Author: Jake Fish

Day #2 Morning Report: Cooler Temps, Strong Breeze Expected

The 182 sailors from 45 countries got off to a great start on Monday at 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami, USA. The Men’s and Women’s 470, Laser, Laser Radial, and Finn fleets completed two races, while the Women’s and Men’s RS:X fleets finished three races.

Day #1 Report

The second of five days of fleet racing begins this morning on Biscayne Bay. The top sailors from each fleet with compete in Medal Races this Saturday, January 25.

Tuesday’s weather is mostly sunny and a high temperature of 70 degrees. There is a cold Northwest gradient wind, which will bring 12-16 knots to the Bay this morning, including gusts to 20 knots. Conditions in the afternoon will be much more shifty and puffy.

Bottom wind speeds: 10-12 knots
Top wind speeds: 18-20 knots

Follow the Racing

Nations Clash Over Olympic Qualifying Spots

2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami © Pedro Martinez / Sailing Energy 21 January, 2020.

On Monday, the 182 sailors from 45 nations demonstrated their skills on spectacular Biscayne Bay in the first of six days of racing at 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami, USA. Hempel World Cup Miami marks the second instalment of the 2020 Series and the only stop in North America.

The competition this week consists of fleet racing for all seven classes on Monday through Friday and Medal Races on Saturday, January 25 featuring the week’s top teams. Medal Races will be broadcast live on World Sailing’s YouTube Channel.

As the racing heats up in Miami this week, the sailors here also have their sights set on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition, only six months away. World Cup Miami is the final opportunity for North American nations to qualify for the 2020 Games across the 470, RS:X, Laser, Laser Radial and Finn fleets.

Principal Race Officer (PRO) Maria Torrijo of Spain had this to say about the forecasted racing conditions this week. “I think the conditions here on the Bay this week will be perfect. We should have 10 to 15 knots every day, and we believe it will be quite windy later in the week. The classes we have here are good enough to race in 25 knots. We are quite confident we will get in all our races this week.”

Olympic qualification is paramount for 23-boat Laser Radial fleet. Aruba’s Philipine van Aanholt, St. Lucia’s Stephanie Devaux-Lovell, Mexico’s Elena Oetling and Sofia Ximena Palacios, Puerto Rico’s Sylvette Perez Figueroa and Trinidad and Tobago’s Kelly-Ann Arrindell are all aiming for Tokyo 2020.

Oetling got off to a strong start by finishing third in Race 1 and 12th in Race 2 and she is in fifth place overall. Devaux-Lovell is in seventh place after posting a 6-15 scoring line on Monday.

“It’s such a small fleet, you can really see who is out there and I may have struggled with that today,” said Devaux-Lovell. “I’m going to take that forward and tomorrow I’m going to just sail my own race. Usually I’m strong in these conditions. It was quite shifty with pressure differences. Sometimes you have to get your head out of the boat and see what’s going on and sail to the breeze.”

Leading the Laser Radial fleet is Viktorija Andrulyte of Lithuania, who placed first and second today. The top American is Erika Reineke who is in fourth place (4-3).

Over in the Laser, two bullets for Joaquin Blanco (ESP) puts him top, with Andrew Lewis (TTO) and Stefano Peschiera (PER) close behind.

Bermuda’s Rockal Evans is going up against Mexican representatives Juan Perez Soltero and Alejandro Perez Ontiveros for the North American Tokyo 2020 Finn spot.

“Today was a tricky day on the racecourse,” said Evans. “We got a clear start in the first race, got a good lane, and just played the shifts upwind and downwind, so I’m happy with my results. The breeze picked up a bit in the second race and they put up the free pumping flag. We had another good start and two good downwinds for another good result.”

Along with racecourse and shifting conditions, Evans is also tracking his primary competition this week.

“It’s a lot about the racecourse, but also the other countries, like Mexico, who are also going for the North American spot, so it’s a lot about keeping my eyes on them, plus playing the racecourse and getting boats in between us. It’s a lot of work.”

The American selection process also continues this week in the Finn. After one event, Luke Muller (Fort Pierce, Fla.) has an eight-point advantage over Rio 2016 bronze medallist Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.). Muller earned the bronze medal last year in Miami.

Following wins in both Race 1 and Race 2, Paine takes an early lead in the Finn. Two Americans are in the top four, as Muller is in fourth place (5-3).

