US Sailing's ISAF World Cup Miami Rio 2016. Multihull Racing on the Rise

Friday, 01 February 2013


The stage is set for mixed multihull racing at Rio 2016. As one of two new Olympic events, the Nacra 17 is making its first appearance in the ISAF Sailing World Cup series this week in Miami.

These doublehanded teams are sorting out new strategies and techniques as they become more comfortable with this fast, light catamaran and its featured curved dagger boards. Many of the sailors competing in the Nacra 17 are making the adjustment from another boat or class. In some cases, sailors are getting acquainted with new teammates as well.

Perhaps no team has made a smoother transition than Sarah Newberry and John Casey (USA). The duo has been dominant through three days of racing on Biscayne Bay. They have won five of the six races, including the last five. Sarah Streater and Matthew Whitehead (USA) have four second-place finishes and trail by four points.

“We've done a lot of training in the F16 and F18, and we're finding the Nacra 17 to fit in terms of power, but not in terms of how the boat actually sails,” explained Newberry. “It's a whole new game with the curved foils.”

“We worked really hard to find good settings for the breeze. The real challenge for the whole fleet has been dealing with the boats in bigger chop, which is more than what we see when training in the inner bay. When going downwind, the lift in the boat with the chop has made it challenging,” she added.

Newberry and Casey have their sights set on the 2013 Nacra 17 World Championship this July in The Netherlands, which will serve as the selection event for US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider.

Puerto Rico’s three-time Olympian, Enrique Figueroa, is ecstatic about the fact that multihull racing is back as an Olympic event. “I think it is one of the most exciting events in the Olympics, so having the catamaran come back was good for everybody especially as the sailing world nowadays has a big focus on catamarans,” he said.

Figueroa is planning an Olympic campaign with wife Carla Malatrasi. He is making the switch from the Tornado to the Nacra 17. “Getting back into a spinnaker boat was a challenge, especially with a new crew and she’s not used to the spinnaker and all it entails. It’s been a learning experience for both of us. The Nacra is very physical. The curved boards and the way the boat is going to be sailed eventually is going to require a lot of balance and strength, so of course you’ve got to hit the gym hard,” explained Figueroa.

Fred Strammer and Zach Brown (USA) extended their lead on Wednesday. A DNF in race nine halted their win streak at four. They lead the 49er fleet by nine points over Sweden’s Sebastian Oestling and Kalle Torlen and American’s Ryan Pesch and Trevor Burd.

Strammer commented on how please he is at the progress the team is making so far in their training. “Our big goal for 2013 was to focus on improving our speed and we've seen already, that our four months of hard work towards that goal has paid off this week. We had more speed yesterday than we really knew what to do with, so it was fantastic,” explained Strammer.

“We are planning on racing the other World Cup events his year. Our training includes the World Championships in September and some training in San Francisco with the America's Cup.  We're just trying to work on our fitness and gain some weight. One of the other goals is to do some other sailing, like team racing in the summer and other dinghy sailing,” he said.

Brazil’s Kahena Kunze and Martine Grael surged into the lead with a tremendous afternoon of racing in the 49er FX event. They finished second in race seven and won races eight and nine to take a four point lead. Anna Tunnicliffe and Molly O’Bryan Vandemoer (USA) also made a run today with third- and second-place finishes. Tunnicliffe, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist in the Laser is also one of the top Women’s Match Racers in the world. Tunnicliffe and Vandemoer are in second place.

The World #7 Stuart McNay and his crew David Hughes continue to challenge in the Men’s 470. The Americans hold an edge over World #13 Matthias Schmid and Floran Reichstaedter (AUS). McNay and Hughes won the second of two races to take the lead. These two teams are pulling away from the rest of the fleet.

In the Women’s 470, Brazil’s Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan hold a seven point lead over China’s Xiaomei Xu and Chunyan Yu.

The 2012 Olympic gold medalist Dorian Van Rijssbelberghe of The Netherlands continued his dominant ways today in the Men’s RS:X. He captured first place in both races and has tallied four consecutive wins to take a seven point lead over Brazil’s Ricardo Santos.

Defending champion Demita Vega of Mexico held on to the lead with her third place finishes. Today’s top women’s board sailor was Great Britain’s Bryony Shaw. The 2012 Olympian won race five and trails Vega by a point.

Sweden’s Jesper Stalheim pulled into the lead with a pair of wins in the Laser event. He took the lead over World #3 Bruno Fontes (BRA). Both Stalheim and Fontes have three wins in six races this week. Stalheim holds a close tie-breaker edge over Fontes. Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA) is just one point behind the leaders. He won race five today.

Annalise Murphy (IRL) and Paige Railey (USA) enjoyed a great day on the bay this afternoon. They each won a race and finished third to take the leaderboard by storm. Murphy has a three point lead over Railey and has won two of the last three.

Caleb Paine (USA) has maintained his lead in the Finn event by six points. He was fourth and second today. Paine has won three of the six races. World #1 Brendan Casey (AUS) is in second place.

The 2012 Paralympic bronze medalists Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg and Per Eugen Kristiansen of Norway expanded their lead from two to four points on Wednesday in the Sonar event. Their day featured a win in race five.

Canadian Bruce Millar won race six to cap another strong performance in the 2.4 mR event. He leads fellow countryman Alan Leibel (CAN) by four.

Once again, Biscayne Bay was graced with strong winds that reached 20 knots by the afternoon and significant chop. The weather included mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s.

For the most updated standings, visit the results section of the event website at
http://mocr.ussailing.org/index.php/results/.

To follow all the action this week in Miami, visit event website at
http://mocr.ussailing.org for real-time racecourse blogging, commentary and fan interaction with Cover it Live, regatta results, photos and news updates.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, established in 1990 by US Sailing, is open to boats competing in events chosen for the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Competitions. Most Olympic classes will count a five-day opening series (Monday-Friday) and a double-point medal race (Saturday). The RS:X Men and Women will have a three day opening series (Monday-Wednesday) followed by semifinal medal round on Thursday and final medal round on Friday. The top 10 finishers in the opening series of each class will advance to the medal race. Competitors in the Paralympic classes will have five days of fleet racing (Monday-Friday) and no medal race. Medals will be awarded to the top three boats in each Olympic and Paralympic class on Saturday, February 2.

Regatta Headquarters is located at the US Sailing Center Miami, an official Olympic training center, in the Coconut Grove section of Miami, Fla. Event organizers have partnered with the city of Miami to provide world-class venues for competition. Additional hosts for the event include Coral Reef Yacht Club, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Miami Rowing 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 also hosts the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Sponsors of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2013 include Sperry Top-Sider, Harken McLube, Kattack, Switlik and the University of Miami Hospital.

Scoring Format Updates
The Lasers and Laser Radials are using experimental scoring this week. Sailors will receive a bonus point for each race they win. Their first fleet series standings will translate into a single race score for each competitor. Five more races will be sailed in a new series Thursday through Friday. Following the five races and six total scores, the top ten will advance to medal race on Saturday. There will be one discount after the second race.

The RS:X fleets have completed six races in the series, to date. These two events feature a new, unique format this week. The fleet series consists of nine races with one discard and the top ten qualify for the quarterfinals after six races. The top two from the fleet series advance to the semifinals. The quarterfinals are a three race series with the top four moving to the finals. The fifth through tenth place teams go into the semifinals. These semifinals consist of one race with eight competitors and the top two advancing to the Final round. Learn more about this new format
event website (http://mocr.ussailing.org/) .

See ISAF Sailing World Cup images: in Yacht racing - dinghies & skiffs gallery


Last Updated ( Friday, 01 February 2013 )