Kontides.

Racing is scheduled to commence on Tuesday 23 January with the regatta culminating with the LIVE Medal Race days on Saturday and Sunday, 27 and 28 January. Click here to view the latest Race Schedule.

By Aadil Seedat – World Sailing

Top Sailors Head to Miami for the First Test in 2018

Over 540 sailors, from 50 nations, will be competing in Miami, USA, for the second of four regattas in Sailing’s 2018 World Cup Series.

From 21-28 January, some of the best sailors, including Olympic medallists and World Champions, will be competing across all ten Olympic events in Miami, giving their best to ensure a solid start to the year.

The first opportunity to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is at Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus 2018 this August. World Cup Series rounds in Miami, USA and Hyères, France as well as the final in Marseille, France, at the Paris 2024 Olympic venue, will give a clear indication on who will be gunning for gold at the World Championships and in line to qualify their country for the Tokyo 2020.

Some of the stars sailing in Miami include the Australian Laser Men’s sailor, Tom Burton, who won gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and the legendary Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) who clinched an emotional Nacra 17 gold medal in Rio.

British 49er sailors, Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stuart Bithell (at right) competed in the first event of the 2018 World Cup Series, in Gamagori, Japan last October and managed to add World Cup gold to their 2017 49er World Championship title.

2018 World Cup Series Miami will see the return of 49erFX sailors, Ragna Agerup and Maia Agerup (NOR), who had a successful 2017 winning silver at the 2017 World Cup Series in Miami and gold at the 49erFX Junior World Championship in Kingston, Canada.

Kate Macgregor and Sophie Ainsworth (GBR) just missed out on a podium position at the 2017 World Cup Series Final in Santander, Spain. The 49erFX sailors are motivated to make the podium this time.

The Men’s RS:X fleet will see a renewal of rivalries. The Rio 2016 gold medallist, Dorian Van Rijsselberghe (NED) and Rio 2016 bronze medallist, Pierre Le Coq (FRA), fought closely at Rio 2016 and will both be fighting for Miami honours.

Hei Man H V Chan, from Hong Kong (at left), won gold in the first round of World Cup Series in Japan and at the 2017 RS:X Asian Championships in Taiwan. After an impressive haul of honours in 2017, the 27-year-old will be hoping to get her 2018 off to a blistering start in the Women’s RS:X. She will also be joined by Rio 2016 bronze medallist, Stefania Elfutina (RUS).

The 2017 470 World Champions, Agnieszka Skrzypulec and Irmina Mrózek Gliszczynska, who also won at the first round of the World Cup Series, will be attending and looking to continue their winning streak in Miami. Close rivals, Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre (GBR), will also be competing. Mills, a Rio gold medallist with Saskia Clark, teamed up with McIntyre for the 2017 Series Final in Santander where they won gold. They’ll be battling for top spot once again.

Rio 2016 Men’s 470 bronze medallists, Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) will be attending Miami this year. They will be aiming to better they bronze medal winning performance from 2017.

The Laser fleet will be highly competitive as all three Gamagori podium sailors will be battling it out. Bronze Rio 2016 champion, Sam Meech (NZL), won gold in the first round of the World Cup Series.

The current ranked number one sailor, Pavlos Kontides (CYP), who recently won Cyprus’ Athlete of the Year for the fifth time, scored silver in Gamagori and was crowned champion of the 2017 Laser World Championship, in Split, Croatia.

Australian Laser sailor, Tom Burton, claimed bronze in Gamagori and fought hard with Kontides at the Laser Standard Men’s Worlds. Burton managed to get silver. The competition is expected to be close once again.

Laser Radial sailors, Emma Plasschaert (BEL) and Josefin Olsson (SWE) (at right in blue and red pinnies), who came second and third in Gamagori will be racing in Miami.

Plasschaert didn’t make the podium at the 2017 Santander World Cup Series Final but she has shown significant progress and is certainly a contender to watch out for.

Vasileia Karachaliou (GRE) won a landslide Miami gold in 2017 and she’s quite familiar with the playing field giving her an advantage this year. Karachaliou currently holds third place in the world rankings.

Giles Scott (GBR) makes his World Cup series return in Miami following his gold medal exploits at Rio 2016. Scott was part of Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup team in Bermuda but is back on the Olympic trail targeting Tokyo 2020.

During Scott’s absence, Ben Cornish has taken a lead role in the British Finn team with a number of medal winning performances and will be in the medal hunt in Miami.

Max Salminen (SWE) will also be a major contender. The Swede gained gold in the 2017 Finn Gold Cup in Balatonföldvár, Hungary, and in the 2017 Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía, in Spain.

Racing at the 2018 World Cup Series Miami will commence on Tuesday 23 January at 11:00 local time.

Live Medal Races on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 January will bring the week to a close before the series heads to Hyères, France in April.

