With the second of six days of racing completed at World Cup Series Miami 2017, Presented by Sunbrella (January 22-29, 2017) American sailors are in the top ten in seven of ten classes at North America’s premier Olympic-class regatta. After a lengthy postponement on shore while race officials waited for wind, the patience of over 450 of the world’s best sailors was rewarded with ideal racing conditions in the afternoon.
The US Sailing Team’s Erika Reineke (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) moved up nine spots to fourth overall in the Laser Radial after recording finishes of six, nine in two races. “I’ll definitely take my scores today,” said Reineke, the only four-time U.S. College Singlehanded National Champion in history, who has been the top American finisher at the Laser Radial Worlds in three of the past five years. “Some of the top girls in our fleet are still taking time off after the Olympics, but it’s still a tough group here this week. Today I just focused on increasing my awareness on the starting line, and being confident in where I was putting my boat.”
There are multiple Reinekes competing in Miami in 2017, with Erika’s talented younger sister Sophia also keen to race with the best this week in the Laser Radial. “Yeah, I call Sophia ‘The Critter,’ and I’m super proud of her,” said Reineke. “It’s great having her here at the top level, and she just did a great job at the Youth World Championship in December. We’re sisters, but we’re also a team. I’m proud of how driven she is, and how she cares about the sport.” The younger Reineke is one of many American athletes in Miami this week who have received coaching and support from US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program (ODP) initiative, which is entering its third year of operation in 2017.
Laser athlete and 2016 Olympian Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) bounced back after an inconsistent first day, and with a five, eleven moved into sixth place overall after four races. “Today was mostly about staying clear of other boats on the racecourse, and focusing on your own speed,” said Buckingham. “We have a lot of the top guys in the world here this week, and I was much happier with my day today.”
Olympian Louisa Chafee (Warwick, R.I.) is sailing this week with a new helm, 2014 Youth Worlds silver medalist Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.). Despite a short lead up period, the duo has already made an impression and currently sits in seventh overall in the Nacra 17 mixed multihull. “Today was definitely a pretty good day. We’ve only been in the boat for nine days together, though we have some other things going for us,” said Gibbs. “It’s awesome to sail with Louisa, who went to Rio 2016, and who does a great job with the boat handling. And even though it’s my first Nacra 17 event, the tactics are pretty similar to the foiling kite racing that I’ve done. I’m just here trying this out, but the plans underway to turn the Nacra 17 into a foiling class are pretty appealing to me.”
In the Men’s 470, U.S. Olympians and World Cup Series Miami defending champions Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) had a strong day, recording a three, five to jump from the mid teens into seventh overall. “Miami is without a doubt one of my favorite places to sail,” said the experienced McNay, who will compete at four consecutive Olympic Games if he qualifies for Tokyo 2020. “The breeze is generally excellent, and we have warm water and breeze to enjoy. It definitely has the best weather of any of the major events, and I love competing at home in the U.S.”
Six days of racing for the ten Olympic classes are scheduled to take place from January 24-29, with medal races scheduled for Saturday, January 28 and Sunday, January 29. Additionally, Sailing World Cup Miami 2017 will feature the debut of the Regatta Park Fan Zone, a new effort to bring as much sailing action as possible to fans watching from shore.
Spectators will get to watch live TV coverage on a large video display, with an experienced commentary team led by U.S. Olympian and 2005 Sailing World Cup Miami champion Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis). The medal race video feed will also be available online on Saturday and Sunday on World Sailing’s Facebook and YouTube Channels.
Notable US Standings: Day 2
Women’s Laser Radial:
• 4th overall, Erika Reineke (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)
• 6th overall, Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif., Rio 2016 Olympian)
• 6th overall, Trevor Burd (Marblehead, Mass) sailing with Fred Strammer (Nokomis, Fla.)
• 6th overall, Luke Muller (Ft. Pierce, Fla.)
• 7th overall, Louisa Chafee (Warwick, R.I., Rio 2016 U.S. Olympian) sailing with Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Fla.)
• 10th overall, Ian Liberty (Colts Neck, N.J.) and Carolina Mendelblatt (Miami, Fla.)
• 7th overall, Stu McNay (Providence, R.I., Rio 2016 U.S. Olympian) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla., Rio 2016 U.S. Olympian)
• 8th overall, Atlantic Brugman (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Nora Brugman (Palo Alto, Calif.)
• 11th overall, Steph Roble (East Troy, Wisc.) and Maggie Shea (Chicago, Ill.)
• 17th overall, Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md., London 2012 U.S. Olympian)
• 26th overall, Pedro Pascual (West Palm Beach, Fla., Rio 2016 U.S. Olympian)