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Day 4 Final Report: Racing Heats up in Clearwater Final

2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Clearwater. Photo by US Sailing/Ellinor Walters. Pictured – Evan Heffernan (USA)

 

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CLEARWATER, Fla. (February 7, 2021) – Yes, it is Super Bowl Sunday, and the greater Tampa/St. Pete area is consumed by national and local media attention and fanfare for the big game. Only 25 miles west of Raymond James Stadium, another major championship was on the line for the sailors competing on the final day of racing at 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Clearwater, the third and final Florida tour stop in the new six event series.

Sunday was also a big wind, big wave, and big wet kind of day as sailors and kiters ripped through the racecourse. They raced in 14 to 16 knots and gusts in the mid-20s.

The Foiling Kites notched three more races on Sunday for 18 total and it was a mad dash to the top of the podium between Evan Heffernan (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Kai Calder (Alameda, Calif.). Heffernan had a lead entering Sunday, but Calder posted a pair of wins to take the lead entering the final race.

“Going into the final race of the day I was two points behind,” said Heffernan. “The final race was a tough one, but I had a few people between me and Kai, and I was able to pull off the win. It’s been tight racing all week.”

Heffernan also discussed the important decisions he had to make about his gear and equipment this week. “Changing out my kite and taking the loss and missing the first race allowed me to be set up for the final two races of the day, even though I might have been behind. Weather is such a big factor and being set up with the right gear will make a big difference.”

He spoke about the top Foiling Kite sailors training in Florida this winter. “For the past two weeks we’ve been out here training together with the support of ODP and US Sailing and it’s been really cool to see everyone working as one, analyzing all the data, and seeing where we are making gains.”

Markus Edegran (West Palm Beach, Fla.) had a tremendous regatta through the first two days before sustaining an injury and could not compete in the final two days of the regatta. Edegran had a six-point lead through 11 races in the Foiling Kites fleet.

Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, Fla.) finished the regatta in sixth overall as the only women’s competitor in the fleet. She was second in the last race of the day and she posted nine top five results this week. Noah Runciman (La Porte, Texas) rounded out the podium with a third-place finish overall.

Hometown sailor and Olympian Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) won the women’s division in the Laser Radial fleet after another exciting duel with Sarah Douglas (Toronto, CAN). Railey posted a 3-4 on Sunday which was good enough to edge Douglas by one point. Douglas made a push on Sunday by winning Race 10 and placing second in Race 11. These two training partners competed closely at West Marine US Open Sailing – Fort Lauderdale with Douglas earning the win in January.

“I was pretty consistent and not very risky at all, so I think that is what set my scores apart from the others,” said Railey. “I had really good downwinds as well and that saved me a lot of points. The waves were perfect, and we got some nice swell with some chop, so two different directions with the waves. You round the windward mark, and you can just rip downwind. I thought that was pretty fun. It made all the hiking we did upwind worth it.”

Chapman Petersen (Fontana, Wis.) took home the overall title in the Laser Radials with 19 points through 11 races. He won five races this week and never placed worse than seventh. Peterson also won the Laser Radial fleet at West Marine US Open Sailing – Fort Lauderdale.

Leo Boucher (West River, Md.) held back a hard charging Marshall McCann (Kemah, Texas) to win the Laser fleet by six points. Boucher had a 17-point advantage heading into Sunday’s final set of races. McCann and Boucher alternated first and second place finishes in Sunday’s two races. Boucher won four races this week and finished in the top three in all 11. Connor Nelson (Tampa, Fla.) took third place honors in the fleet and finished just 11 points behind Boucher. By contrast, at West Marine US Open Sailing – Fort Lauderdale, Boucher was 10th, McCann was ninth, and Nelson was eighth.

“We got a little bit of everything from the weather and conditions this week,” said Boucher. “Towards the end of the regatta the racing got a lot closer and it was a lot of fun.”

Anna Vasilieva (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) wrapped up an impressive four days on the water by placing second and first in Sunday’s two races in the Laser 4.7 fleet. She won 10 of 11 races to earn a 15-point win. Evan Wern (St. Petersburg, Fla.) was the top male sailor in the fleet and second overall. Oscar Parzen (San Diego, Calif.) finished third. The win marks an improvement for Vasilieva who placed fourth at West Marine US Open Sailing – Fort Lauderdale.

The iQFoil fleets conducted an hour-long marathon race beginning at about 12:30 pm ET. In the Men’s fleet, Mateus Isaac (Sao Paulo, BRA) put the finishing touches on a perfect week by winning all 15 races to take the title. Adrien Gaillard (MEX) was second and Alexander Temko (Palm Harbor, Fla.) was the top performing American in third place. Temko posted 10 top five finishes this week.

Mariana Aguilar Chavez Peon (MEX) won the Open iQFoil fleet by 11 points over Giovanna Prada (BRA) who won today’s race. She was followed by Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) who was third in today’s race and third overall for the regatta. She posted eight top three finishes.

The Organizing Authorities for this 2021 US Open Sailing Series regatta are Clearwater Yacht Club, Clearwater Community Sailing Center, Tampa Bay Charities, and Sail Life. We thank the City of Clearwater and the City of St. Petersburg for their support to host this event both in 2021 and 2022.

On January 11, US Sailing and host yacht clubs at sailing venues in Florida and California launched a new racing and training series of Olympic-class regattas in 2021 and beyond. The West Marine US Open Sailing Series offers an increase in high-quality Olympic-class racing for U.S. athletes with a goal of attracting top-level international competitors to race in these regattas for years to come.