“I’m just focused on my own sailing this week,” said Paine. “I’m working on fleet management and trying to minimize splitting away. We are also emphasizing downwinds, but it was a bit of a struggle today trying to get the right feel for the downwinds. But all-around it’s been much better, just a few minor mistakes that can be easily corrected.”

The race for Olympic qualification for the 470 Men in North America is between Canada and Mexico, who have three teams respectively. Leading the way between these two countries are Hector & Jeronimo Guzman of Mexico who stand in 20th place overall after two races (14-25).

“We are trying our best not to be too aggressive this week,” said Jeronimo Guzman. “We want to sail as smart as possible and be faster than the other countries we are competing against for the Olympic spot. We need to focus on having good races so we can be at our best.”

Fronting the 30-boat Men’s 470 fleet overall is Anton Dahlberg & Fredrick Bergström of Sweden (3-2). The top American team is Stuart McNay (Providence, R.I.) & David Hughes (Miami, Fla.) in fourth place (1-11).

French duo Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz already have a good advantage in the 470 Women, with two race wins putting them ahead of nearest competitors Elena Berta & Bianca Caruso (ITA) and Frederike Loewe & Anna Markford (GER).

In the RS:X Men’s fleet, two wins out of three for Pedro Pascual (USA) sets him ahead of David Mier Y Teran (MEX) and Ignacio Berenguer (MEX).

Mexico are also performing well in the RS:X Women’s fleet, with Mariana Aguilar and Demita Vega de Lille first and third respectively. Megumi Komine (JPN) is second.

Racing resumes on Tuesday 21st January at 11:00am (UTC-5) on Biscayne Bay.

For a complete review of Monday’s race results and standings, please click here.

CONTACTS
Hempel World Cup Miami Press Officer
Jake Fish
E: JakeFish@USSAILING.ORG

World Sailing Director of Communications and Digital
Daniel Smith
T: +44 (0)7771 542 131
E: Daniel.smith@sailing.org

 

Day #1 Morning Report: Weather and Conditions – How to Follow the Hempel World Cup Series Miami

The 182 sailors from 45 countries will begin their first of five days of fleet racing on Monday, January 20 at the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami, USA. Sailors will be competing for positions in the Medal Races this Saturday, January 25.

The weather for Monday features mostly cloudy skies with a chance of showers. A cold front has moved through and cooler air will filter down from the North. A light Northwest breeze this morning will turn North later in the morning. The wind speed this morning will be in the 5-10 knot range, increasing this afternoon to 10-14  knots. The high temp for Monday is 74 degrees.

Start times are posted. Updates were made to start times on Sunday night to the Men’s Laser, Women’s 470, Men’s RS:X, and Women’s RS:X.

Morning Quote: Meredith Brody, Event Co-Chair

“It is wonderful to bring the world’s stage to the waters of Biscayne Bay. This year we will have 50 nations racing, many of which are vying for spots to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Games. Miami has been supporting this event for over three decades and has provided a consistent spot on the international racing calendar bringing the best of the best to the U.S.”

Click here to Follow the Racing.

Hempel World Cup Series Miami Participants Team up to Rescue a Coral Reef

Ahead of the Hempel World Cup Series event in Miami, USA, sailors and officials teamed up on Friday 17 January to rescue a coral reef.

The expedition, led by World Sailing and the University of Miami, and supported by Hempel, World Sailing’s Official Coatings Partner, and World Sailing’s Beyond Sport Climate Action Award, saw six international sailors alongside further officials become citizen scientists.

Throughout the four-hour expedition, the sailors were able to learn about the stresses on coral reefs such as climate change and pollution before planting over 150 staghorn corals that had been nursery-reared by the University.

Laser Radial sailors Estere Kumpina (LAT), Valeria Lomatchenko (RUS) and Philipine van Aanholt (ARU), Finn sailors Kyle Martin (CAN) and Alexey Selivanov (RUS) and Laser sailor Tijn van der Gulik (ARU) all participated. US Sailing also supported through the participation of their Olympic Director, Meredith Brody.

The expedition supported World Sailing’s Sustainability Agenda 2030, sailing’s bold contribution to global sustainability, with a view to providing education to international sailors as well as making a contribution to enhance the local environment through hosting a World Sailing event.

Dan Reading, Head of Sustainability at World Sailing, commented, “Today was a great opportunity for the sailors and officials to learn about the local marine environment, as well as carry out some hands-on citizen science whilst contributing to the health of the marine ecosystem.

