Author: Jake Fish

Countdown to ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami

 

Bigger than ever in 2015, with an atmosphere crackling with adrenaline, the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami was ground zero on Sunday as competitors from 63 countries made their final preparations. US Sailing’s premiere event brings together a who’s who of Olympic and Paralympic talent. Six days of racing will test them and leave them judged. Australia’s silver-medalist 470 skipper of last year, Mat Belcher, summed up that experience by saying simply that being on that racecourse, with that fleet, “was essential.” Essential, that is, to anyone who hopes to be standing on a podium in Rio de Janeiro at the 2016 Olympic Games.

With as many as 800 sailors entered, the 26th year of this event sets a record for participation. The ISAF Sailing World Cup, presented by Sunbrella, is the only U.S. stop on the 2014-2015 SWC series. Melbourne, Australia kicked off the first of six events, with successful sailors earning qualification spots and ranking points toward a finale in Abu Dhabi late in 2015.

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Practice. Warm Up. Game Time

At the turn of the year, Olympic sailors took to Instagram, posting a picture that states ‘2013 was practice, 2014 was the warm up, 2015 is game time.’

With Rio qualification regattas, national trials and a testing ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit throughout the year the heat is on. And at 10:00 local time on Monday 26 January, 2015’s ‘game time’ begins with the sounding of the starter’s gun at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella.

More than 800 sailors from 63 nations racing across ten Olympic and three Paralympic events will light up Miami, Florida’s glorious Biscayne Bay. With ISAF Sailing World Cup Final Abu Dhabi qualification spots and valuable ranking points available the game will heat up in the sunshine state.

Historically the Laser has always been the largest fleet in Miami and that is no exception to 2015 with a strong contingent of international sailors making up the 120 boat fleet.

2015 is a key year for many competitors with Rio 2016 Olympic qualification regattas fast approaching. For American Laser sailors the 2016 edition of the regatta will be their first internal qualification event, but the highest ranked American sailor, Charlie Buckingham at World #11, will want to lay down a marker one year in advance.

“Miami is always an important event for me personally,” said Buckingham, “so I am happy it serves as part of the OIympic trials. This year I will be aiming to perform my best at this event as I have in years past and as I will next year.

“I’ve had roughly two months of preparation, both training and racing, after a pretty big break post-Santander. This year is the strongest I’ve ever seen the fleet since I’ve done the regatta. Everyone will be here.”

Buckingham has been a familiar face in Miami, competing at the regatta a consecutive seven times from 2008. As one of 16 American sailors within the strong Miami fleet a performance that mirrors his third place in 2013 will leave him in a good place in advance of his national trials.

The Laser fleet is jam packed with talent from World Champions to Olympic medallists, all of whom are aiming for an Abu Dhabi ISAF Sailing World Cup Final slot. World #1 Tom Burton (AUS) sealed his spot at ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne so the pressure is off, but the determined Aussie will have his eyes on the prize after narrowly missing out on a Miami podium in 2014.

World #2 Robert Scheidt (BRA) will make his first international appearance since Santander 2014 in Miami whilst defending champion Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) will also return.

With 22 of the world’s top 25 Lasers heading to Miami, the competition will be one of the most hotly contested in recent times.

The Laser Radial fleet will see 80 competitors lock horns. World #1 and 2014 World Champion Marit Bouwmeester (NED) will be joined by World #2 and 2014 Abu Dhabi ISAF Sailing World Cup Champion Evi Van Acker (BEL) as well as Melbourne gold medallist Alison Young (GBR).

Paige Railey (USA) will attempt to take the title for the third year in a row whilst Railey’s ever improving compatriot, Erika Reineke, will be aiming to move up from her ninth place at the 2014 regatta.

The Men’s RS:X is set to be an exceptional competition with the leading racers making the trip to Miami.

In amongst a sea of experienced competitors is a young Frenchman who is mixing it up at the top. Louis Giard (FRA) picked up gold at the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi and heads to Miami fully fired up with confidence sky high, “That put me in a good place and gave me a lot of motivation for 2015,” said Giard. “It was my first win in the senior fleet and it helped me a lot to look forward and to try to do the same in upcoming events.”

