Sunday, 31 January 2010
Bruno Jourden, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary (FRA), foreground, in the SONAR fleet. Image copyright Rolex/Dan Nerney.
by Marni Lane
After five days of racing on Biscayne Bay, gold, silver and bronze medalists were determined today in three Paralympic classes at US SAILING’s 2010 Rolex Miami OCR, the second of seven stops of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup 2009-2010. USA racked up the most medals with four, followed by Canada with two and one apiece for Norway, Great Britain and The Netherlands. Also determined after five days of racing were the Olympic class sailors (four teams from women’s match racing and top-ten finishers from fleet racing in nine other classes) who have earned a coveted spot in tomorrow’s final medal races.
Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout (NED) in the 470 Women's class. Image copyright Rolex/Dan Nerney.
The Rolex Miami OCR, which this year hosted 448 teams (633 athletes) from 45 nations, is one of the world’s most competitive regattas for those hoping to claim a sailing berth at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and as such it offers hefty bragging rights for podium finishers as well as critical points on the Sailing World Cup circuit and for certain national team designations and rankings.
Paul Tingley (CAN): Gold medallist in 2.4mR. Image copyright Rolex/Dan Nerney.
Canada’s Paul Tingley secured the first gold of the regatta when his 2.4mR class sailed two back-to-back races (on the staggered-start schedule) in light air. Going into today, he was in the bronze medal position, with Thierry Schmitter (NED) leading and John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wis.,USA) in silver position, so he decided to get gutsy.
“I wasn’t going to do it by not taking a risk,” said Tingley, who, with a handful of others, chose the right-hand side of the course five minutes into the first race. “I saw them (NED) on the pin end of the start line and I was at the committee boat; I knew I would benefit if the wind went right, and to my good fortune it did, and I got the win.” Meanwhile Schmitter finished ninth, and when Tingley stuck close to him in the second race for a third-place finish to Schmitter’s second, it was game over. “The last race was mine to lose, so I knew I had to stay in Thierry’s zip code, so to say.”
2.4mR sailor Helena Lucas (GBR). Image copyright Rolex/Dan Nerney.
When asked if he was happy with silver, Schmitter said with a gracious smile, “No and yes. Going into this morning I was first and now I’m second. When I went left with John Ruf (who claimed bronze in the end), that was our death. But it has been tight all week-- John led one day, Paul one day, me one day—it’s not like there was one guy through it all who was the leader.”
2.4mR sailor John Ruf (USA). Image copyright Rolex/Dan Nerney.
Tingley won a 2.4mR gold medal at the 2008 Paralympics and a Sonar bronze in 2000. He finished third at the most recent 2.4mR Worlds, which hosted over 100 boats (sailed by both disabled and able-bodied sailors) and was won by Ruf. The 2.4mR is hugely popular because of its compact size--about 14 feet long (4.2 metres)--and the fact that it requires little physical exertion to sail. Its skipper remains seated, looking forward at all times with the majority of his body below the waterline, and has the choice of steering it by foot pedal or by “joy stick,” making it an equal platform for sailors with varying physical restrictions.
Final day of racing in the SKUD 18 class. Image copyright Rolex/Dan Nerney.
US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) members Scott Whitman (Brick, N.J.) and Julia Dorsett (Boca Raton, Fla./ West Chester, Pa.) continued their winning streak by clinching the gold medal with a race to spare today. USA’s SKUD newcomers, Jen French (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and JP Creignou (St. Petersburg, Fla.) won a silver medal, which was impressive considering this is only the second event they’ve sailed together. French and Creignou won both races today, but in the first race, they were called OCS for starting prematurely. Dorsett and Whitman’s second became a first, which gave them the win. They chose not to sail the last race out of fairness to the rest of the fleet. The Canadian team of John McRoberts and Brenda Hopkins rounded out the fleet with a bronze medal after posting a 2-2 today.
The race itself was a game of catch-up for Dorsett and Whitman who at first didn’t know whether or not they were early at the start. To be cautious, they decided to restart to exonerate themselves. As they tried to catch up with the fleet, they hit another snag when they hooked a lobster pot, crash gybed and freed themselves off the line. They ended up rounding the mark in third, caught up with the Canadian team and fought them downwind to the finish.
“We pinned them out to the other side, had the leeward advantage and gybed back and beat them,” said Whitman. He and Dorsett have been a dominant force in the SKUD-18 over the last year, winning Rolex Miami OCR and Sail for Gold in Weymouth, England, the venue of the 2012 Paralympic Games. Their 2012 Paralympic campaign is in full force, as they plan to compete in as many national and international events as they can.
John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas (GBR) and John Twomey,Juan Gil-Carlos/Robert Rodriguez (IRL) in the Somar class. Image copyright Rolex/Dan Nerney.