“The regatta has partnered with the University of Miami for several years and we were excited to offer this expedition to sailors which proved to be very popular.”

Dalton Hesley, Program Manager at Rescue a Reef, said, “Today was really successful. In total we were able to outplant over 150 corals which was amazing.

“Rescue a Reef is an extension of our coral research lab at the University of Miami, with a focus on citizen science. We want to better connect with the general public and actually have them play a role in our research and restoration.

“It was great to have sailors on board. They understood how to work as a team and learned very quickly. We accomplished everything we wanted to and then some! It was a pleasure to work with everybody today.”

The sustainability focus in Miami did not end there. On Saturday 18 January, a mangrove clean was held for sailors and the local community.

Seventy youth sailors from a number of local sailing clubs joined Olympic sailors and hopefuls all working together to pick up plastic in the area. Working with local organisation ‘Send it for The Sea’ (who weighed the plastic) they were able to collect 295kg (650lbs).

This further demonstrates World Sailing’s commitment to working with local organising committees to benefit the local environment.

Click here to find out more about Rescue a Reef

Click here to find out how to follow this year’s Hempel World Cup Series Miami

By Daniel Smith – World Sailing

Hempel World Cup Series to heat up in Miami

The Hempel World Cup Series rolls into Miami, in the sunshine state of Florida, USA from 19 – 25 January 2020 for the second instalment of the 2020 Series.

205 sailors from 49 nations will race across seven fleets in Miami and the stakes are high for North American competitors. The event is the final opportunity for nations to qualify to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Competition across the 470 and RS:X fleets, Laser, Laser Radial and Finn.

Racing commences on Monday 20 January and will conclude with seven Medal Races on Saturday 25 January, which will be broadcast live on World Sailing’s YouTube Channel.

The Laser will be the largest fleet in Miami with 49 registered sailors. A single North American spot remains available to sailors and competitors from Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, US Virgin Islands, St. Lucia, Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago will be on the start line.

Canada will have 12 Laser representatives all capable of qualifying the nation in Miami. Mexico will have four and Antigua two. The higher number of sailors, the better the chance but arguably the favourite to book his nations spot in Tokyo 2020 will be Trinidad and Tobago’s Andrew Lewis.

Lewis, a two-time Olympian after racing at London 2012 and Rio 2016, secured his first ever Hempel World Cup Series medal in Genoa, Italy last season in a tough fleet. Robert Davis of Canada will also strongly fancy his chances of qualifying after beating Lewis by two points to sixth place at the 2019 Pan Games, but with a high number of nations on the startline, the competition will be tense.

Peru’s Stefano Peschiera qualified his nation at the first time of asking at the 2018 Hempel Sailing World Championships and with a good run of results behind him, he will be a firm favourite for gold, but expect Davis, Lewis and Mexico’s Yanic Gentry to also fight for the podium.

The qualification battle will be on in the 23-boat Laser Radial fleet. Aruba’s Philipine van Aanholt, St. Lucia’s Stephanie Devaux-Lovell, Mexico’s Elena Oetling and Sofia Ximena Palacios, Puerto Rico’s Sylvette Perez Figueroa and Trinidad and Tobago’s Kelly-Ann Arrindell are all targeting Tokyo 2020.

The sailors tested themselves against each other at the 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru. Mexico’s Oetling finished ahead of her rivals then by a good distance, but the experience in these situations belongs to Aruba’s van Aanholt. A London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympian, the Aruban knows what it takes to get to the Olympic start line.

A good number of leading Laser Radial sailors will be in the Miami fleet including 2019 bronze medallist and current World #4 Vasileia Karachaliou (GRE), 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Champion Viktorija Andrulyte (LTU) and Uruguay’s Dolores Moreira Fraschini.

The highest calibre of competition will be in the 470 fleets where 30 male and 18 female teams will race.

Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS), Jordi Xammar and Nico Rodriguez (ESP) and Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergström (SWE) have fought for major titles over the last 12 months and regularly share the podium.

At the Enoshima triple-header in August and September, where the trio sailed at the 470 World Championships, READY STEADY TOKYO and Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima, the Australians took three golds. The Spaniards took two silver medals and a bronze and the Swedes secured a silver, bronze and a fourth place.

They will continue their fight in Miami as they aim to put a marker down ahead of Tokyo 2020. The race for Olympic qualification in North American will be between Canada and Mexico who have three teams respectively.