US Sailing and the larger community of sailors in the U.S. identified a demand for a racing and training platform based in the United States that serves to provide as a runway to the Olympic Games for prospective athletes. With the 2028 LA Olympics on the distant horizon, it is essential for US Sailing to establish a consistent and predictable cycle for athletes to plan for on an annual basis.

The first two events of the 2021 series took place in January at venues in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. The series resumes in San Diego this June for the start of three events in California, including Long Beach in July and San Francisco in August.

To learn more about the West Marine US Open Sailing Series and to follow all the action in 2021, visit the series website at usopen.ussailing.org.

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2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Clearwater. Photo by US Sailing/Ellinor Walters.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Jake Fish, US Sailing Communications
jakefish@ussailing.org

Allison Chenard, US Sailing Team Communications
allisonchenard@ussailing.org

Day 3: Sailors Set the Stage for Sunday

2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Clearwater. Photo by US Sailing Team/Allison Chenard.

 

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CLEARWATER, Fla. (February 6, 2021) – Sailors experienced another day of various conditions and new challenges on the water at Day 3 of 2021 West Marine US Open – Clearwater. Sunday marks the final day of racing at the regatta featuring 90 sailors in six classes.

The Open and Men’s iQFoil fleets enjoyed a physical day on the water in the conditions. The men completed six more races and the Open fleet totaled five races on Saturday. They raced a slalom course in 8 to 12 knots with light swell.

2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Clearwater. Photo by US Sailing Team/Allison Chenard. Pictured – Farrah Hall (USA)

In the Men’s fleet, Mateus Isaac (Sao Paulo, BRA) continues his hot streak with 14 consecutive wins to remain perfect for the regatta. He holds a 21-point lead over Adrien Gaillard (MEX). Alexander Temko (Palm Harbor, Fla.) is the top American in third place. Temko has seven top three finishes, including three on Saturday.

Mariana Aguilar Chavez Peon (MEX) won the first 11 races of the regatta until Race 12 where she placed third. This currently stands as her throw-out score after winning Race 13. She has an 11-point lead over Giovanna Prada (BRA) who Race 12 on Saturday. Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) remains the top American in third place. She has seven top three finishes this week.

Donna Sue Marks, Deputy Race Officer for the kites and boards this week has been running races with kites for six years. “We’ve seen the progression of the U.S. sailors and it gets better every year. I was at the US Open in Miami with the iQFoils and we didn’t have the conditions we had today. The sailors who were in Miami and are now in Clearwater got to experience better conditions. We are watching how the equipment is performing so we can report back to the class.”

The leaderboard got real tight in the Foiling Kites class in late afternoon racing. Passing showers and light breeze kept the kites grounded for the earlier part of the day. Markus Edegran (West Palm Beach, Fla.) had a six-point leader over Evan Heffernan (Santa Barbara, Calif.) after Friday’s races. Edegran did not compete on Saturday due to an injury. Heffernan posted 1-2-2-3 scores to take over the lead. Cai Calder (Alameda, Calif.) bounced back after a DNC in Saturday’s first race, with three straight wins in Races 13, 14, and 15. Calder is in second place and two points behind.

US Sailing Team Coach, Charlie McKee, is impressed with the competition and fascinated by the kites this week. “These kites are up on hydrofoils so the speeds that they are sailing at are very high. Despite how fast they are going they are so efficient and use tacking and gybing very little. It’s a great combination of really difficult technical skills, speed, and also tactics and strategy. It is amazing how close the racing is. The top three are typically finishing within five seconds of each other.”

All eyes are on the Laser Radial fleet as Chapman Petersen (Fontana, Wis.) continues to post strong scores through another three races. He leads overall by 11 points after a 2-6-2 on Saturday. The top women’s performer is Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) who is second overall. She leads Isabella Maegli Aguero (GUA) by 16 points. Aguero, Sarah Douglas (Toronto, CAN), and Charlotte Rose (Houston, Texas) each won a race on Saturday.

Leo Boucher (West River, Md.) posted a 2-3-3 scoring line and has a 17-point advantage heading into Sunday’s final set of races. Marshall McCann (Kemah, Texas), Charles Anderson (West River, Md.), and Humberto Porrata (North Palm Beach, Fla.) each posted wins on Saturday.

Anna Vasilieva (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) continues her hold over the Laser 4.7 fleet with three more wins on Saturday to remain perfect over nine races. Evan Wern (St. Petersburg, Fla.) is the top male sailor in the fleet and is in second overall.

To learn more about the West Marine US Open Sailing Series and to follow all the action in 2021, visit the series website at usopen.ussailing.org.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Jake Fish, US Sailing Communications
jakefish@ussailing.org

Allison Chenard, US Sailing Team Communications
allisonchenard@ussailing.org

Day 2: Sailors, Kiters Rip it up in the Gulf

2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Clearwater. Photo by US Sailing Team/Allison Chenard.

 

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CLEARWATER, Fla. (February 5, 2021) – The action on the water picked up on Friday right where they left off from Thursday’s first set of races in the Gulf. For some classes, Day 2 of 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Clearwater featured stronger winds than any other US Open event in 2021. This proposed new challenges and thrilling races for much of the day.

The Foiling Kites have now totaled 11 races after logging another six on Friday. The conditions were very good for the kiters this morning at 15-17 knots, with puffs reaching 25 knots. The left side of course was especially difficult to contend with due to the buildings on shore making it hard to complete tacks and gybes from the pressure differences.