Norway’s Sonar team of Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Per Eugen Kristiansen and Marie Solberg grabbed gold after a low-scoring week littered with bullets, including today’s win in the last race. GBR’s John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas finished the event second overall, and USSTAG’s Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendall (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Me.) secured silver with a 2-2 Friday.
“It’s fantastic,” said Wang-Hansen of his team’s victory. “We came here hoping for a medal. Everything went smoothly … We had a little bit of luck. We tacked on the shifts and suddenly we were up front.”
This is the second year in a row he won the Sonar event at Rolex Miami OCR, but last year he crewed for the British team. The common denominator was the boat itself, a Sonar chartered from Team Paradise. “It’s a fast boat,” he said. “It was good upwind and fantastic downwind. In the last race today, we rounded fourth and were first at the bottom.”
He and his new team plan to return next year to defend their title as they move forward in their Paralympic campaign for a spot on Norway’s Paralympic Team in 2012.
U.S. skipper Doerr was pleased with his new team’s performance this week, after getting off to a slower start on the first day of racing. “Today we stayed very patient,” he said. “We tried to wait for our opportunities to attack. Coming from behind is very challenging -- especially when the guys you need to beat are in front of you.”
Olympic Classes Gear Up for Medal Races
470 Men sailors Nic Asher and Elliot Willis (GBR). Image copyright Rolex/Dan Nerney.
Going into tomorrow’s medal races for the Olympic classes, both Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla., USA) and Nick Thompson (GBR), in the Laser Radial and Laser classes, respectively, are sitting pretty. The rules of Olympic sailing require them to race, but mathematically they have the gold wrapped up.
For others, it’s a do-or-die situation. The USA’s Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.) with crew Molly Vandemoer (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) and GBR’s Lucy Macgregor, with crew Annie Lush and Ally Martin, will sail a first-to-three points match racing series that will determine gold and silver medals, while Australia’s Nicky Souter/Stacey Jackson/Ray Martin and France’s Claire Leroy/Marie Riou/Elodie Bertrand will sail off for bronze in the petit-finals.
The remaining Olympic classes get only one chance--a 30- to 40-minute race—to make or break their claim to a podium position. Emulating the Olympic format, the medal race counts double points and cannot be counted as the one allowed discard race when it is added to a sailor’s score line from the rest of the series.
Melleby, Eivind Pedersen, Petter Morland (NOR) in the Star. Image copyright Rolex/Dan Nerney.
In the Finn class, GBR’s Ed Wright must finish eighth or better to take the gold, and only his Skandia Team GBR teammate Giles Scott has a shot at blocking him. Wright is not worried, however. “He’ll have a lot on, because Zach (Railey, from Clearwater, Fla., USA) will be after him. That’s a nice cushion going into the medal race.” Railey is currently in bronze medal position behind Scott. Wright took over the lead in the 35-boat fleet two days ago and yesterday extended it by 12 points over Scott. Today, after two races, 14 points stand between them.
“I’ve been doing a lot of development, so I’m happy with my gear,” said Wright, who almost cancelled coming to the regatta because of a severe foot injury inflicted by a power boat prop. “Luckily it was just the flesh; sailing is a lot easier than walking, especially in this light air since I don’t have to hike as hard.” Nevertheless, he hopes for stronger winds tomorrow. “That way I can stretch my legs a little.”
US SAILING’s 2010 Rolex Miami OCR
2.4mR (28 boats) – 10 races
Paul Tingley (CAN), 5-5-7-2-1-1-4-(9)-1-3, 29
Thierry Schmitter (NED), 1-3-6-3-2-4-(29/DSQ)-2-9-2, 32
John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wis.,USA), 2-1-2-10-3-6-1-(11)-8-1, 34
49er (36 boats) – 15 races
1. Manu Dyen/Stephane Christidis (FRA), 2-6-3-7-9-1-(15)-6-1-10-(10/OCS/RDG)-10-3-4-(37/OCS), 87
2. Nico LM Delle Karth/Nikolaus Leopold Resch (AUT), 3-5-4-14-11-8-3-5-7-14-(20)-5-2-2-15, 98
3. Simon Karstoft/Jonathon Bay (DEN), 10-23-2-5-6-3-12-14-9-3-3-3-1-(37/BFD)-8,102
Finn (37 boats) – 10 races
1. Edward Wright (GBR), 1-2-(19)-1-4-1-1-3-5-2, 20
2. Giles Scott (GBR), 2-7-1-3-3-3-(8)-6-2-7, 34
3. Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fl., USA), 4-5-4-4-1-5-4-5-9-(36/DNS), 41
Bryony Shaw (GBR) in RS:X Women. Image copyright Rolex/Dan Nerney.