In the Women’s 470, Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz of France have emerged as Tokyo 2020 medal favourites after they secured the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series title, gold at READY STEADY TOKYO and the 2019 European Championship. They will spearhead the Women’s 470 fleet with further contenders including Afrodite Zegers and Lobke Berkhout (NED), defending Miami champions Frederike Loewe and Anna Markfort (GER) and Silvia Mas and Patricia Cantero (ESP).

The only nation in the running for the North American Tokyo 2020 spot in the Women’s 470 is the USA. The event also acts as an American team qualifier with Nikola Barnes and Lara Dallman-Weiss, Carmen and Emma Cowles as well as Atlantic and Nora Brugman evenly-matched.

Bermuda’s Rockal Evans will face off against Mexican representatives Juan Perez Soltero and Alejandro Perez Ontiveros for the North American Tokyo 2020 Finn spot. The fleet of 15 will also see the American selection process continue. After one event, Luke Muller has an eight-point advantage over Rio 2016 bronze medallist Caleb Paine.

In the Men’s RS:X, two nations are aiming to qualify for Tokyo 2020 – Dominican Republic and Mexico. The odds are stacked in Mexico’s favour, with five-time Olympian David Mier Y Teran and youthful Ignacio Berenguer leading the charge. The Dominican Republic’s Samuel Perez Hults is relatively inexperienced in comparison to the pair, with his best result a 24th at the 2019 READY STEADY TOKYO. In total, 12 sailors will race in the Men’s RS:X fleet and the event will also act as an American qualifier for Tokyo 2020.

Nikola Girke (CAN) will make her competitive RS:X return in the 10-boat Women’s fleet. The Canadian represented her nation in the 470 at Athens 2004, the RS:X at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 and the Nacra 17 at Rio 2016. Canada is the only North American nation in the fleet who has not yet qualified so Girke will confirm the spot by completing the event.

Racing will commence at 11:00 local time on Monday 20 January 2020 and run through to Saturday 25 January where seven Medal Races will decide the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami Champions.

Click here to Follow the Racing.

2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami – U.S. Storylines and Event Preview

Next week, Hempel World Cup Series Miami launches from spectacular Biscayne Bay for an important milestone on the road to the 2020 Olympic Regatta in Enoshima, Japan.

For 31 years, Biscayne Bay and Miami have been an important stop on the Olympic-class circuit. Among the 171 athletes, from 50 countries, are numerous Olympic medalists and World Champions. The Opening Series for each class starts on Monday, January 20. The top 10 athletes or teams in each of the seven classes will advance to the double-points Medal Race on Saturday, January 25. Medals will be awarded to the top three boats in each class.

Additionally, for the first time, the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami is partnering with the SORC Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race to host a doublehanded offshore event. The doublehanded class event is also new for the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race. Doublehanded offshore teams will start south of Port Everglades on Thursday, January 23 and race to Key West.

Domestic Storylines:

  • US Sailing Team athletes will be competing in all classes except the Laser. American athletes will be competing in all classes.
  • Olympic Country Qualification: In the Women’s 470 class, the U.S. athletes will have the final opportunity to qualify the United States for representation at the Tokyo 2020 Games. Because more countries compete in the Olympic classes than there are spots at the Games, the country has to qualify for representation before athletes can be named to Team USA. A U.S. Women’s 470 team must be the top North American in Miami to claim the spot for Olympic qualification. This is the last country qualification event for the United States. The U.S. is currently qualified in 8 of 10 classes (except Women’s 470 and Men’s 49er) and first in line to take a spot forfeited by another country in the Men’s 49er.
  • Olympic Athlete Trials: This event will impact the Olympic athlete trials for the Finns, Men’s and Women’s 470, and Men’s and Women’s RS:X. The team/individual with the lowest cumulative score of overall finishing positions at this event, the 2019 Worlds, and the 2020 Worlds will be named to Team USA (if the U.S. is qualified for representation in that class).
  • Click here for more info on selection and trials.

Click to find out how you can follow all the racing next week in Miami.

 

Doublehanded Offshore Event to Run in Conjunction with 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami

Online Registration is Open

BRISTOL, R.I. (December 6, 2019) – For the first time in Olympic history, a Mixed Two-Person Offshore Keelboat event will be on the program at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition. But before we get to Paris 2024, the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami is partnering with the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race to host a doublehanded offshore event.