2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Clearwater. Photo by US Sailing/Ellinor Walters.

Markus Edegran (West Palm Beach, Fla.) put some separation between himself and the rest of the fleet after close racing on Thursday. He leads by six points over Evan Heffernan (Santa Barbara, Calif.). Edegran has yet to place worse than third place and has won six of 11 races.

“We had good breeze and we were able to downsize our kites and get rippin’ pretty good close to shore,” said Edegran. “Definitely tricky with offshore breeze but good fun out there.”

“This event provides a good start to domestic racing that we’ve been lacking for the last couple years. It will be good to have a set schedule in the U.S. where all the top guys will come together. We are all happy to be here joining the Olympic classes going forward,” continued Edgran.

Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, Calif.) is the only women’s kiter in the fleet and maintained her fourth-place position.

“I’m the only girl in the fleet right now, so the boys are keeping me on my toes,” said Moroz. “Markus and Evan have been super-fast. It was pretty hectic out there today. It was super gnarly, really gusty, and a lot of big wipe-outs coming from the Kite fleet, but it was a lot of fun, and everyone is super stoked to be racing.”

“I can see this being a very good racing and training venue here in Clearwater,” added Moroz. “It’s good training for international events and it’s good training and competition for U.S. sailors here as we look ahead to our Olympic campaigns for the 2024 Games. I’m definitely planning on coming back next year.”

The ultra-packed Laser Radial fleet continues to entertain. The top five sailors in the fleet through six races are Chapman Petersen (Fontana, Wis.), Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), Sarah Douglas (Toronto, CAN), Charlotte Rose (Houston, Texas), and Lillian Myers (Sarasota, Fla.). Petersen held to his lead from Thursday after winning the last two races of the day to take a five-point lead.

Rose is in fourth place and had this to say about today’s sailing. “The conditions we sailed in today were some of the best conditions I’ve ever sailed in. I felt really good in the boat today and I had good speed.”

Rose also spoke about her training and focus this week. “The ODP [Olympic Development Program] girls have been working on our hiking and Coach Steve [Mitchell] has been pushing us to do upwind sprints, so I was working on that today.”

The three Laser fleets tallied three more races for six total. The Lasers raced further offshore than the other fleets. After taking a one-point lead through three races Thursday, Leo Boucher (West River, Md.) expanded his lead to 12 following another strong day on the course. Robert Hallawell (Jensen Beach, Fla.) is in second place.

Anna Vasilieva (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) remains undefeated in the Laser 4.7 fleet through six races after winning three more on Friday. She owns a 10-point lead at the midway point of the regatta.

The iQFoil Open fleets continues to be led by Mariana Aguilar Chavez Peon (MEX) who has won all eight races. Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) is the top American in third place and 10-points back. Giovanna Prada (BRA) is in second place.

Mateus Isaac (Sao Paulo, BRA) is eight for eight in the iQFoil Men’s fleet and has an 11-point lead over Noah Lyons (Clearwater, Fla.) who is in third place and the top American. Adrien Gaillard (MEX) is in second place.

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To learn more about the West Marine US Open Sailing Series and to follow all the action in 2021, visit the series website at usopen.ussailing.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Jake Fish, US Sailing Communications
jakefish@ussailing.org

Allison Chenard, US Sailing Team Communications
allisonchenard@ussailing.org

Day 1: Good Start for Lasers, Kites, and Foils in Clearwater

2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Clearwater. Photo by US Sailing Team / Allison Chenard.

 

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CLEARWATER, Fla. (February 4, 2021) – The Gulf of Mexico offered new challenges for the sailors racing today at 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Clearwater. The first two events of the new series in Fort Lauderdale and Miami were contested in the Atlantic Ocean. Many of the sailors who raced in one of those events made the short trip across the state to be here this week in Clearwater.

US Sailing Team Laser Radial Coach, Steve Mitchell, is optimistic about the sailing conditions this week in Clearwater. “We’ve had some cold fronts come in over the past couple of days, which has brought fantastic winds for training. We had an offshore easterly today as the front moved past us, which is tricky. The wind will come from the south and start to build over the next few days, and that should provide some great racing this week. It’s going to be a great event. We’ve got sailors from all over the country and all over the world here.”

Despite light conditions this morning, all five classes completed racing this afternoon. The Foiling Kites completed five races, the Lasers finished three races, and the iQFoils posted two races on Thursday. The  three Laser fleets started racing just after 11 am in 5-7 knots with very few puffs and flat water. The breeze changed direction significantly and the racecourse was re-located for the second race to take advantage of the breeze coming in from the west, where they found ample wind at 11-13 knots. The Foiling Kites raced in the early afternoon after a postponement and the iQFoils contested all of their racing later in the afternoon.

The Foiling Kites were the busiest fleet of the day and through five races the leaderboard is very close. Only seven points separates the top four kiters. Markus Edegran (West Palm Beach, Fla.) and Evan Heffernan (Santa Barbara, Calif.) are at the top of the fleet with six points. Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, Calif.) is the top women’s kiter with 13 points and in fourth place overall.

Lou Boucher (West River, Md.) jumped out of the gate with an early one point lead through three races in the Laser fleet. He won the first two races of the regatta today. Boucher placed 10th at US Open Fort Lauderdale last month.

Anna Vasilieva (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) took an early lead in the Laser 4.7 fleet with three straight wins. Vasilieva placed fourth overall and was the top women’s sailor in the 4.7 fleet at US Open Fort Lauderdale.

