The US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) were the big winners in Miami, winning four gold, two silver and four bronze ISAF Sailing World Cup medals to jump up to second overall in the World Cup Medal Tally. Australia, whose sailors also made the most of their home leg as they dominated the first ISAF Sailing World Cup event at Sail Melbourne, remain top of the medal tally with a total of five golds.
The USSTAG medal haul was highlighted by the three gold medals won in the Olympic events, all in contrasting fashion. In the Laser Radial Women’s One Person Dinghy event, Paige Railey (USA) completely dominated the competition, never once relinquishing the lead and securing overall victory with a day to spare. Another US gold went to Railey’s former rival in the Laser Radial dinghy, Anna Tunnicliffe (USA). Tunnicliffe won Olympic gold in Beijing in the Radial two years ago but has switched to the new Women’s Match Racing event for London 2012. Along with crew members Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi, Tunnicliffe scored major victory in Miami, defeating reigning World Cup Champions Lucy MacGregor, Ally Martin and Annie Lush (GBR) in the final.
The third US victory went to the Women’s 470 team of Amanda Clark and Sarah Chin (USA) who kept their cool in a very closely fought Medal Race. Victory for these three US teams also ensures they all hit the top of the World Cup Standings in their respectively events.
Although the Australians left Miami with just one medal to add to the 12 they won in Melbourne last December, a major positive was the result of the Men’s 470 team, Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page, and the 49er duo Will Phillips and Sam Phillips. Both teams where never far off the lead throughout the week and top finishes ensure they hold on to the leading positions in the World Cup Standings.
For Great Britain, Miami also provided several highlights, not least a one-two in the Finn event which puts reigning World Cup Champion Ed Wright (GBR) straight into the lead of the battle for this year’s title. Spain also enjoyed a sweep of the top two positions in the Women’s RS:X event, with World Champion Marina Alabau taking gold and with it the lead in the World Cup Standings.
South America’s star names also put in a top performance, with Colombia Nicolas Lozano still leading the Men’s RS:X World Cup Standings and Matias Del solar of Chile taking over pole position in the Laser Standings. Victory in Miami for Norway’s Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen puts them into top position in the Star Standings.
Amongst the three Paralympic events, Beijing gold medallist Paul Tingley showed he’s still the boat to beat in the 2.4mR fleet. Tingley scored his second gold of the season in Miami to sit top of the World Cup Standings with a perfect score of 40 points. Scott Whitman and Julia Dorsett (USA) lead the SKUD18 Standings, whilst Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Per Eugen Kristiansen and Marie Solberg (NOR) top the Sonar Standings.
Next stop for the ISAF Sailing World Cup is Palma de Mallorca as the World Cup arrives in Europe for the Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE from 27 March-2 April.
Following on from Palma, France, the Netherlands, Germany and finally Great Britain set to decide the 2009-2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup winners. World Cup Standing points are awarded to the top 20 finishers at each event (20 for first place, 19 for second etc down to 1 points for twentieth place) and a revised scoring system for this edition means competitors can now only count a maximum of five events in their overall points tally (although at least one of the five must be a non-European event).