RS:X Men (37 boats) – 8 races
1. Dorian Rijsselberghe (NED), 1-1-2-7-1-5-(9)-4, 21
2. Ivan Pastor (ESP), 6-5-4-1-2-3-2-(12), 23
3. Nimrod Mashiah (ISR), 2-(38/DNF)-6-6-4-14-1-3, 37
RS:X Women (25 boats) – 8 races
1. Blanca Manchon (ESP), 1-1-(10)-3-2-1-4-1, 13
2. Marina Alabau (ESP), 2-2-(4)-2-4-2-1-3, 16
3. Charline Picon (FRA), 3-3-1-(5)-1-4-3-5, 20
Star (26 boats) – 10 races
1. Andy Horton/James Lyne (Burlington, Vt., USA/Granville, Vt., USA), 2-1-3-1-4-5-(25/OCS)-1-6-4, 27
2. Eivind Melleby/Petter Morland Pederson (NOR), 1-11-2-(20)-1-1-2-2-8-2, 30
3. Mark Mendelblatt/John Von Schwarz (St. Petersburg, Fl., USA/Annapolis, Md., USA), 8-8-1-11-(25/OCS)-2-1-5-2-3, 41
Laser Radial (57 boats) – 10 races
1. Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla., USA), 1-1-4-10-3-9-3-1-(58/BFD)-1, 33
2. Alicia Cebrian (ESP), (58/BFD)-2-19-5-1-4-4-5-20-8, 68
3. Alison Young (GBR), 3-11-16-1-8-(25)-11-9-13-24, 96
Day 4 of racing in the Laser class. Image copyright Rolex/Dan Nerney.
Laser (104 boats)-10 races
1. Nick Thompson (GBR), 1-6-1-1-(23)-13-1-1-1-3, 28
2. Kyle Rogachenko (GBR), 12-9-9-15-9-3-10-4-(27)-72
3. Jean-Baptiste Bernaz (FRA), 2-11-14-11-1-3-8-(25)-16-8,74
Elliott 6m (24 boats)-
Lucy Macgregor/Annie Lush/Ally Martin (GBR) defeats Claire Leroy/Marie Riou/Elodie Bertrand (FRA)3-0
Anna Tunnicliffe(/Molly Vandemoer/Debbie Capozzi (Plantation, Fla., USA/Palo Alto, Calif., USA/(Bayport, N.Y., USA) (USA) defeats Nicky Souter/Stacey Jackson/Ray Martin (AUS) 3-2
Sonar (9 boats) – 10 races
1. Aleksander Wang-Hansen/Per Eugen Kristiansen/Marie Solberg (NOR), 1-4-1-1-3-1-1-3-(7)-1, 16
2. John Robertson/Hannah Stodel/Steve Thomas (GBR), 3-3-2-6-1-2-2-1-(8)-4, 24
3. Rick Doerr/Brad Kendall/Hugh Freund (Clifton, NJ. , USA/Tampa, Fla., USA/South Freeport, Me., USA), 4-(8)-4-4-4-3-3-2-2-2, 28
Day 4 in the Laser class with leader Nick Thompson (GBR). Image copyright Rolex/Dan Nerney.
470 Men (34 boats) – 10 races
1. Gideon Kliger/Eran Sela (ISR), 2-6-4-6-12-(13)-2-13-6-9, 60
2. Mathew Belcher/Malcolm Page (AUS), 3-(19)-10-18-5-2-1-17-2-3, 61
3. Anton Dahlberg/Sebastian A-stling (SWE), 7-4-2-8-11-(19)-4-4-16-5, 61
470 Women (26 boats) – 10 races
1. Henriette Koch/Lene Sommer (DEN), 8-4-5-6-1-(10)-2-1-2-3, 32
2. Ingrid Petitjean/Nadege Douroux (FRA), 10-2-1-(11)-5-2-1-2-4-6, 33
3. Amanda Clark/Sarah Chin (Shelter Island Heights, Ny.,USA/Hoboken N.J., USA), 7-6-2-1-3-1-(13)-3-3-8, 34
470 Women sailors Amanda Clark and Sarah Chin (USA). Image copyright Rolex/Dan Nerney.
SKUD-18 (7 boats)-10 races
1. Scott Whitman/Julia Dorsett (Brick, N.J., USA/Boca Raton, Fla., USA), 1-3-1-1-1-2-2-2-1-(8/BNF), 14
2. Jennifer French/Jean-Paul Creignou (St. Petersburg, Fla., USA/St. Petersburg, Fla., USA), 2-2-3-4-6-1-1-1-(8/OCS)-1, 21
3. John McRoberts/Brenda Hopkin (CAN), 3-4-2-2-3-4-(6)-4-2-2, 26
Rolex Miami OCR