Chapman Petersen (Fontana, Wis.) paced the Laser Radial fleet in Fort Lauderdale and won the overall title. He is back at the US Open this week in Clearwater and looking put together another strong performance against elite competition from both the men and women sailors in the fleet. The Laser Radial fleet this week includes Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) and Sarah Douglas (Toronto, CAN). Petersen, Railey, and Douglas are at the top of the leaderboard through three races.

The iQFoil fleet in Miami only competed one race. Mateus Isaac (Sao Paulo, BRA) won that race and he won both races today in the men’s fleet. Mariana Aguilar Chavez Peon (MEX) won both races in the Open fleet. Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) is four points back in third place.

2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Clearwater. Photo by US Sailing/Ellinor Walters. Pictured – Demita Vega De Lille (MEX)

Follow the Racing:

To learn more about the West Marine US Open Sailing Series and to follow all the action in 2021, visit the series website at usopen.ussailing.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Jake Fish, US Sailing Communications
jakefish@ussailing.org

Allison Chenard, US Sailing Team Communications
allisonchenard@ussailing.org

2021 West Marine US Open Sailing Series Florida Tour Culminates in Clearwater

Preview: 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Clearwater

  • Click to WATCH LIVE: Weather Briefing with Chelsea Carlson with Competitors on The Starboard Portal – Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 4:30 pm ET / 1:30 pm PT
  • Follow US Sailing and the US Sailing Team on Instagram for breaking news, fun stories, videos, photos, and more from Clearwater.

CLEARWATER, Fla. (February 3, 2021) – Over 200 sailors from 13 countries participated in the first two regattas of the 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing Series in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. The new series moves to southwest Florida in Clearwater for four days of racing in mostly Olympic-class racing, beginning this week on Thursday, February 4 through Sunday, February 7, 2021.

The Organizing Authorities for this 2021 US Open Sailing Series regatta are Clearwater Yacht Club, Clearwater Community Sailing Center, Tampa Bay Charities, and Sail Life.

The Clearwater Yacht Club and the Clearwater Community Sailing Center will welcome over 100 sailors from 13 countries to race in five classes. The classes in competition for both men and women this week in Clearwater are the Laser Standard, Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, iQFoil (Men, Open), and Foiling Kites.

Sailors this week represent countries including the United States, Canada, Mexico, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Great Britain, Ecuador, Guatemala, Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, and Turkey.

On par with both events in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, the entry list in Clearwater features Olympians, US Sailing Team members, international sailors, college sailors, local standouts, Olympic Development Program (ODP) members, and other young sailors looking to test their skills against top-notch competition.

Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) headed back to her hometown of Clearwater after the Fort Lauderdale event wrapped. She has been training with her coach, Steve Mitchell, a few local Laser sailors, and the ODP (Olympic Development Program) Laser Radial squad. Railey posted a fourth place finish at US Open Sailing – Fort Lauderdale and is in a great position to perform well at her home venue and in familiar conditions.

Charlotte Rose (Houston, Texas) returned to her college town of Jacksonville, Florida upon the completion of US Open Sailing – Fort Lauderdale, where she placed 13th. She got back into her gym routine on campus, got organized for her upcoming semester, and reconnected with her college sailing teammates.

Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) returned home to Annapolis, Maryland after competing at US Open Sailing – Miami. She made the podium after placing third overall and first place in the women’s division of the iQFoil. Conditions were light and difficult for the foiling boards in Miami, but things are looking up for Clearwater and Hall is looking forward to learning more about the newest equipment for Paris 2024 and getting some firsthand experience under her belt on the racecourse.

U.S. Olympic Head Coach, Luther Carpenter, expressed that the athletes are very excited to return to great sailing conditions in Clearwater and the classic Gulf of Mexico conditions. “The sailing community and facilities in Clearwater are top-notch, and we have enjoyed decades of coming to Clearwater Beach in the winter season to train and race,” said Carpenter.

“We have had a strong winter season over the last three months and look to cap it off with an exciting event here in Clearwater. This event is especially exciting, as it is the first Olympic-class regatta for the new kite discipline. This fleet is coming from an excellent training camp last week coached by Charlie McKee and US Sailing Team member Dane Wilson (Ojai, Calif.), and the group is stoked to test their skills on the course.”

Luther showed his optimism about the development of the iQFoil class. “The iQFoil class has seen growth and participation this winter, and the fleet is primed for great foiling conditions and mixing it up on the course.”

He also discussed the Laser classes what this week’s competition brings. “The Radial class will enjoy solid competition, with Tokyo bound Paige Railey sailing on her home waters, joined by a very talented group of 2024 talent pushing her to higher performance. US Sailing Team coach Steve Mitchell will be coaching Paige, while 2008 Radial Gold Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe Tobias will be coaching the rest of the squad. Fred Strammer will be coaching the very hard working and avid Laser group, who have been grinding, pumping iron, S-curving, and recovering over the last few months in Florida.”

Fairlie Brinkley, Chairman of the Board of Sail Life and Event Principal Race Officer, is excited for the Clearwater community and for all the sailors racing this week. “Hosting a US Open Sailing Series event is a dream come true for Clearwater. Sailing conditions on the Gulf of Mexico can change dramatically in a matter of 15 minutes. It takes a physically strong athlete with outstanding tactical skills to win a regatta such as the US Open here in Clearwater.”