By Aadil Seedat – World Sailing

Hitting the Right Notes on Final Day in Miami


A classically trained concert pianist, Afrodite Zegers (NED) is no stranger to the big stage. So when the pressure was at fever pitch in the final race of the 2017 World Series Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella, and the proverbial lights of a live worldwide webcast at its brightest, Zegers and teammate Annaloes van Veen displayed incredible poise to grab the Women’s 470 title.

The Dutch team entered the final race essentially tied with Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre (GBR) for first in the overall standings. While there were other teams mathematically alive for each spot on the podium, when Zegers and van Veen rounded the first mark in the lead, with Weguelin and McIntyre close behind, the race for gold was distilled to a two-boat battle.

“It was a stressful race,” said van Veen. “On the first upwind we caught up quite some metres and then the downwind was OK. But on the second upwind we didn’t cover too well.”

The British pair made the pass halfway up the second upwind leg and first place in the regatta came down to the final run. Zegers and van Veen patiently waited for the opportunity to strike. Three quarters of the way through the leg, they final got close enough steal the wind of their British team, roll over the top, get around the final mark in first place and cruise down the final leg to the win.

“There were only a few options,” said Zegers of that final downwind leg. “I think we just did what we had to do, jibe when we had the opportunity and sail the boat in a way would give bad air to the British. I don’t think there was another opportunity.”

After the ultimate heartbreak of finishing fourth by a single point in Rio 2016, Zegers and van Veen were quite excited that their campaign for a medal in Tokyo 2020 is off to a great start.

“We made a lot of mistakes as it was our first regatta after the Games,” said Zegers. “But it was a very good week.”

The Finn Medal Race featured a similar who-beat-who battle, but this time for the silver medal as Jorge Zarif (BRA) had locked up a successful defense of his 2016 championship prior to the start. Ben Cornish (GBR) and Anders Pedersen (NOR) started the deciding race essentially tied for second place; battle that ensued had more twists and turns than the average regatta.

Cornish got the better of the pre-start with Pedersen being whistled for a foul. But the first beat went Pederson’s way as Cornish opted for a loose cover, got stuck in a bad lane and lost ground trying to clear his air. Cornish got back in touch on the first run only to see Pedersen regain control on the second beat. The race was eventually decided just moments before the final turning mark when Cornish, who had the speed edge downwind all day, was able to just break the overlap and force Pedersen to round behind him for the final reach to the finish and grab the silver medal. Finland’s Oskari Muhonen and Mikael Hyrylåinen went into the Medal Race in ninth and 10th respectively and were the first two sailors across the finish line in the Medal Race.

Zarif finished third in the race and was rightfully pleased with his week of sailing.

“Very tricky regatta, when [the wind] is from the shore here it is really hard,” said Zarif. “I’m happy that we won. It was a great week, I don’t have any bad things to say. [In the future maybe] I can try to sail a little bit more like I did here, trying to take less risks.”

Soon after Zarif successfully defended his title from the 2016 World Cup Series Miami, Stu McNay and David Hughes (USA) had an opportunity to do the same in the Men’s 470. They also entered the race as the lone U.S. hope for a regatta win.

Around the top mark it didn’t look good for the American team as the two teams with a shot at gold, Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) and Tetsuya Isozaki and Akira Takayanagi (JPN) rounded third and first, respectively, while McNay and Hughes were seventh.

The first run was pivotal. McNay and Hughes moved to fourth, while Mantis and Kagialis fell all the way to ninth. The American team would lose a boat before the finish, but by staying in fifth and ahead of the Greek duo they assured themselves of first overall. Isozaki and Takayanagi led all the way around for the win, which was enough to move them into second overall.

Patience, said Hughes, was the key to success this week. “It was a type of regatta where you had to be mentally fit and keep ready to strike back when the opportunity presented itself,” he said. “If you tried to force an opportunity you’d be punished.”

A promising note for the future of the US Sailing Team was the performance of 2016 Youth Sailing World Champions Wiley Rogers and Jack Parkin, who finished third in the Medal Race and sixth overall in their second international regatta in the 470.

“I really look forward to [competing against] future generations of sailors,” said McNay, a three-time Olympian in the 470. “It’s a wonderful sport because you can compete for a long time. It’s great as Dave and I get older that there are some younger guys on the way.”

For Pavlos Kontides the plan for the Laser Medal Race was simple. By keeping Nick Thompson in fifth or lower, Kontides ensured himself of a silver medal. Jean Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) had locked up the gold medal position courtesy of the 39-point lead he built through the first 10 races of the regatta.

Thompson’s situation was a little more complex as three sailors were within striking distance of the bronze medal position. Off the line Thompson had the freedom he needed and rounded the first mark in third, but Kontides stayed close and made a pass right before the leeward mark.

“I thought that wind would come back right [on the first upwind] but then it went more left so he was able to gain a bit of an advantage on me,” said Kontides. “But downwind you can catch the pressure first. One good maneuver and I manage to pass him.”