Giard put in a performance worthy of a champion in Abu Dhabi but knows he still has a lot to prove, “It would be good for me to show that Abu Dhabi was not a surprise. My goal is just to do the best I can. I have never been in Miami so it will be a bit new for me but it was the same in Abu Dhabi. A podium could be a good start for 2015 but my training is not at the top at the moment but I will try to do the best start for 2015.”

Like Buckingham in the Laser, Giard has an eye on his Olympic trials and just like the American he wants to put a good show on in Miami, “I’m expecting tough competition, as usual. Everybody wants to win and once again it will be the first event of the year for everybody. Miami is the best way to prepare for the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Hyères which will be the first step of the Rio trials.”

Giard’s compatriots Pierre Le Coq and Thomas Goyard will join him in Miami. As will World #1 Byron Kokkalanis (GRE), World #2 Ricardo Santos (BRA) and London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED).

Miami will also see a high level Women’s RS:X fleet take to the water. Bryony Shaw (GBR) started 2014 by taking the Miami title and wrapped the year up by claiming the Women’s RS:X ISAF Sailing World Cup Final title in Abu Dhabi. She will be gunning for another great start to her year in Miami.

Joining the Briton in the fleet will be World #1 Flavia Tartaglini (ITA), World #3 Laura Linares (ITA) and London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Marina Alabau (ESP).

ISAF Sailing World Cup Final Abu Dhabi gold medallists Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) will sail in a highly competitive fleet that features 2014 World Champions and 2014 ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA).

The Kiwis will be competing in a single fleet of 40 teams and will have to be on top form, ensuring mistakes are at a minimum, “It is exciting to have a smaller fleet here in Miami,” commented Meech, “as it will let us sail against the top girls the whole regatta rather than just through the final days. It will make the racing more exciting overall.”

Maloney and Meech touched down in Miami early last week to compete at the 49erFX Midwinters where they finished three points off Grael and Kunze and Meech has liked what she’s seen, “So far Miami has given us good conditions. We were coming over here expecting light winds the whole time, but it looks like we are going to get a mixture which will be nice.”

World #2 Ida Marie Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen (DEN) will be within the Miami fleet, as will World #3 Charlotte Dobson and Sophie Ainsworth (GBR) and World #4 Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich (ITA).

The 49er will also throw out some exciting competition with strong British, Canadian, Spanish, French, Italian and American teams in the mix. Other contenders include ISAF Sailing World Cup Final gold medallists Tomasz Januszewski and Jacek Nowak (POL), Ryan Seaton and Matthew McGovern (IRL), Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER) and returning champions Jonas Warrer and Anders Thomsen (DEN).

Racing commences on Monday 26 January through to Saturday 31 January. Competitors in the Paralympic events will have five days of fleet racing from Monday 26 to Friday 30. Medal Races across the ten OIympic events will bring the regatta to a close on Saturday 31 where medals will be awarded to the top three boats.

Contact:
ISAF Communications Department
Tel: + 44 2380 635 111
Fax: + 44 2380 635 789
Email: marketing@isaf.com

Press Officers:
Kimball Livingston, ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami Press Officer, kimball.livingston@gmail.com Jake Fish, US Sailing, jakefish@ussailing.org

Miami To Come Alive For Second World Cup Regatta

Miami, Fla. (January 19, 2015) – From 26-31 January 2015, Miami, USA will welcome world class fields in ten Olympic and three Paralympic events for the second regatta of the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup series.

Biscayne Bay will come alive with the sails of 651 boats, featuring 848 sailors from 63 nations. The stakes are high at the 2015 edition of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, with Abu Dhabi Final qualification spots and valuable ranking points available at the 200-point regatta.

The 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, marks the second anniversary of competition for the Nacra 17. The mixed multihull made its debut at the 2013 edition with a small seven boat fleet that was dominated by North Americans. Sarah Newberry and John Casey (USA) took the first Nacra 17 gold medal and now two years on, Miami welcomes a truly international field with 21 nations represented within the 51-boat fleet.

Seasoned campaigners and young hopefuls will be on the start line come 26 January, gunning for an Abu Dhabi ISAF Sailing World Cup Final qualification spot.

