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ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP: Rolex Miami OCR Update – Champions Crowned in Ten Olympic Classes

ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP: Rolex Miami OCR Update – Champions Crowned in Ten Olympic Classes

01/28/12

Lijia Xu -Gold Medalist - Laser Radial

In the lightest breezes yet over six days of sailing on Biscayne Bay, ten Olympic classes racing in US Sailing’s Rolex Miami OCR still managed to put on quite a show as they competed in their final medal races to determine gold, silver and bronze winners.  Following the same format as the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics, the event also hosted three Paralympic classes (which determined medal winners yesterday) and a total of 529 sailors from 41 countries.

Lijia Xu, China’s Laser Radial Olympic Bronze Medalist from 2008 and a 2006 World Champion, won the gold here after finishing eighth today to Marit Bouwmeester’s (NED) ninth, which was good for silver.

“It was very competitive,” said Xu, who positioned herself as close as possible to Bouwmeester today in order to control her. “We have the medalists from the 2011 World Championships in Perth and many other good sailors from all around the world.”  The Perth champions are Bouwmeester, Belgium’s Evi Van Acker, and the USA’s Paige Railey, and while Van Acker finished fourth today to take the bronze medal, Railey won the race.  “Weymouth (where the Olympic Sailing Regatta will take place) could be light to medium breeze, so it is good practice,” added Xu.

To secure the gold in 470 Women’s, Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout (NED), who are two-time World Champions and heading to the Olympic Games, had to make top-six in today’s medal race and ended up taking third. “It was very tricky and very light,” said Westerhof, adding that waves from spectator boats sometimes stopped them in their tracks.  After day two, Westerhof/Berkhout had jumped ahead of Great Britain’s Hannah Mills and Saskia Clarke, who took the silver today after finishing fourth.  “The British spilled some points on one day, and we kept sailing very strong,” said Westerhof.  The bronze was won by Sophie Weguelin/Sophie Ainsworth (GBR) after they won today’s race.

Lisa Westerhof & Lobke Berkhout (NED) - Gold - Women's 470

Lucy Macgregor/Annie Lush/ Kate Macgregor (GBR) won the gold medal in Women’s Match Racing with a 3-1 win over Olivia Price/Nina Curtis/Lucinda Whitty (AUS), who had to settle for silver after their fates were sealed in the final match of their first-to-three flight.   The race looked to be going the Aussies’ way when GBR lagged as much as 12 boat lengths behind during the first lap of the twice-around course.  Their momentum was halted, however, on the second upwind leg when they hit some major waves and tried to tack with too little speed while GBR closed the gap.  Back in the game, GBR sailed to a lead that exchanged mouse for cat, and with plenty of further batting around, proved that match racing is one of the most exciting Olympic disciplines to watch.

Taking bronze in the Petit Finals after battling with Australia’s Olivia Price/Nina Curtis/Lucinda Whitty was the USA’s Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.)/Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham (Miami, Fla.)/Alana O’Reilly (Charleston, S.C.).

Demita Vega De Lille (MEX) : RS-X Women

Demita Vega De Lille (MEX) considers her gold medal here in RS:X Women’s another notch in the harness she wears while pursuing her Olympic dreams.“This event will not give me any points for the Olympic Games, but it is very good for me for the training,” said Vega De Lille, who has not yet made her country’s Olympic Team.  “I am very happy to be here, and I hope to qualify in Spain at the World Championships.”

Taking the silver was Farrah Hall (USA), who has won the right among fellow teammates to go to the Olympic Games but has yet to qualify her country, while winning bronze was Dominique Vallee (CAN).