Frank Chivas, President of Sail Life and Tampa Bay Charities, explained how excited the community is to be hosting this West Marine US Open Sailing event for years to come. “To be awarded the US Open Series on a multiyear basis will allow us to fine tune our organization and provide even better regattas for our athletes year-after-year leading up to the 2028 Los Angeles Games. We are excited that five of our regional Clubs have joined us and see this as a stimulus for a renewed interest in sailboat racing throughout the Tampa Bay and Sarasota communities.”

Sail Life has hosted five Olympic Class World Championships at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center over the past several years. Backed by a consortium of public and private organizations, Sail Life has been able to recruit top U.S. and international judges and race officers, while providing educational opportunities for local race committee members.

Rich in history and tradition, the Clearwater Yacht Club is one of the oldest yacht clubs in the United States. Established in 1911, the Club is located on beautiful Clearwater Beach. They are focused on getting sailors and all boaters out on the water, to encourage sailing, and make their members more proficient in seamanship and navigation.

The Clearwater Community Sailing Center provides safe, enriching, and affordable sailing opportunities to local residents and visitors, including youth, seniors and the disabled for the enjoyment and benefit of our entire community.

On Monday, January 11, US Sailing and host yacht clubs at sailing venues in Florida and California launched a new racing and training series of Olympic-class regattas in 2021 and beyond.

The West Marine US Open Sailing Series offers an increase in high-quality Olympic-class racing for U.S. athletes with a goal of attracting top-level international competitors to race in these regattas for years to come.

US Sailing and the larger community of sailors in the U.S. identified a demand for a racing and training platform based in the United States that serves to provide as a runway to the Olympic Games for prospective athletes. With the 2028 LA Olympics on the distant horizon, it is essential for US Sailing to establish a consistent and predictable cycle for athletes to plan for on an annual basis.

The first two events of the 2021 series took place in January at venues in Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

Follow the Racing:

To learn more about the West Marine US Open Sailing Series and to follow all the action in 2021, visit the series website at usopen.ussailing.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Jake Fish, US Sailing Communications
jakefish@ussailing.org

Allison Chenard, US Sailing Team Communications
allisonchenard@ussailing.org

Day 4 Final Report: Sailors Finish Regatta with Morning Racing on the Bay

Stephan Baker and Nicholas Hardy at West Marine US Open Sailing – Miami. Photo by US Sailing / Allison Chenard

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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (January 24, 2021) – It was a “rise and shine” kind of day for the sailors competing at 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Miami. Early morning racing was the plan for the fourth and final day of the regatta. The sailors were eager to make it happen for a chance to move up the leaderboard or sustain their positions.

The 49er, 49er FX and the 470 fleets were towed out to the bay just after 7:00 am for an 8:00 am start time. The goal was to complete a race or two before temperatures rise and dull the breeze. The conditions on the bay were hazy and 70 degrees, yet breezy enough to start racing.

The 470s raced first this morning. Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Ithaca, N.Y.) put the finishing touches on another strong regatta with two more wins to capture first place honors. They won 8 of 11 races this week to win by a 13-point margin. Mixed teams Louisa Nordstrom (Osprey, Fla.) and Trevor Bornarth (Stuart, Fla.) finished second, and Michelle Lahrkamp (Rye, N.Y.) and Jack Parkin (Riverside, Conn.) placed third.

“We were looking to get live races under our belt and score races where there is a level of accountability, which is hard to replicate in practice races,” said McNay. “And on top of that, we worked on our live starting situations, communications on the upwind and downwind, and so this is part of our World Championship preparation, assuming things go forward as scheduled. We will be racing our World Championships in Vilamoura, Portugal in the beginning of March.”

“The light air kept many teams in the mix throughout each race, and that made it good tight racing,” added Hughes. “Short course racing is really good preparation for us and a good way for us to go into the next stride.”

Nevin Snow (San Diego, Calif.) and Dane Wilson (Ojai, Calif.) sustained their lead on Sunday by placing first and third today to win the 49er fleet by seven points. Barrows (St. Thomas, USVI) and Hans Henken (Coronado, Calif.) finished second overall and won the final race of the regatta. Christopher Williford (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Duncan Williford (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) finished runner up in both races to take third place by just one point over Ander Belausteguigoitia and Danel Belausteguigoitia of Mexico. Snow and Wilson won 9 of 11 races this week.

“I think we sailed really well this week,” said Snow. “It’s always good to have these racing formats so we can practice taking our boats through the routines. The young sailors here are pushing us as well. This event helped us with managing a smaller fleet. We were able to hone in on the details and experiment a little more.”

The 49erFX may have been the most competitive fleet this week. Stephan Baker (Miami, Fla.) and Nicholas Hardy (Newton, Mass.) regained their lead after great results on Saturday, which featured three consecutive wins, to take a seven point lead over Lucy Wilmot (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) entering Sunday. These two teams alternated first and second place results in both races on Sunday. Baker and Hardy earned first place honors by seven points. Bella Casaretto (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Jana Laurendeau (Billerica, Mass.) made the podium in third place.

Together, Baker and Hardy have only been sailing the 49erFX for nine days. “Behind the talent and hard work, we are putting in, we have a lot of fun on the boat together, so it’s never too stressful,” said Baker. “It’s a really good dynamic in the boat.”

“Yesterday, we had very fun time racing against Steph Roble and Maggie Shea, especially the last race. They were leading us around the second top mark, and halfway down the downwind we split with them, caught up with them at the gate, and just beat them at the end to have a nice photo finish, which was very exciting.”

Roble and Shea raced in three races on Saturday only at the regatta, and were really impressed with the competition.