Once he got the lead, Kontides placed a tight cover on the British athlete and sailed both of them to the back of the pack. In doing so, he took Thompson out of bronze medal position when Lorenzo Chiavarini (GBR) moved from eighth to fifth on the final downwind leg.

“I felt a little bit sorry for him that he lost the bronze, but this is the sport of sailing,” said Kontides. “We are enemies on the water, but friends back on the shore.”

Italy’s Giovanni Coccoluto won the race and moved from 10th to eighth in the overall standings. Bernaz, sailing what amounted to a victory lap, finished second.

Vasileia Karachaliou (GRE) and Evi Van Acker (BEL) went into the Laser Radial Medal Race in first and second, respectively, and that’s how they crossed the finish line. Karachaliou needed to finish eighth or better to lock up gold, while Van Acker held a similar advantage over third, as she needed to finish ninth or better to ensure silver.

Nonetheless, Karachaliou approached the race with the same goal as the first 10, only one of which she finished outside the top five. She started near the pin, played the first beat to perfection and, despite the instability of the breeze, never dropped lower than second. Van Acker’s second was a little more challenging as she rounded the first mark in fifth and had to work through the fleet to second. Mathilde de Karangat (FRA) finished fifth in the Medal Race and third in the regatta.

“I can’t describe how I’m feeling now,” said an elated Karachaliou. “I’m really happy. Being calm and focused always helps a lot. If you’re stressed you can make easy mistakes, sail away from the fleet. After the start I went away from the fleet [on the left side] and I saw the right shift and I tacked and I came back again to the fleet and it was OK.”

Karachaliou, just 20 years old and with no previous top-10 finishes in a World Cup-level regatta, was something of an unknown heading into Miami. But she has clearly made a significant leap in her ability and caught the eye of the Laser Radial establishment.

“She had a really good week, all respect to her,” said Van Acker, the London 2012 bronze medalist in the class. “She really was the best this week. I’m happy to be back racing, and happy to win the silver medal here. It was all about consistency and [Karachaliou] was the most consistent girl this week.”

All photos: © Sailing Energy

A full list of sailors registered to sail in Miami is available to view here –!/entries?classId=e2d355cc-1d5b-4dfb-b6b9-58c9d28c0cfa
Results will be available from Tuesday 24 January via the Manage2Sail results centre here –!/results?classId=e2d355cc-1d5b-4dfb-b6b9-58c9d28c0cfa

Live tracking and competitor’s analytics will be available via SAP Sailing Analytics throughout the event here –

World Sailing will be releasing international press releases after racing throughout the duration of World Cup Miami. All the latest news and reports will be available to read here –

Medal Races on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 January will be streamed live on World Sailing’s Facebook and YouTube Channel.

Follow the event on World Sailing’s social networks and get involved in the conversation using #SWCMiami17
Facebook –
Instagram –
Twitter – or
Snapchat – Follow our Story on Snapchat, search for worldsailing

The Wait Is Over—How to Follow the World Cup Series Miami

The 2017 World Cup Series kicks off on the morning of Tuesday 24 January with more than 400 competitors from 44 nations preparing to race across the ten Olympic fleets in Biscayne Bay, Miami.

Sailors have been preparing their boats in Regatta Park, Coconut Grove ahead of the first step on the World Cup Series and the start of the Tokyo 2020 quadrennial. They will be greeted with a north westerly breeze on the opening day of racing coming in around 10-12 knots and gusting up to 16.

Class # of Races Start time Racing Area
RS:X Men 3 11:00 Bravo
RS:X Women 3 11:10 Bravo
Laser 2 12:30 Charlie
Laser Radial 2 12:40 Charlie
Finn 2 14:00 Delta
49er 3 11:00 Alpha
49erFX 3 13:30 Alpha
470 Men 2 11:30 Delta
470 Women 2 11:40 Delta
Nacra 17 3 13:30 Bravo

Information on how to follow the event is below:

A full list of sailors registered to sail in Miami is available to view here –!/entries?classId=e2d355cc-1d5b-4dfb-b6b9-58c9d28c0cfa
Results will be available from Tuesday 24 January via the Manage2Sail results centre here –!/results?classId=e2d355cc-1d5b-4dfb-b6b9-58c9d28c0cfa

Live tracking and competitor’s analytics will be available via SAP Sailing Analytics throughout the event here –

World Sailing will be releasing international press releases after racing throughout the duration of World Cup Miami. All the latest news and reports will be available to read here –

Medal Races on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 January will be streamed live on World Sailing’s Facebook and YouTube Channel.

Follow the event on World Sailing’s social networks and get involved in the conversation using #SWCMiami17
Facebook –
Instagram –
Twitter – or
Snapchat – Follow our Story on Snapchat, search for worldsailing

Scroll to top