Laser Radial (60 boats) – 10 races + Medal Race
Gold: Lijia Xu (CHN) 5, [35], 2, 1, 6, 2, 1, 2, 5, 2, 16 (42)
Silver: Marit Bouwmeester (NED) 1, 2, 1, 5, [9], 6, 7, 3, 2, 5, 18 (50)
Bronze: Evi Van Acker (BEL) 4, [18], 10, 2, 10, 9, 2, 1, 1, 6, 8 (53)

470 Women (15 boats) – 10 races + Medal Race
Gold:Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout (NED) 2, 3, 5, [OCS], 2, 1, 5, 4, 1, 1,
6 (30)
Silver:Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark (GBR) 1, 1, 1, 7, 4, 7, [OCS], 2, 6, 7, 8
(44)
Bronze:Sophie Weguelin/Sophie Ainsworth (GBR) 4, 10, 2, 4, 3, 6, [OCS], 9,
7, 6, 2 (53)

RS: X Women (12 boats) – 10 races + Medal Race
Gold:Demita Vega De Lille (MEX)  1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, [3], 1, 1, 4 (16)
Silver:Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md., USA) 2, 1, 6, 6, [OCS], 2, 1, 4, 2, 3,
10 (37)
Bronze:Dominique Vallee (CAN) 5, 5, 2, 3, 2, 5, 6, [7], 5, 5, 2 (40)

Women’s Match Racing
Gold:Lucy Macgregor/Annie Lush/ Kate Macgregor (GBR)
Silver:Olivia Price/Nina Curtis/Lucinda Whitty (AUS)
Bronze:Sally Barkow (Nashotah, WI., USA)/ Alana O’Reilly (Charleston SC,
USA)/ Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham (Miami Beach FL, USA) (USA)

**********************************************************************************************

01/27/12

SALLY BARKOW/ELIZABETH KRATZIG-BURNHAM/ALANA O'REILLY (USA)

In Women’s Match Racing, Australia’s Olivia Price/Nina Curtis/Lucinda Whitty were the first to advance to tomorrow’s finals after they defeated Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.)/Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham (Miami, Fla.)/Alana O’Reilly (Charleston, S.C.) 3–1 in today’s first semifinals match. Then in the second match, Lucy Macgregor/Annie Lush/ Kate Macgregor (GBR), like they did yesterday, became entangled in a do-or-die match to advance to the finals. They prevailed against Silja Lehtinen/Silja Kanerva/Mikaela Wulff (FIN) winning the fifth race in the first-to-three flight.

Tomorrow the Macgregor team will face the young Australian team in the finals while the Finns will tip off with USA in the Petit Finals for bronze.

The only sailor here with a perfect score, Nick Dempsey (GBR) has won nine of his ten races on the RS:X windsurfing course and discarded an OCS (“on the course side” at the start) in race three as his worst finish. “Everything is going pretty well,” said Dempsey, who has already qualified for the Olympic Games. “I’m really here for a training regatta, really trying to make the most of the light winds.”

Other sailors maintaining their leads from yesterday and seemingly favored for tomorrow’s top-ten medal races were Nico Karth/Nikolaus Resch (AUT) in 49ers, Lijia Xu (CHN) in Laser Radial, Mathew Belcher/Malcolm Page (AUS) in 470 Men, Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout (NED) in 470 Women, Zach Railey (USA) in Finn, Nick Dempsey (GBR) in RS:X Men and Demita Vega De Lille (MEX) in RS:X Women

Women’s Match Racing
Semi Final
Olivia Price/Nina Curtis/Lucinda Whitty (AUS) defeats Sally Barkow
(Nashotah, WI., USA)/ Alana O’Reilly (Charleston SC, USA)/ Elizabeth
Kratzig-Burnham (Miami Beach FL, USA); 3-1

Semi Final
Lucy Macgregor/Annie Lush/ Kate Macgregor (GBR) defeats Silja
Lehtinen/Silja Kanerva/Mikaela Wulff (FIN); 3-2

Laser Radial (60 boats) – 10 races
1. Lijia Xu (CHN) 5, [35], 2, 1, 6, 2, 1, 2, 5, 2 (26)
2. Marit Bouwmeester (NED) 1, 2, 1, 5, [9], 6, 7, 3, 2, 5 (32)
3. Evi Van Acker (BEL) 4, [18], 10, 2, 10, 9, 2, 1, 1, 6 (45)

