#MOCR – Consistent sailing in the third day of the Miami Olympic classes regatta moves Peter O'Leary and David Burrows right up the leader board in the Star keelboat. Currently sitting in sixth overall, up three places from yesterday, O'Leary and Burrows finished third in both races today, a fine performance from the Cork-Dublin duo that puts them two points off third place and 7 points off the lead. First place though is occupied by Brazilian's Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada, the current world champions who have dominated this ISAF World Cup series.
Single–hander Annalise Murphy in the Laser Radial took her first race win of the regatta and followed it with an 11th in race six. Discard applied, Murphy moves up two positions to ninth overall.
Belfast Laser sailor James Espey had two top 10 results from the 78 boat fleet. He maintains his position at 19th overall following a sixth and a ninth in his two races.
The Irish Paralympic trio John Twomey, Anthony Hegarty and Ian Costello in the Sonar class unfortunately slipped one place to 8th overall following a 6th and a 7th in their two races, identical to yesterday's results.
Top Stars: Brazilian pair Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (above) are in the lead in Miami, Irish duo Peter O'Leary and David Burrows are 7 points adrift in sixth. Photo: Daniel Forster/Rolex
Additional reporting from regatta organisers:
The weather has been "stuck on beautiful" at the Rolex Miami OCR, but more important to the 529 sailors competing here from 41 countries has been the wind on Biscayne Bay, which today strengthened in knots to reach low double digits and helped re-ignite several key performances of sailors turning the corner to enter the regatta's home stretch. Six days of racing, which count toward standings in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Series, began on Monday for 354 boats sailing in the same 13 classes that will be featured at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Making the most out of the zippy conditions were the 24 teams split into Groups A and B in the Women's Match Racing discipline. Today's goal was to complete the second of two round-robin series in each group. This was realized in Group A but not Group B, which will finish up tomorrow and add its top four finishers to the top four from Group A that have won the honor of proceeding to the quarter finals, a single elimination "knock-out" round.
Group A's top finisher Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.), who sails with Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham (Miami, Fla.) and Alana O'Reilly (Charleston, S.C.), was especially exhilarated by her 10-1 win-loss record, which was helped by a victory in today's closely watched match-up with fellow US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics member Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), who sails with Molly O'Bryan Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) and has a 7-4 record. "I don't think we were ever more than a length apart the entire way around the course, so that was pretty cool," said Barkow. "There were probably about four lead changes; nobody got penalties but everything was really close."
Match Racing courses are two laps around (windward/leeward), with a five-minute pre-start sequence, where boats are allowed to enter the starting area at four minutes. Then it is a full battle from there until the finish line.
Said Barkow, who won bronze here last year to Tunnicliffe's silver: "Sometimes when you get a two-length lead, then it's not so much of a big battle, and you don't have to defend things so hard. But you can imagine when it's really close that upwind it's kind of good for the boat ahead, but as soon as you go downwind, it's good for the boat behind. So, if you only have a length between the boats, it's really hard to be the boat ahead and stay ahead. That was what it was with Anna."
Also moving on to the quarter finals are Silja Lehtinen/Silja Kanerva/Mikaela Wulff (FIN), with an 8-1 record, and Ekaterina Skudina/Elena Siuzeva/Irina Lotsmanova (RUS) with a 5-2.
"We made one or two mistakes out there," said Tunnicliffe, the four-time (consecutive and current) Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year and two-time ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year (also current), "but we still made the quarter finals." As for her match with Barkow, she said, "It was full on, lots of fun. It shows that team USA has what it takes, and we will all be pushing hard leading up to the Olympics." Tunnicliffe, who also has an Olympic gold medal in Laser Radial class, explained that the Women's Match Racing U.S. Trials are in May in Weymouth where the "winner takes all" and goes on to compete in the Olympics.
Conditions were prime for the RS:X Men's windsurfing fleet, and Nick Dempsey (GBR), who was sitting in third in the Men's class coming into today, moved to first, with fellow teammate Elliot Carney moving up right behind him. "Elliot and I had a good couple of races today – kind of like training races for the two of us in a way – and it was great to get the conditions we did," said Dempsey. "It was the first time we've got to planing since we got here, so it gave the body a bit of a rest from the pumping, and it was nice to be going well in those conditions."
Although some big names are missing in the RS:X fleet, which is relatively small this year compared to others, there is still stiff competition. "You have to work just as hard to get the results," said Dempsey. "It's never as easy as the score line might look, so it's definitely been worthwhile coming here, and I'll be pushing hard for the rest of the week."