Beijing 2008 Tornado Olympic gold medallist Fernando Echavarri (ESP) will take to Nacra 17 racing for the first time in Miami. Echavarri has paired up with 2011 470 World Champion Tara Pacheco who formerly sailed with Iker Martinez. Pacheco and Martinez, who were coached by Echavarri, split up towards the end of 2014 with Martinez teaming up with Marina Lopez.

The transition from coach boat to the Nacra 17 has gone well for the experienced Echavarri, a two time Tornado World Champion, who is taking things in his stride, “We have been sailing for about two months. We are just starting and there are many things that are going on and we want to think about a one year campaign. If everything works well and we qualify [for Rio 2016], we will then think about the next step.

“Miami will be the first race so we are just thinking about learning and getting into the game again. At the moment we are taking it day by day. We have many things to organise before we even think about our goals. For today I can tell you that our goal is to balance the rudders, which will make everything easier.

“We’ve had some normal starting issues that make us lose some time but we are happy about our progression. There are many things to learn and they are special to remember. Here in Miami we came two days ago [Thursday 15 January] with a charter boat so there is plenty of work to do to prepare.

“It’s a nice competition, as always, in Miami. I am really happy to be back in the game.”

Echavarri joins a list of highly experienced competitors in the Miami Nacra 17 fleet. Two time Nacra 17 World Champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA), Sofia Bekatorou and Konstantinos Trigonis (GRE), Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim (FRA) and Puerto Rico’s Enrique Figueroa, sailing with Franchesca Valdes Ortega, all have vast experience that they’ll put into practice in Miami.

At the other end of the spectrum are Aruba’s Nicole van der Velden and Thijs Visser. At 20-years-old Van der Velden is one of the youngest competitors in the fleet but with two years of campaigning behind her, she hasn’t been intimated by her older rivals, reaching World #17 and finishing in the top ten at the European Championship.

“It’s amazing how much you can learn in two years just by committing to something,” commented van der Velden. “The learning curve has been huge for me. The Nacra is so much fun to sail and I can’t wait to see what this year will bring for us.”

It would be easy for van der Velden to look in awe at the star spangled fleet that features numerous Olympic medallists, Volvo Ocean Race winners and multiple World Champions but she has used the competition to her advantage as she explained, “It’s awesome to be able to sail against such experienced sailors. It really pushes you even harder to get better and better, especially being so young there’s so much to learn.

“For us at the moment it’s quite important to keep working on our racing skills. So every race we do we try to learn as much as possible from it.”

Lisa Darmanin and Jason Waterhouse (AUS) were the first Nacra 17 pair to qualify for the Abu Dhabi ISAF Sailing World Cup Final when they took the Melbourne title. Teams will be vying to join them on the start line with six days of high intensity racing in Miami.

Great Britain’s Giles Scott will spearhead the Finn fleet, aiming to defend his title and continue his unbeaten run of six ranked regattas and the Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta 2014 (Olympic Test Event).

Scott has dominated at every regatta and has his eyes on another victory, “It [the unbeaten run] is absolutely something I’d like to continue. Every regatta I do is incredibly important, but that being said I do really try and focus on each event as it comes so we’ll have to see what Miami brings, I’m sure it will be great racing.

“I think the fleet will be very strong this year with only a handful of the top guys missing. Last year we were plagued by lack of wind so hopefully this year we get good Miami conditions.”

World #1 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO), World #2 Caleb Paine (USA), ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne victor Ed Wright (GBR) and Abu Dhabi ISAF Sailing World Cup Final champion Vasilij Zbogar (SLO) will all be in the fleet.

Forty five teams are registered to compete in the Men’s 470 and quality is prevalent throughout the pack. Mat Belcher and Will (AUS) will be the ones to beat whilst 2013 champions Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) will want to hold on to their title. 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao gold medallists Jordi Xammar and Joan Herp (ESP) will be looking to impress whilst Greece’s Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis will certainly be in the running for top honours.

In the Women’s 470, 2014 World Champions Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar (AUT), Olympic champions Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL) and Olympic silver medallists Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) will renew their rivalry. The trio shared the podium at the Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds as well as the 2014 Olympic Test Event with minimal separation between them.

Miami will be the first opportunity for the trio to test themselves against each other in 2015 which will make for some intriguing and insightful racing.