470 Women (15 boats) – 10 races
1. Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout (NED) 2, 3, 5, [OCS], 2, 1, 5, 4, 1, 1
(24)
2. Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark (GBR) 1, 1, 1, 7, 4, 7, [OCS], 2, 6, 7 (36)
3. Maria Fernanda Sesto/Consuelo Monsegur (ARG) 3, 7, 8, [11], 1, 9, 2, 1,
4, 3 (38)

*****************************************************************************************

01/26/12

Down to the Wire

01/26/12

WOMEN'S MATCH RACING: NNA TUNNICLIFFE/MOLLY O'BRYAN/DEBBIE CAPOZZI (USA) (Photo By: Rolex / Daniel Forster)

In Women’s Match Racing, Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.), who sails with Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham (Miami, Fla.) and Alana O’Reilly (Charleston, S.C.), was the first to advance to the semifinals today after 24 teams, split into Groups A and B, completed their single elimination quarterfinal rounds. (Group B had to finished their second of two round-robin series this morning to determine the top-four teams that would progress to today’s semifinals with the top four from Group A, who were named yesterday.)

Barkow and crew, who had only lost one match in the 11-race series that led up to today, lost no matches in their first-to-three-race quarterfinals flight against Tamara Echegoyen/Angela Pumariega/Sofia Toro (ESP).  Similarly, no matches were lost by Australia’s Olivia Price/Nina Curtis/Lucinda Whitty and Finland’s Silja Lehtinen/Silja Kanerva/Mikaela Wulff, and with all three teams secured with berths in tomorrow’s four-team semifinals, all attention was turned to the last flight of the day between the USA’s Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.)/Molly O’Bryan Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.)/Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) and Great Britain’s Lucy Macgregor/Annie Lush/Kate Macgregor.  There could not have been a better match made in heaven, since both teams were medalists (USA gold, GBR silver) at the recent ISAF Worlds in Perth.

This time, it was Macgregor’s team that toppled Tunnicliffe’s, but only after the former trailed 2-1, then “stayed alive” by winning the third match for a tied score of 2-2, and then won the final race that was needed to decide who advanced.

“We didn’t start out with a brilliant regatta,” said Macgregor’s crew Annie Lush after racing today.  “We haven’t been winning everything straight out, and we’ve also made a lot of mistakes, but it has been good to learn from, and it’s really nice to get through the quarter-finals.  It is always a massive sign of relief because it’s such a big cut, and everyone racing in the quarters is good.  Anna Tunnicliffe is the World Champion, and we met her in the quarters.  It’s a really tough stage and a relief to get through it. “

IN FIRST PLACE, DAY FOUR, LIJIA XU (CHN), LASER RADIAL (Photo By: Rolex / Daniel Forster)

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.

US SAILING’s 2012 Rolex Miami OCR

Top-three Finishes in each discipline

Day 4

Laser Radial (60 boats) – 8 races
1.Lijia Xu (CHN) 5, [35], 2, 1, 6, 2, 1, 2 (19)
2.Marit Bouwmeester (NED) 1, 2, 1, 5, [9], 6, 7, 3 (25)
3.Evi Van Acker (BEL) 4, [18], 10, 2, 10, 9, 2, 1 (38)

470 Women (15 boats) – 8 races
1. Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout (NED) 2, 3, 5, [OCS], 2, 1, 5, 4 (22)
2. Hannah Mills/Saskia Clark (GBR) 1, 1, 1, 7, 4, 7, [OCS], 2 (23)
3. Maria Fernanda Sesto/Consuelo Monsegur (ARG) 3, 7, 8, [11], 1, 9, 2, 1
(31)