In RS:X Women's, Demita Vega De Lille (MEX) maintained her lead from yesterday and added two more victories to the two already existing in her six-race scoreline. Like most of the classes here, the RS:X Women were allowed to discard their worst score after six races, which came today and also helped shuffle many scores.
Another sailor who did not change positions on the scoreboard was Marit Bouwmeester (NED), the World Champion in Laser Radial class who has held on to first place overall all three days. "Today I was struggling a bit because the wind pressure kept going up and down, and in the first race I got a yellow flag (a penalty for unallowed kinetics), but it's good to get out and experience the Miami weather," said Bouwmeester. "This regatta has been great practice. I've been sailing against all these girls in many previous regattas and they are all major competition. It's great that so many of them took the time to come here after the Worlds in Perth."
US Sailing's Rolex Miami OCR, established in 1990, is open to boats competing in events chosen for the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Competitions. The 10 Olympic classes for 2012 are: Laser Radial (women), Laser (men), Finn (men), Men's RS:X, Women's RS:X, 49er (men), Men's 470, Women's 470, Star (men) and Elliot 6m (women). The three Paralympic classes are: 2.4mR (open), SKUD (mixed) and Sonar (mixed).
For fleet racing in the Olympic classes, the Rolex Miami OCR consists of a five-day opening series (Monday - Friday) and a double-point medal race (Saturday). The top 10 finishers in the opening series of each class will advance to the medal race. For match racing (Elliott 6m), which makes its debut in the 2012 Olympic Games, the regatta will consist of an opening series, a knockout series, and a sail-off for boats not advancing to the knockout series. Competitors in the Paralympic classes 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, January 28.
Regatta Headquarters are 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, Key Biscayne 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.
In addition to title sponsor Rolex Watch U.S.A., the 2012 Rolex Miami OCR is also sponsored by AlphaGraphics, Sperry Top-Sider, Harken McLube, Kattack, Gowrie-Chubb, Trinity Yachts and the University of Miami Hospital.
US SAILING's 2012 Rolex Miami OCR
Sonar (11 boats) – 6 races
1.Jourden Bruno/ Vimont Vicary Nicolas/ Flageul Eric (FRA) 1, 5, 1, 1, 2,
2.John Robertson/ Hannah Stodel/ Steve Thomas (GBR) 4, 2, 3, , 3, 3 (15)
3.Paul Callahan(Newport,R.I.)/Tom Brown(Castine,Maine)/Bradley
Johnson(Pompano Beach,Fla.,USA) 1, 3, 5, 2, , 5 (17)
Star (30 boats) – 6 races
1.Robert Scheidt/ Bruno Prada (BRA) 1, , 7, 5, 2, 1 (16)
2.Fredrik Loof/ Max Salminen (SWE) 2, 5, 2, , 7, 2 (18)
3.Eivind Melleby/ Petter Moerland Pedersen (NOR) , 2, 4, 3, 8, 4 (21)
49er (23 boats) – 9 races
1.Nico Luca Marc Delle Karth/Nikolaus Resch (AUT) 5, 4, 5, 1, 4, , 1,
1, 1 (22)
2.Erik Storck(Huntington,N.Y.)/Trevor Moore(Naples, Fla., USA) 1, 2, 6, 2,
3, [24/OCS], 4, 2, 3 (23)
3.Lauri Lehtinen/Kalle Bask (FIN) 2, [24/BFD], 7, 13, 2, 3, 2, 5, 7 (41)
Skud-18 (6 boats) – 6 races
1.Alexandra Rickham/Niki Birrell (GBR) 1, 2, 2, 2, 2,  (9)
2.Daniel Fitzgibbon/Liesl Tesch (AUS) , 1, 1, 1, 4, 4 (11)
3.Jennifer French (St. Petersburg, Fla.)/Jean-Paul Creignou (St.