The Nacra 17 and iQFoil fleets were planning on heading out for an 11:00 am start time following 49er, 49erFX, and 470 racing. However, the conditions did not cooperate for afternoon sailing. The Nacra 17 results through Saturday were final.

Samuel Albrecht and Gabriela Nicolino of Brazil captured first place with their performance in the Nacra 17 fleet. Ravi Parent (Bradenton, Fla.) and David Liebenberg (Richmond, Calif.) finished in second as the top American team, while Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.) and Anna Weis (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) finished third.

The two iQFoil fleets completed just one race each this week and it happened on Friday, day two of the regatta. Mateus Isaac of Brazil earned the win in the Men’s fleet (9-meter sail) and Garrett January (Pinellas, Fla.) won the 8-meter sail race. Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) placed third overall in the 8-meter race and the top women’s sailor.

 

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The Miami Yacht Club Youth Sailing Foundation served as the Organizing Authority for this event.

To learn more about the West Marine US Open Sailing Series and to follow all the action in 2021, visit the series website at usopen.ussailing.org.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Jake Fish, US Sailing Communications
jakefish@ussailing.org

Allison Chenard, US Sailing Team Communications
allisonchenard@ussailing.org

Day 3: Sailors Race Hard on Saturday, Look Ahead to Sunday’s Finale

Riley Gibbs and Anna Weis (USA) on Day 3 at 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Miami. Photo by Allison Chenard.

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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (January 23, 2021) – True to form this week, the afternoon breeze showed up on time on Biscayne Bay as sailors raced for positioning on Saturday at 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Miami. The regatta comes to a close on Sunday.

The Nacra 17 fleet owned the bay early this afternoon. The catamarans started racing just after 2pm ET and completed three races before the other fleets hit the course. The Nacras raced in 6-10 knots with some choppy conditions. The 49er, 49erFX, and Mixed 470 also finished three more races in later afternoon sailing that started after 3pm ET.

Samuel Albrecht and Gabriela Nicolino (BRA) extended their lead from six to eight after another strong day on the water that featured two more wins in the Nacra 17 fleet. Currently in second place is Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.) and Anna Weis (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Ravi Parent (Bradenton, Fla.) and David Liebenberg (Richmond, Calif.) were the top performing American team of the day. They posted an impressive 2-1-3 scoring line.

Prior to racing, Gibbs and Weis spoke about how eager he and Weis were to get out on the water in a regatta setting this week. “We have not raced since March and it feels a bit new again, but we are happy to be back out on the racecourse. We are focused on our development and the continuation of our communication on the boat, so now is the right time to practice that.”

“It’s nice to take what we have been working on in our training and apply it to a race setting,” added Weis.

Carson Crain (Houston, Texas) and Caroline Atwood (Clinton, Conn.) are also racing together this week in the Nacra 17.

“I was drawn to the Nacra 17 because I really enjoy foiling,” said Crain. “Caroline and I are excited to be able to go around the racecourse with these teams. It’s great training and a great way to check-in to see how other teams are setting up their boats and how they race.”

Nevin Snow (San Diego, Calif.) and Dane Wilson (Ojai, Calif.) are red hot with seven consecutive wins to pace the 49er fleet, including three more bullets on Saturday. Ian Barrows (St. Thomas, USVI) and Hans Henken (Coronado, Calif.) placed second in all three races today and the trail by seven points going into Sunday.

The 49erFX continues to be one of the most competitive fleets this week. Stephan Baker (Miami, Fla.) and Nicholas Hardy (Newton, Mass.) regained their lead after great results on Sunday, which featured three consecutive wins, to take a seven point lead over Lucy Wilmot (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.).

Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Ithaca, N.Y.)  continue to lead the 470 fleet. Mixed teams Louisa Nordstrom (Osprey, Fla.) and Trevor Bornarth (Stuart, Fla.), and Michelle Lahrkamp (Rye, N.Y.) and Jack Parkin (Riverside, Conn.) continue to keep at a high level. Lahrkamp and Parkin finished the day with a win in Race 8.

Early morning start times are planned for Sunday’s final day of racing.

 

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Ravi Parent and David Liebenberg (USA) on Day 3 at 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Miami. Photo by Allison Chenard.

The Miami Yacht Club Youth Sailing Foundation is serving as the Organizing Authority for this event. Racing continues through Sunday, January 24.

To learn more about the West Marine US Open Sailing Series and to follow all the action in 2021, visit the series website at usopen.ussailing.org.  

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Jake Fish, US Sailing Communications
jakefish@ussailing.org

Allison Chenard, US Sailing Team Communications
allisonchenard@ussailing.org

Day 2: Racing Amps up for Most Classes on Friday

Farrah Hall (USA) in front at 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Miami. Photo by Allison Chenard.

 

 

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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (January 22, 2021) – Sailors were greeted with warm, sunny conditions and temperatures in the low 70s for most of Friday. Light wind prevailed again for most of the day, similar to Thursday’s breeze on Biscayne Bay. Wind speeds peaked at around 6 knots in the afternoon.

On Thursday, the late afternoon breeze allowed the Nacra 17, 49er, 49erFX, and Mixed 470 fleets to complete two races each. Meanwhile, the iQFoil and Open Windsurf Foil fleets did not have ample wind on Thursday and looked ahead to Friday to start the racing in those fleets. The Friday weather forecast looked improved in comparison to Friday, so there was optimism in the air for the windsurfers. Despite minimal breeze the two iQFoil fleets completed one race each. Mateus Isaac (BRA) earned the bullet in the Men’s fleet (9-meter sail) and Garrett January (Pinellas, Fla.) won the 8-meter sail race. Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) placed third overall in the 8-meter race and the top women’s sailor.

