made a promising start to the second round of World Sailing’s 2018 World Cup
Series despite tricky and frustrating conditions in Miami.
breeze of around six knots greeted the British Sailing Team athletes as they
hit the waters of Biscayne Bay on Tuesday for the opening clashes of the Miami
is the first major test of 2018, a massive year for the British Sailing Team as
it works towards the Hempel Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark,
this summer, the first opportunity to qualify for Tokyo 2020.
More than 540
of the world’s best Olympic Classes sailors descended on Miami for the World
Cup, but they had to wait to get going after a lack of wind curtailed racing on
the opening morning.
When a few
extra puffs of wind finally filled in allowing seven of the ten Olympic classes
to get underway, the British contingent looked set on hitting the ground
running after a winter of hard training in Europe.
silver medallist Luke Patience and crew Chris Grube ended the first day in the
runners up spot in the men’s 470 fleet having finished second in the only race
of the day, while rising Laser star Elliot Hanson (pictured below) and 49er FX duo Sophie
Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth third overall in their respective fleets.
"It was a long day," said Patience, who first competed in this
regatta in 2006. "We waited many hours for one race but it's often like
that here in Miami. Some days are good and some days you wait a long time. It
was a good race in the end – tight, nose-to-tail for the whole fleet. Everyone
at the top of the fleet is here so it's going to be a tough week, but we’re
looking forward to it."
racers John Gimson and Anna Burnet (pictured top right) bounced back from a mistake in the opening
race that resulted in a DNF score to notch up two thirds, leaving them in
fourth overall after day one just one point off the podium. Although the breeze
was light it was enough to allow the Nacras to pop up onto their foils and
‘fly’ round the race track.
Laser European champion Nick Thompson lies in fifth place after two races. Just
one race in the women’s 470 sees Rio gold medallist Hannah Mills and her crew
Eilidh McIntyre start day two in 10th.
In the 49er
class, world champions Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell opened their
scorecards with a convincing win in the first race, but a 17th in
race two sees them go into the second day of competition in eighth overall.
lying on equal points with ninth-placed teammates Jack Hawkins and Christopher
Thomas, while James Peters and Fynn Sterritt sit in 15th, two places
above Youth America’s Cup winners Chris Taylor and Sam Batten.
eventually played ball for two races – it was really tricky out there so we
were happy with a one in the first, and the second wasn’t too bad,” Fletcher
said. “We didn’t have the best start in the second race, and that made the
Emma Wilson is the top ranked Brit in the women's RS:X fleet, sitting in
sixth. A lack of wind on the Finn, RS:X Men’s and Laser Radial course areas
means they will have to wait until later today to start their campaigns.
Competition at the 2018 World Cup
Series in Miami, USA, continues on Wednesday January 24 and culminates in medal
racing on Saturday 27 January for the 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17, RS:X Men’s and
RS:X Women’s events, and on Sunday 28 January for the Laser, Laser Radial, 470
Men, 470 Women and Finn.
For all the latest news from the British Sailing
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