The doublehanded class event is also new for the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race and the racing format for this class will simulate the offshore event planned for the 2024 Games.

“US Sailing is excited to work with the 2020 Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race to create a doublehanded offshore event that will help sailors and race organizers prepare for the 2024 Olympics,” said Meredith Brody, US Sailing Olympic Director and Chair of Hempel World Cup Series Miami. “As we look towards the 2024 Games, and learn more about the new discipline, we are looking forward to welcoming offshore athletes into the U.S. Olympic program.”

Carol Ewing, Chair of the Southern Ocean Racing Conference and Regatta Manager for the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami echoed Brody’s comments and added, “The SORC and the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race is pleased to incorporate doublehanded sailors into our long-standing race now in its 45th year.”

Doublehanded offshore teams will start south of Port Everglades on Thursday, January 23. The boats will race to Key West, with an expected course length of approximately 160 miles.

Racing is open to ocean racing and cruising monohull boats who comply with the requirements of the ORC (Offshore Racing Congress):

  • ORC Requirement: Boats must have an offshore long-distance time on time rating factor of 0.880 and lower.

The Lauderdale Yacht Club and Storm Trysail Club are the Organizing Authorities for the event, managed by the SORC.

The entry deadline is January 17, 2020.

Click for more information:

About 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami
In 2020, Miami will once again play host to US Sailing’s premier event, the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami – the 31st year of Olympic racing on Biscayne Bay – featuring top-level Olympic-class competition. As the only North American regatta to be included in World Sailing’s 2020 Hempel World Cup Series, the regatta is a mainstay on the winter circuit for sailors campaigning for the next Olympic Games.

Competitors will have five days of fleet racing from Monday, January 20 to Friday, January 24 with medal races on Saturday, January 25. Medals will be awarded to the top three boats in each class.

Regatta Headquarters will be located at the US Sailing Center – Miami, in Coconut Grove, Miami, Fla.

Champions Return to 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami

The 2019 World Cup Series Miami, held out of Coconut Grove from 29 to 3 February, will see nine 2018 champions return to Biscayne Bay determined to defend their titles.

2019 marks the 30th edition of an Olympic sailing regatta in Miami and, with 650 sailors from 60 nations registered to race across ten events, it’s expected to be another strong year of competition.

Of the 2018 Miami gold medallists, Giles Scott (GBR) is the only athlete not competing this year. Across the ten events, there are 34 Olympic medallists racing alongside numerous World and World Cup podium finishers, and the best sailors will be vying for a World Cup medal as the race to Tokyo 2020 continues.

Australia’s Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin will come into Miami as favourites in the Nacra 17 after securing gold at the first round of the Hempel World Cup Series in Enoshima, Japan last September.

Waterhouse and Darmanin overthrew Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti (ITA) in the Medal Race to claim a hard-earned title – but exactly one year ago, the competition was slightly less stressful for the Aussies. Racing on the Biscayne Bay waters in 2018, Waterhouse and Darmanin controlled the fleet all week long and simply needed to finish the Medal Race to secure gold. They did that with ease and are back to defend their title.

Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) and Thomas Zajac and Barbara Matz (AUT) joined them on the podium in 2018 and also return this year.

Further contenders in the 31-boat Nacra 17 fleet include Samuel Albrecht and Gabriela Nicolino de Sá (BRA), Iker Martinez and Olga Maslivets (ESP), John Gimson and Anna Burnet (GBR) and Bora Gulari and Louisa Chafee (USA).

Helen Noesmoen, of France, will aim to repeat her winning performance from last January in the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami, which will be held from 29 January through 3 February 2019, racing will be held in all ten of the Olympic events. © Jesus Renedo /Sailing Energy/World Sailing

In 2018, Louis Giard and Helene Noesmoen (right) made it a double French gold in the Men’s and Women’s RS:X windsurfer.

Both will star in their respective fleets again in 2019, but bigger fleets with strength in depth will ensure it won’t be easy for them to retain their title.

Joining Noesmoen in the 44 strong Women’s RS:X fleet will be her compatriot and Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Charline Picon, who has been competing again for less than a year after becoming a mother post Rio 2016. Although Picon spent considerable time away from the RS:X, it was almost as if she never left as she finished second at the Hempel Sailing World Championships and seventh on Olympic waters at the Enoshima round of the Hempel World Cup Series.