In the 2.4mR, one of three Paralympic events taking place in Miami, Megan Pascoe (GBR) will be aiming to defend her title. In testing winds at the 2014 edition Pascoe kept her focus to take the victory ahead of Allan Leibel (CAN) and Helena Lucas (GBR). Both Leibel and Lucas will return in 2015 with Melbourne victor Matt Bugg (AUS) and the ever consistent Bjornar Erikstad (NOR) also within the fleet.

Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) return to defend their crown in the SKUD18 but will face stiff competition from long term rivals Dan Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch (AUS). Ten boats will go in the competitive Sonar fleet with 2014 silver medallists John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Stephen Thomas (GBR) set to lead the charge.

Competitors in the Paralympic events will have five days of fleet racing from Monday 26 January to Friday 30 January. Medal Races across the ten OIympic events will bring the regatta to a close on Saturday 31 January where medals will be awarded to the top three boats.

Regatta Headquarters will be located at the US Sailing Center Miami, an official Olympic training center, in Coconut Grove, Miami, Fla. Additional hosts for the event include Miami Rowing Club, Coconut Grove Sailing Club and Shake-a-Leg Miami. These sailing organizations host classes onshore, as well as help run the on-the-water racing. The Coral Reef Yacht Club hosts the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami is sponsored by Beneteau, Jeanneau, Lagoon, Sperry Top-Sider, Chubb Personal Insurance, City of Miami, Harken, McLube, Coral Reef Sailing Apparel, UMiami Health Sports Medicine, and Vetus-Maxwell

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Editors Notes:

Video
Rights free news feeds containing interviews and b-roll of sailing action will be available from Wednesday 28 January through to Saturday 31 January on the ISAF FTP. A log Sheet will be attached. In addition, fully-produced highlight packages will be available from 26 to 31 January. These will contain interviews, action and results, including event graphics. For FTP login details, specific requests and native language interviews please contact ISAF TV using the following address – isaf.tv@isaf.com

Images
High resolution, free for editorial use images will be available to download view US Sailing’s Flickr account here. For specific requests please contact the ISAF Communications Department below.

Results
Results are available here – www.sailing.org/worldcup/results/index.php

Live Tracking
The racing will be available to watch in 2D and 3D via the live tracking.

Click here to view live tracking.

Live Tracking via the Sailviewer-3D Tablet App will be available for devices with 7″ or greater screens.

Click here to download the iOS Application.
Click here to download the Android Application.

Follow
ISAF Sailing World Cup website
ISAF Sailing World Cup Facebook
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami Facebook

The @ISAFupdates and @SailingWCMiami (#SWCMiami15) Twitter accounts will be following the action throughout the week.

Contact
ISAF Communications Department
Tel: + 44 2380 635 111
Fax: + 44 2380 635 789
Email: marketing@isaf.com

ISAF Sailing World Cup
The ISAF Sailing World Cup is a world-class annual series for Olympic sailing. It is open to the sailing events chosen for the 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition. Its centre piece is the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup will consist of five regattas for all ten Olympic events and where possible, Formula Kite Racing. Qualification places for the ISAF Sailing World Cup final are up for grabs at each event. The final will bring together the top 20 boats in each Olympic event and an Open Kiteboarding event where the World Cup Champions will be crowned

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup
Melbourne – 7-14 December 2014
Miami – 25-31 January 2015
Hyères – 20-26 April 2015
Weymouth and Portland – 8-14 June 2015
Qingdao – 14-20 September 2015
2015 Final Abu Dhabi – 27 October to 1 November 2015

View the World Cup qualification system here.

For more information about ISAF please go to isaf.com or contact marketing@isaf.com

About The International Sailing Federation
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) is the world governing body for the sport of sailing. ISAF is made up of over 130 Member National Authorities (MNAs), who are its principal members, and responsible for the decision making process that governs the sailing world. There are currently more than 100 ISAF International, Recognized and Classic Yacht Classes, ranging from the small dinghy classes for young people up to 60 foot ocean racers.

Registration is Open for ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2015

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (November 10, 2014) – On-line entry to ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2015 is open. The deadline for priority entries with regards to quotas is December 5, 2014. Entries must be received by January 4, 2015 to qualify for early entry. Competitors and coaches are required to register online, as on-site registration will not be available. Additional fees will apply for entries received after the deadline. Continue reading

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