Farrah Hall had a lot to say about the iQFoil and how this Windsurfing class equipment could change the sport. “I’ve had over 15 years of RS:X experience, so it’s been a long time. The iQ is a new opportunity and breath of fresh air for the Olympic Windsurfing class. We really need to stay current with all the foiling boats we see out there. I really think that we are attracting new people from all backgrounds, including windsurfing and other sailing classes. We are excited to have something that is really fun to sail.”

Hall raced at the 2012 London Olympic Games for Team USA. More recently, she represented Team USA at the 2019 Pan American Games and is Team USA’s selected athlete in Women’s RS:X for Tokyo 2020.

Hall still loves every element of windsurfing. “I think windsurfing is the purest form of sailing. You are connected to your equipment. It’s in your hands. It’s very athletic and physical. And it’s also extremely fun and it’s going to be the biggest Olympic class.”

The iQFoil is the 2024 Olympic Games Windsurfing class replacing the RS:X equipment. The concept around this class was to create exciting windsurfing equipment more sustainable for future generations by making the equipment appealing to not only the professionals, but for the weekend windsurfer, and to create a foil racing platform at the local level.

The 49erFX has been highly competitive through two days of racing and six races total. After posting mid-fleet results on Thursday, the new team of Lucy Wilmot (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) surged up the leaderboard on Friday and took a one point lead over Stephan Baker (Miami, Fla.) and Nicholas Hardy (Newton, Mass.). Wilmot and Reineke posted a 2-1-2-1 scoring line. Baker and Hardy won both races on Thursday to take an early lead.

Nevin Snow (San Diego, Calif.) and Dane Wilson (Ojai, Calif.) have won five consecutive races on Friday in the 49er fleet after placing second in Race 1 on Thursday. They have a four point lead over Ian Barrows (St. Thomas, USVI) and Hans Henken (Coronado, Calif.), who Race 1 and have placed runner-up to Snow and Wilson in each of the last five races.

The 470 event has been paced by Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Ithaca, N.Y.) who have won five of six races through two days and are racing this week in recognition of the Trevor Moore Foundation. The fleet completed four races on Friday. Louisa Nordstrom (Osprey, Fla.) and Trevor Bornarth (Stuart, Fla.).

In the Nacra 17 fleet, the Brazilian team comprised of Samuel Albrecht and Gabriela Nicolino (BRA) have had an impressive regatta through five races, including three races on Friday. They have won four of the five races and lead by six points over Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.) and Anna Weis (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.).

Follow the Racing: 

The Miami Yacht Club Youth Sailing Foundation is serving as the Organizing Authority for this event. Racing continues through Sunday, January 24.

To learn more about the West Marine US Open Sailing Series and to follow all the action in 2021, visit the series website at usopen.ussailing.org.  

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Jake Fish, US Sailing Communications
jakefish@ussailing.org

Allison Chenard, US Sailing Team Communications
allisonchenard@ussailing.org

2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Miami. Photo by Allison Chenard.

Day 1: Afternoon Sailing in Light Wind for Four Classes on Thursday

Erika Reineke (left) and Lucy Wilmot (right) at the 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Miami. Photo by Ellinor Walters.

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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (January 21, 2021) – Biscayne Bay was gifted with a late afternoon breeze and four fleets got in some nice racing on day one of racing at 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Miami.

The Nacra 17, 49er, 49erFX, and Mixed 470 fleets were fortunate to get in racing on a light wind day. The IQ Foil and Open Windsurf Foil fleets will aim to start their racing on Friday. Click here for Day 1 results and standings.

Sailors hit the water at approximately 2:30pm with the goal of racing by 3:30pm. The four fleets completed two tactical light air races each in about 5 to 6 knots, with the wind blowing south at 180-190 degrees.

Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) made her racing debut in the 49erFX with Lucy Wilmot on Thursday. The new duo discussed the 49erFX as well as Erika’s transition to a new class and doublehanded sailing.

“I was thinking about a change after so many years in the Radial,” said Reineke. “I wasn’t really sure what that was going to be, then I got a call from Lucy and we came down here and trained together. I fell in love with the class and sailing with her. That’s what got me into it.”

She elaborated on the differences between the boats and what the transition has been like. “The equipment is very different and the budget is much bigger than the Laser. The sails are more high-performance, the boats are more high-performance, and there is carbon on this boat. It goes a lot faster because of it all.”

Wilmot spoke about their training and where they are in the process. “Our focus this fall was on boat handling around the course in all conditions. More recently, with our new set of sails, we got more into dialing speed and the rig, and we are hoping with the 2021 rig coming out, we can get into the technical side and solidify that.”

“This has been on the calendar since we decided to sail together. We were excited about all the domestic training leading up to this. It’s been awesome having all the American sailors here in the boat park and being able to collaborate. It’s been great getting to know everyone and make new training friends. This is what’s all about,” said Wilmot.

470 sailor, Micky Munns spoke about the 470 and how it has suited him well in his transition to the boat. “In the 2016 Games, the boat that really strongly resonated with me was the 470 with Stu [McNay] and Dave [Hughes], and Annie [Haeger] and Briana [Provancha],” said Munns. “The 470 is known as a technical boat, but it’s not crazy complicated. A lot of the systems you set up. I realized recently why all the controls are right near the skipper, it’s because you have to play with them all the time, and so we are getting the hang of that.”