After a sustained period of training and preparation, Picon will have her eyes set on overthrowing Noesmoen in Miami.

Enoshima World Cup gold medallist Peina Chen will be amongst the Women’s RS:X fleet, as will 2018 World Champion Lilian de Geus (NED) and Olympic medallists Zofia Noceti Klepacka (POL) and Bryony Shaw (GBR).

In the Men’s RS:X, a similar French battle is expected to unfold; one that has been ongoing almost immediately after Rio 2016. Giard has locked horns with compatriot Pierre Le Coq in the World Cup Series over recent years, the pair continuously sharing podiums with minimal separation. Thomas Goyard (FRA) has also been in the hunt as the fight between the French is set to resume in Miami.

The Men’s RS:X fleet will welcome 61 racers, many of whom know what it takes to stake a claim for gold.

Hopefuls for the podium include Mengfan Gao (CHN), Tom Squires (GBR), Byron Kokkalanis (GRE), Shahar Zubari (ISR), Mattia Camboni (ITA), Pawel Tarnowski (POL) and Mateo Sanz Lanz (SUI).

American hopes will be pinned on 2018 Youth World Champion, Geronimo Nores (USA).

Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz (GER) plans to defend their 49erFX championship at the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami will be tested by the return of two-time Miami champions and 2016 gold medalists in the class, Martine Grael and Kahene Kunze of Brazil. The regatta will run from 29 January to 3 February 2013, racing will be held in all ten of the Olympic events. © Jesus Renedo /Sailing Energy/World Sailing

In the 49erFX class, Germany’s Victoria Jurczok and Anika Lorenz won their first World Cup title in Miami last year and, following a mixed bag of results after that, they’ll be hoping to find that winning form once again.

Elsewhere, Rio 2016 gold medallists and 2013 and 2017 World Cup Miami winners Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) are fully back into the Tokyo 2020 campaign trail. The pair stepped away from the 49erFX after Rio as Grael focused on a Volvo Ocean Race campaign, but they’re 100% focused on the next Olympic Games.

They showcased their skillset at the opening round of the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series in Enoshima, Japan, claiming gold, and recently won the Miami Skiff Mid-Winter Regatta, so they will be firm favourites this week.

Their long-term training partners and on-water rivals Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) will also be in the hunt, as will Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey (GBR) and Tanja Frank and Lorena Abicht (AUT).

The final returning champions from 2018 are Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stu Bithell (GBR). They weathered a late charge from Diego Botin and Iago Lopez Marra (ESP) last year to take gold by a single point. With the Spaniards returning as well, a familiar rivalry will resume.

A fleet of 43 will sail in the 49er, and Croatian brothers Sime and Mihovil Fantela will also be in the hunt after they emerged as serious contenders following victory at the Hempel Sailing World Championships in Aarhus last year.

Germany’s Rio 2016 bronze medallists Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel, James Peters and Fynn Sterritt (GBR) and Jonas Warrer and Jakob Precht Jensen (DEN) will also fancy their chances of a podium finish.

Returnees in the remaining classes include Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol (SLO) in the Women’s 470, Luke Patience and Chris Grube (GBR) in the Men’s 470, Alison Young (GBR) in the Laser Radial and Tom Burton (AUS) in the Laser.

Racing is scheduled to commence on Tuesday 29 January and run through to Sunday 3 February.

Hempel World Cup Series Miami Is the First Test of 2019

The world’s leading Olympic sailors, including 34 Olympic medallists, are preparing for the second round of the Hempel World Cup Series in Miami, Florida, USA.

More than 650 sailors from 60 nations are gearing up to race on the waters of Biscayne Bay for the first big event of 2019. Racing is scheduled to commence on Tuesday 29 January and run through two days of Medal Races on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 February.

The 2020 Olympic venue in Enoshima, Japan was the last big opportunity for the world’s top sailors to test themselves as the battle to Tokyo heats up. After a few months of rest, training and intense preparations, excitement for another busy year of Olympic class sailing is high, starting with the Hempel World Cup Series event in Miami.

Luke Patience and Chris Grube (GBR) dominated the Men’s 470 fleet last year in Miami and make a return to the waters in a bid to defend their title.

Home nation hopes will be pinned on Stu McNay and Dave Hughes (USA). McNay sailed with former crew Graham Biehl one year ago, finishing seventh, but is back in the boat with his regular partner. McNay and Hughes have tasted success on the Miami waters in the past having won gold in both 2016 and 2017. They will be joined by four additional American crews who are all aiming to put the pressure on them in the chase for a spot in Tokyo.