RS: X Women (12 boats) – 6 races
1. Demita Vega De Lille (MEX)  1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, [3] (10)
2. Carolina Mendelblatt (POR) 3, 3, [OCS], 4, 3, 3, 4, 1 (21)
3. Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md., USA)  2, 1, 6, 6, [OCS], 2, 1, 4 (22)

Women’s Match Racing
TOP FOUR ADVANCING TO SEMIFINALS
Sally Barkow (Nashotah, WI., USA)/ Alana O’Reilly (Charleston SC, USA)/
Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham (Miami Beach FL, USA) 3 wins- 0 losses
Silja Lehtinen/Silja Kanerva/Mikaela Wulff (FIN) 3 wins- 0 losses
Olivia Price/Nina Curtis/Lucinda Whitty (AUS) 3 wins- 0 losses
Lucy Macgregor/Annie Lush/ Kate Macgregor (GBR) 3 wins- 2 losses

****************************************************************************

Women's Match Racing - Team Tunnicliffe - gold - Daniel Carson

The ISAF Sailing World Cup resumes on 22 January 2012 when US Sailing’s Rolex Miami OCR returns to the waters of Biscayne Bay.

The second of seven ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas, the Rolex Miami OCR will bring together some of the world’s best sailors in all of the Olympic events for the first time since the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.

Twenty five Women’s Match Racing Crews will start their Sailing World Cup campaign in Miami, after the competition was not featured in Melbourne. Nine of the World’s top ten Women’s Match Racers will compete as they look to get their campaign off to a good start.

World #1, Anna Tunnicliffe (USA), will be the skipper to beat in Miami after her dominating performance at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships. The ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year crushed Lucy Macgregor 4-0 in the final of the competition to claim the Women’s Match Racing gold.

Tunnicliffe’s rivals for the American Match Racing Olympic spot Sally Barkow, Stephanie Roble and Genevieve Tulloch will all sail in Miami ahead of their qualification event at Weymouth and Portland, Great Britain from 4-9 May 2012.

Australia’s Olivia Price and Nicky Souter will continue their battle for Australian Olympic selection after very little separated them at Perth 2011.

Immediately after the Rolex Miami OCR the 2012 Women’s Match Racing International Country Olympic Qualifying Regatta takes place on Biscayne Bay. Crews from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Spain, Finland, Germany and Slovenia will get valuable competitive action time to prepare for the regatta where three places are up for grabs.

In the Laser Radial Lijia Xu (CHN) will look to continue her good start to her Sailing World Cup campaign after victory at Sail Melbourne. The World #42 won Sail Melbourne after a dominating display following seven top three finishes during the regatta in the competitive 25-boat fleet. But the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist and former Laser Radial World Champion will find Miami a harder nut to crack with 59 sailors registered to compete.

Among the fleet is World #1 Evi Van Acker (BEL), Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships Laser Radial gold medallist Marit Bouwmeester and Perth 2011 bronze medallist and winner of the 2011 Rolex Miami OCR Paige Railey (USA).

Bouwmeester is going for a third consecutive ISAF Sailing World Cup title after a six point victory over Veronika Fenclova (CZE) in 2009-2010 and a one point win over Van Acker in 2010-2011. But after one regatta Bouwmeester sits in 15th position with Xu leading the way followed by Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) and Krystal Weir (AUS).

With 81 entries the Laser fleet is the largest at the Rolex Miami OCR. World #4 Bruno Fontes (BRA) is the highest ranked sailor competing World #5 Julio Alsogaray (ARG) and Beijing Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison (GBR) set to join him on the starting line.

In the Men’s RS:X 14 sailors will compete for ISAF Sailing World Cup points with last year’s World Cup runner up Nick Dempsey (GBR) set to line up. And in the Women’s fleet, 13 windsurfers will compete.

The Finn, Star, Men’s 470, Women’s 470 and 49er preview will be released on Wednesday.

For more information on the ISAF Sailing World Cup click here.

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