It was "one race, one chance" today at US SAILING's 2010 Rolex Miami OCR, the second of seven stops of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup 2009-2010. It was now the turn for racers in the RS:X Olympic class to claim podium positions, but the plot came with a twist. Just as will happen at the Olympics in 2012, only the top-ten finishers--determined after five days of fleet racing--earned the right to sail in today's single medal race for each class.
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 2012 Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls. As such, each nation's medal tally is closely watched; USA had the most medals with 10, followed by Great Britain with six, France with five and Spain with four.
Dorian Van Rijsselberghe [NED], who won here last year watched Spain's Ivan Pastor most closely in his play to win the gold. With a short 500-meter windward leg, Rijsselberghe's entire race took less than 30 minutes to complete. As he tells it, he was next to Pastor at the start boat, and in the beginning Pastor was controlling him. "But the more we were going the more I got control," said Rijsselberghe, "just by speed and hard work." Then it was the tacking game. "My goal was first to get rid of him to be sure he was not in front, then start racing others."
The light 7-9 knot breezes were typical of "pumping conditions" that have prevailed here for the windsurfers and continually tested their physical strength. "In these conditions you have a maximum heart rate of 4-5 times normal, and you have to get 'over the hump,' as we say and get up on a plane. Today there was not a lot of wind, but just enough to have a nice race." Pastor took the silver, while France's Julien Bontemps won the bronze.
In RS:X Women's , the battle between Spanish teammates Marina Alabau, the current RS:X World champion, and Blanca Manchon, yesterday's leader, wound up with Alabau snatching gold and Manchon settling for silver. "I was worried for the French as well at the start," said Alabau, "but it was me who rolled Blanca, and she had to tack to the wrong side. I was more concentrated on not losing second, but thinking maybe to get a first. By the first mark, I was second behind Laura (Linares of Italy), and I just had to keep my position."
Linares, who won today's race, took the bronze and epitomizes the up-and-coming youth contingent at this regatta. Coming into today in fourth, the 19-year-old said, "I was determined more than in any other of the races. I was calm; I believed in myself. I just finished a youth period and now I am not anymore a youth, so I am entering another period where it will be my job to be a professional sailor trying for the Olympics."
"Not only did we have terrific racing this week by the best sailors in the world," said Gary Bodie (Hampton, Va.), Regatta Co-Chairperson, "but also we had the best, most qualified group of volunteers we've ever had. They worked tirelessly to run a superb event."
Medals were awarded tonight to the top three boats in each Olympic and Paralympic event at a ceremony held at Coral Reef Yacht Club.
For results and photos, visit http://rmocr.ussailing.org. Video highlights, produced by T2Productions, air nightly through Saturday and can be viewed on the event web site. Fans can also visit the Facebook fan page and Twitter page.
About US SAILING's 2010 Rolex Miami OCR
Established in 1990 by US SAILING, the Rolex Miami OCR annually draws elite sailors, including Olympic and Paralympic medalists and hopefuls from around the world. This is the second of seven events in the 2010 International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup circuit. The USA has the largest contingent of sailors with 169, followed by Canada (83), France (46), Great Britain (41), The Netherlands (24), Germany (23), Denmark (18), and Sweden (18). Medals will be awarded to the top three boats in each Olympic and Paralympic event on Saturday, January 30.
The Rolex Miami OCR hosts the same 10 Olympic and three Paralympic classes chosen for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Competitions. At the same time, it closely replicates the format and feel of what sailors can expect at those regattas. The classes 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 Elliott 6m (women), 2.4mR (open, able and disabled), SKUD18 (mixed, disabled) and Sonar (open, disabled).
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, the University of Miami Hospital will provide on-site medical care during the event.
In addition to title sponsor Rolex Watch U.S.A., US SAILING's 2010 Rolex Miami OCR is also sponsored by AlphaGraphics, Sperry Top-Sider, Atlantis WeatherGear, Harken, Team McLube, and the University of Miami Hospital.
About the ISAF Sailing World Cup
The ISAF Sailing World Cup is an annual series that brings together the existing major events on the Olympic and Paralympic sailing circuits, starting in Australia (Sail Melbourne) in December before moving to the U.S. (US Sailing's Rolex Miami OCR) in January and then on to Europe (Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE in Palma, Spain; Semaine Olympique Francaise in Hyeres, France; the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, The Netherlands; and Kieler Woche in Kiel, Germany) and Great Britain (Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta at the 2012 Olympic sailing venue at Weymouth). More than 2,000 of the world's leading sailors representing 65 nations competed in the first season of the World Cup, 2008-2009. By scoring competitors across all events included in the season, the ISAF Sailing World Cup offers a definitive guide to the best-of-the-best in the Olympic and Paralympic sailing worlds.
About Rolex Watch U.S.A., Inc.
Since Rolex Watch U.S.A. first presented timepieces to America's Cup defenders in 1958, the company has consistently recognized and encouraged excellence in every important arena of competitive sailing, including supporting the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, US SAILING championships, disabled sailing, and offshore, one-design and women's events. In 2010, Rolex will sponsor over 20 prestigious yachting events globally, including the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, Rolex Big Boat Series, Rolex Capri Sailing Week, Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race and the New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex.
About US SAILING
US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR is organized by the United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for sailing, which provides leadership for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit http://www.ussailing.org. For more information about the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, please visit:http://sailingteams.ussailing.org
US SAILING's 2010 Rolex Miami OCR
Day Six - Final
RS:X Women (25 boards) - 9 races
1. Marina Alabau (ESP), 2-2-(4)-2-4-2-1-3-4, 20
2. Blanca Manchon (ESP), 1-1-(10)-3-2-1-4-1-8, 21
3. Laura Linares (ITA), (6)-4-2-1-5-6-2-4-2, 26
RS:X Men (37 boards) - 9 races
1. Dorian Rijsselberghe (NED), 1-1-2-7-1-5-(9)-4-8, 29
2. Ivan Pastor (ESP), 6-5-4-1-2-3-2-(12)-10, 33
3. Julien Bontemps (FRA), 5-10-1-9-7-(16)-10-1-2, 45