Petersburg, Fla.,USA) 2, 3, 3, 3, , 1 (12)
2.4mR (25 boats) – 6 races
1.Damien Seguin (FRA) 2, 1, , 2, 1, 3 (9)
2.Mark Le Blanc (New Orleans, La., USA) 1, [26/OCS], 5, 1, 6, 1 (14)
3.Barend Kol (NED) 5, , 4, 5, 3, 2 (19)
Laser Radial (60 boats) – 6 races
1.Marit Bouwmeester (NED) 1, 2, 1, 5, , 6 (15)
2.Lijia Xu (CHN) 5, , 2, 1, 6, 2 (16)
3.Evi Van Acker (BEL) 4, , 10, 2, 10, 9 (35)
470 Men (23 boats) – 6 races
1.Mathew Belcher/Malcolm Page (AUS) 3, 2, 1, 6, , 1 (13)
2.Sven Coster/Kalle Coster (NED) 1, 3, 3, , 5, 6 (18)
3.Panagoitis Kampouridis/Efstathios Papadopoulos (GRE) , 6, 8, 2, 4, 3
470 Women (15 boats) – 6 races
1.Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout (NED) 2, 3, 4, [16/OCS], 2, 1 (13)
2.Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark (GBR) 1, 1, 1, , 4, 7 (14)
3.Sophie Weguelin/ Sophie Ainsworth (GBR) 4, , 2, 4, 3, 6 (19)
Laser (74 boats)-6 races
1.David Wright (CAN) 1, 1, 1, , 1, 2 (6)
2.Paul Goodison (GBR) , 1, 1, 1, 3 (7)
3.Chris Dold (CAN) 2, 3, 3, 2, 2,  (12)
Finn (25 boats) – 6 races
1.Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla., USA) 1, 1, 1, , 1, 2 (6)
2.Jonas Hogh Christensen (DEN) 3, , 2, 3, 2, 1 (11)
3.Brendan Casey (AUS) 4, , 3, 1, 4, 5 (17)
RS: X Men (14 boats) – 6 races
1.Nick Dempsey (GBR) 1, 1, [15/OCS], 1, 1, 1 (5)
2.Elliot Carney (GBR) 2, 3, [15/OCS], 3, 2, 2 (12)
3.Mariano Reutemann (ARG) 3, , 1, 2, 4, 3 (13)
RS: X Women (12 boats) – 6 races
1. Demita Vega De Lille (MEX) 1, , 1, 2, 1, 1 (6)
2. Carolina Mendelblatt (POR) 3, 3, [13/OCS], 4, 3, 3 (16)
3. Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md., USA) 2, 1, 6, 6, [13/OCS], 2 (17)
Women's Match Racing
Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.)/Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham (Miami,
Fla.),/Alana O'Reilly (Charleston, SC) (USA) 10 wins-1 loss
Silja Lehtinen/Silja Kanerva/Mikaela Wulff (FIN) 9 wins-2 loss
Ekaterina Skudina/Elena Siuzeva/Irina Lotsmanova (RUS) 8 wins- 3 loss
Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.)/Molly O'Bryan (Stanford,
Calif.)/Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) (USA) 7 wins-4 loss
Renata Decnop/Gabriela Nicolino/Larissa Juk (BRA) 6 wins- 5 loss
Nicky Souter/Jessica Eastwell/Katie Spithill (AUS) 6 wins- 5 loss
Juliana Senfft/Fernanda Decnop/Luciana Kopschitz (BRA) 5 wins- 6 loss
Silke Hahlbrock/Maren Hahlbrock/Anlee Lukosch (GER) 5 wins- 6 loss
Rita Goncalves/Mariana Lobato/Diana Neves (POR) 4 win- 7 loss
Vesna Dekleva Paoli/Katarina Kersevan/Lena Koter (SLO) 3 wins-8 loss
Ru Wang/Pan Ting Ting/Li Xiaoni (CHN) 3 wins- 8 loss
Jinnie Gordon/Laurel Gordon-Taylor/Catherine Belange (CAN) 0 win- 0 loss
Group B (Continue racing tomorrrow)
Mandy Mulder/Merel Witteveen/Annemiek Bekkering (NED) 7wins- 2 loss
Olivia Price/Nina Curtis/Lucinda Whitty (AUS) 7 win- 3 loss
Claire Leroy/Elodie Bertrand/Marie Riou (FRA) 6 win- 3 loss
Tamara Echegoyen/Angela Pumariega/Sofia Toro (ESP) 6 wins- 3 loss
Lucy Macgregor/Annie Lush/Kate Macgregor (GBR) 5 wins- 3 loss
Renee Groeneveld/Annemiek Bes/Marcelien de Koning (NED) 5 wins- 3 loss
Julie Bossard/Pauline Chalaux/Pauline Courtois (FRA) 5 wins- 4 loss
Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wisc.)/Maggie Shea(Wilmette, Ill.)/Darby Smith
(Marblehead, Mass.)(USA) 4 wins- 6 loss
Genevieve Tulloch (Sausalito, Calif.)/Alice Manard Leonard (East Haven,
Conn.)/Jennifer Chamberlin (Washington,D.C.)(USA) 4 wins - 7 loss
Anna Kjellberg/Malin Kallstrom/Lotta Harrysson (SWE) 3 wins- 7 loss
Sharon Ferris-Choat/Barbara Kaars Sijpesteijn/Joanne Prokop (CAN) 2 win- 8
Martina Silva/ Ana LucA-a Silva/ MarA-a Trinidad Silva (ARG) 1 win- 8 loss