The Men’s 470 fleet will comprise of 37 strong teams. Hempel Sailing World Championships gold medallists Kevin Peponnet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) will join the Brits and Americans as favourites but further strength is evident in the five Japanese teams, Greece’s Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis and Sweden’s Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergström.

In the Women’s 470, 31 crews will fight for supremacy on Biscayne Bay.

Slovenia’s Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol controlled the pack in 2018 and are back in Miami in a bid to make it two golds in a row. They will face stiff competition from a strong fleet of competitors, including Japan’s Ai Kondo Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka.

The Japanese duo won gold at the Hempel Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark and finish third on the podium in Miami one year ago. After finishing second at the first 2019 Hempel World Cup Series event in Enoshima, Japan, they’ll be aiming for a similar high-level performance this time.

Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes van Veen (NED) picked up gold in Enoshima ahead of the Japanese and narrowly missed out on a medal in Miami last year. Zegers has a new partner for 2019 – London 2012 bronze medallist and multiple World Champion Lobke Berkhout (NED) – so they will be ones to watch out for during the early days of their partnership.

Rio 2016 gold medallist Hannah Mills, sailing with Eilidh McIntyre (GBR), will also be on the start line, as will the experienced Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA), Camille Lecointre and Aloise Retornaz (FRA) and Poland’s Agnieszka Skrzypulec and Jolanta Ogar.

American hopes will be pinned on two-time Youth Sailing World Champions Carmen and Emma Cowles.

Olympic bronze medalist Caleb Paine (left, with Malcolm Park, Chief of US Sailing Team) will be aiming for another top finish at the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami, held January 29 to February 3, in Regatta Park, Coconut Grove, Florida, USA. © Jesus Renedo /Sailing Energy/World Sailing

The 27-boat Finn fleet will be spearheaded by American favourite and Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Caleb Paine, who snapped up a silver in 2018 as the accomplished Giles Scott (GBR) claimed a well-deserved title.

Paine finished a disappointing 12th at the Hempel Sailing World Championships, missing out on qualifying USA to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. He’ll have another shot at qualifying the nation at the Finn Gold Cup later this year but will be aiming to start off 2019 with another medal.

Scott won’t be in Miami to defend his title, but there is an abundance of top sailing talent who will contend for the podium. Jorge Zarif (BRA) has moved back into the Finn following his success at the Star Sailors League Final in the Bahamas and has a great pedigree racing in Miami. He has two gold medals to his name – in 2016 and 2017 – and will be targeting a third.

Further medal hopefuls in the Finn include Max Salminen (SWE), 2017 Finn Gold Cup winner, London 2012 bronze medallist Jonathan Lobert (FRA), Finland’s Tapio Nirkko and Canada’s Tom Ramshaw.

The leading lights in the Laser Radial will all be in Miami, making for one of the most competitive fights since the Hempel Sailing World Championships.

World Champion Emma Plasschaert (BEL), Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and returning Miami champion Alison Young (GBR) will all feature in the 68-boat pack.

The trio have raced competitively against each other throughout the Tokyo 2020 quadrennial and, as the clock ticks down to the Olympic Games, they will be looking for opportunities to demonstrate their abilities to perform on the biggest stage.

World Champion Emma Plasschaert of Belgium is one of the favorites in the 68-boat Laser Radial fleet at the 2019 Hempel Sailing World Cup, helped January 29 to February 3, in Regatta Park, Coconut Grove, Fla. © Jesus Renedo /Sailing Energy/World Sailing

Although Plasschaert, Bouwmeester and Young have enjoyed the recent accolades, there are also plenty of stars who have what it takes to reach the top step of the podium.

Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN), Sweden’s Josefin Olsson and Greece’s Vasileia Karachaliou have been consistent performers over the last two years and will be aiming for a medal. Dolores Moreira Fraschini (URU), Sarah Douglas (CAN), Tuula Tenkanen (FIN), Maria Erdi (HUN) and Paige Railey (USA) will also be targeting a top finish.

The Laser will be the largest fleet in Miami with 105 entrants on the start line. Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Tom Burton (AUS) dominated the pack in 2018, winning with a day to spare. As of late, he has been locked in an intensive battle with compatriot Matt Wearn as the two fight for the single Tokyo 2020 spot for Australia. The battle will resume in Miami and is expected to be fiercer than ever.