“The 470 relates to all my learning in terms of grassroots sailing in FJs and 420s to college sailing,” added Munns. “The 470 is one of the strongest connections to grassroots sailing there is. All the skills are transferable to other kinds of sailing.”

2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Miami. Photo by US Sailing Team/Allison Chenard.

Follow the Racing: 

The Miami Yacht Club Youth Sailing Foundation is serving as the Organizing Authority for this event. Racing continues through Sunday, January 24.

To learn more about the West Marine US Open Sailing Series and to follow all the action in 2021, visit the series website at usopen.ussailing.org.  

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Jake Fish, US Sailing Communications
jakefish@ussailing.org

Allison Chenard, US Sailing Team Communications
allisonchenard@ussailing.org

2021 West Marine US Open Sailing Series Turns South to Miami

Top Sailors to Race in Biscayne Bay

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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (January 20, 2021) – The 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing Series launched with excitement and a sense of pride last week in Fort Lauderdale and now the series heads south to Miami for four days of racing on Biscayne Bay at 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Miami. The Miami Yacht Club Youth Sailing Foundation is serving as the Organizing Authority for this event. Racing begins on Thursday, January 21 and the regatta concludes on Sunday, January 24.

Five Olympic-classes featuring both men and women sailors will be racing in Miami, including the Mixed 470, Nacra 17, 49er, 49erFX, and iQFoil. The Open Windsurf Foil, not an Olympic-class event but exciting to sail and watch, will also be racing this week.

Miami is the longest standing Olympic-class regatta in the country. For 32 years, Biscayne Bay and Miami have been an important stop on the Olympic-class circuit. Over the years, event organizers have collaborated with US Sailing to host these international sailing regattas, such as Miami Olympic Class Regatta (OCR) and World Cup Series Miami.

The race organizers acknowledged the importance of maintaining the tradition of hosting an Olympic-class regatta this year despite the many challenges. Olympic-class events hosted here have helped develop aspiring local sailors to further their goals of reaching the Olympics as they compete against top athletes from around the globe.

Last January, sailors from around the globe convened in Miami with North American Olympic qualification at stake and the Tokyo 2020 Games only six months away at the time. Hempel World Cup Series Miami was the final opportunity for North American nations to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Regatta across several events. Soon after World Cup Miami, the global pandemic forced Games organizers to alter the Tokyo Games timeline, and now the 2020 Games will be contested in the summer of 2021, still only six months away.

Nine countries will be represented across the six events this week, including the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuala, and Great Britain.

The US Sailing Team will be represented by 11 total athletes across three classes: the Nacra 17, 49er, and Mixed 470. Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.) and Anna Weis (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) of the Nacra 17 class have been training most recently in Fort Lauderdale with their coach, Sally Barkow. Ravi Parent (Bradenton, Fla.) and David Liebenberg (Richmond, Calif.) are sailing together this week and have enjoyed putting their engineering knowledge to use in the Nacra 17. Caroline Atwood (Clinton, Conn.) is racing with former US Sailing Team windsurfer, Carson Crain (Houston, Texas), this week.

Nevin Snow (San Diego, Calif.) and Dane Wilson (Ojai, Calif.) of the 49er class have been sailing out of the US Sailing Center in Miami for the past few months participating in three of the 2NINER Skiff Generation Grand Prix events. They have been training with the 49er squad, comprising of fellow teammates Ian Barrows (St. Thomas, USVI) and Hans Henken (Coronado, Calif.), and Harry Melges IV (Fontana, Wis.) and Finn Rowe (Fontana, Wis.). All three boats have been training with their coach, Mark Asquith, and enjoy pushing each other to improve each day. Barrows and Henken will be joining Snow and Wilson on the course this weekend. Five other USA-based 49ers and one Mexico-based 49er will round out the fleet for an exciting weekend of racing.

Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Ithaca, N.Y.), selected Tokyo Men’s 470 athletes, are back in action this week. “Racing is always good preparation for the next race, so we’re using this as part of our world championship preparation,” said McNay. “Our Worlds are in Portugal at the beginning of March and we need to get more racing situations under our belt between now and then. It was great to get a whole bunch of starts in at the Oakcliff Triple Crown regatta and then at the North American Championships a couple of weekends ago, and we’ll do the same again at the West Marine US Open Sailing Series in Miami. It’s been fun to train with the younger teams from the United States this last month. [Coach] Yevgeniy has a nice group from the Oyster Bay Area, and the Cowles twins [Carmen and Emma] have been fantastic to sail with as well. We look forward to getting out on the starting line with some official scored races.”


On Monday, January 11, US Sailing and host yacht clubs at sailing venues in Florida and California launched a new racing and training series of Olympic-class regattas in 2021 and beyond.

The West Marine US Open Sailing Series offers an increase in high-quality Olympic-class racing for U.S. athletes with a goal of attracting top-level international competitors to race in these regattas for years to come.

US Sailing and the larger community of sailors in the U.S. identified a demand for a racing and training platform based in the United States that serves to provide as a runway to the Olympic Games for prospective athletes. With the 2028 LA Olympics on the distant horizon, it is essential for US Sailing to establish a consistent and predictable cycle for athletes to plan for on an annual basis.

Follow the Racing: 

To learn more about the West Marine US Open Sailing Series and to follow all the action in 2021, visit the series website at usopen.ussailing.org.  

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Jake Fish, US Sailing Communications
jakefish@ussailing.org

Allison Chenard, US Sailing Team Communications
allisonchenard@ussailing.org

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