The Laser pack does not feature Rolex World Sailor of the Year and 2017 and 2018 World Champion Pavlos Kontides (CYP) but there are numerous competitors all capable of claiming a medal.

After finishing a lowly 35th last year, Jean Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) will have his 2017 victory in mind as he aims to regain his form this time round. Nick Thompson (GBR) will be another contender; the Brit has secured five medals in Miami, two of those gold, and will be at the front of the pack once again.

Elsewhere, Elliot Hanson (GBR), Philipp Buhl (GER), Rio 2016 bronze medallist Sam Meech (NZL) and Charlie Buckingham (USA) will also be in the mix for a podium spot.

Racing is scheduled to commence on Tuesday 29 January and run through to Sunday 3 February.

Sustainability Plays Leading Role in 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami 

For the sailors entered in the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series regatta, the racing starts on Monday, January 28, and ends with Medal Races for each class the following weekend. The racing is mentally and physically taxing, and the stakes are high. For 30 years, Olympic dreams have been made—and crushed—on Biscayne Bay. However, the end of the regatta is defined. For sailors, and others, who care about the future of the marine playing field, the race is ongoing and there is no end in sight.

In recognition of this critical battle, the organizers of the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series are committed to doing their part to reduce the environmental impact of their event while also educating competitors and spectators about what they can both on and off the water to help improve the health of the world’s oceans and inland waterways.

The 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami is one of four stops on World Sailing’s World Cup Series tour, the premiere competitive circuit for sailors with aspirations of representing their country at the Tokyo Games in 2020. For 30 years, international sailors from around the globe have made Miami and Biscayne Bay a de facto winter training base, ensuring that the competition at the Hempel World Cup Series Miami is always of the highest level. Many of the sailors competing in the event will be standing on the podium in Tokyo in 18 months’ time.

In Miami, the sustainability initiative will be led by former US Sailing Team member Elizabeth Kratzig, who quarterbacked the award-winning sustainability effort at the 2018 Youth World Sailing Championships in Corpus Christi, Texas, last summer.

“Having been involved in this regatta as a past competitor and coach on and off since 1991, I am excited that the organizers have recognized the large impact that the World Cup Series regatta has on the local community, its resources and its waterways,” says Kratzig, a long-time Miami resident. “We want to make sure we leave Regatta Park and Biscayne Bay in better shape than we found it. We also want to provide to anyone who comes in contact with the regatta the tools to reduce their environmental impact in their day-to-day lives.”

The effort kicked off on Sunday, January 13, as US Sailing Team athletes joined sailors from around the world and other volunteers for the Coconut Grove Coastal Clean-Up. The event was organized by US Sailing in partnership with VolunteerCleanup.Org and was sponsored by World Sailing. Upwards of 100 individuals collected over 850 pounds of trash from the mangroves lining Kennedy Park, Shake-A-Leg and Prime Point Marina. The evening prior to the clean-up, volunteers and members of the general public listened to a moving presentation from ocean advocate and explorer Emily Penn.

Click here for a story and video on the Coastal Cleanup

Kratzig also has some specific goals for the regatta itself, including a drastic reduction in single-use plastics and a Clean Regattas Silver Level certification, as outlined by Sailors for the Sea.

“We have a unique opportunity to use the sport of sailing to promote environmental stewardship and sustainability not only to the competitors, race committee officials, but also to sailing fans and the local Miami community,” says Kratzig. “By following environmentally friendly practices and incorporating an educational component in the regatta festivities, we hope to lead by example and inspire changed behaviors. This year’s event will include a special emphasis on promoting environmental best practices for motorboat operation, including information on using fuel spill pads and tips for reducing fuel consumption. We are also excited about growing the educational zone at the regatta festival. This year, the festival will include interactive displays from Miami Waterkeepers, Women’s Club of Coconut Grove and University of Miami’s Rescue a Reef program, among others.

Looking further down the road, the regatta hopes to establish a robust approach to sustainability at the World Cup Series Miami, sharing best practices and setting standards and targets, reduce the World Cup Series Miami carbon footprint and promote resource efficiency and create lasting legacy programs from this event.

Spectators who come to Regatta Park to watch the Medal Races on Saturday, February 2, and Sunday, February 3, will be enjoy fun and educational activities designed to develop individual awareness of what it takes to maintain a healthy relationship with the environment.

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