Windsurfing Magazine




Sailors thrive in testing Miami conditions


Great Britain’s sailors revelled in stronger winds at the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta on Thursday (25 January), with gusts up to 25 knots, rain and distinctly cooler temperatures providing a stark contrast to the Miami sunshine which competitors have so far enjoyed at the event.


Skandia Team GBR remains in pole position in four of the 14 Olympic and Paralympic classes classes, and occupies five more medal positions heading into the final two days of the regatta.  Athens silver medallists Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield have amassed a 27 point buffer at the top of the 470 men’s table, while Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson find themselves back in first place in the hotly-contested Yngling fleet.


Windsurfer Bryony Shaw resumes the lead in the RS:X women’s class, with John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Stephen Thomas also topping the Sonar fleet by seven points heading into what will be the final day of racing for the three Paralympic classes on Friday.


 “It felt like Weymouth out there today, it was incredible how quickly it changed,” observed Tornado sailor Leigh McMillan on the cold front which swept across Biscayne Bay on Thursday.  “One minute it was warm and then the wind shifted 45 degrees and the temperature plummeted 14ºC or so.” 


It didn’t appear to faze the Skandia Team GBR sailors, who took it all in their stride.  Ayton, Webb and Wilson picked up a first and a second from the Yngling fleet’s two races of the day, bringing them back up to first place after a 6,6,3 in the lighter winds on Wednesday had put them just outside of the medal positions.


“Yesterday we didn’t do so well in the 0-5 knot range,” Webb explained.  “We’re optimised for Cascais which is obviously expected to be a lot stronger, so struggled a little bit in the light.   But today was really good fun – the strongest wind Pippa has sailed in!”


Rogers and Glanfield also enjoyed the extra breeze, with a 1,2 from the 470 fleet’s two races – World Champions Nic Asher and Eilliot Willis crossed ahead of them in the second of the two races – while in the women’s 470 fleet, Christina Bassadone and Saskia Clark saw their best day’s racing so far in the regatta, posting a second and third to see them improve to sixth overall.


Lucy Horwood overcame sickness to win the first of the RS:X women’s races today, but it’s Bryony Shaw who remains the one to beat at the close of play on Thursday.  The 2006 Miami OCR winner posted 6,6 today, which was enough to see her overtake the overnight leader, Marine Alabau of Spain, by two points at the top of the leaderboard.   Nick Dempsey is currently in the silver medal position in the RS:X men’s fleet, 11 points behind the Polish leader Przeymslaw Miarczynski. 


Skandia Team GBR’s Tornado sailors coped well with the change in conditions with Rob Wilson and Mark Bulkeley posting the best scoreline of 1,2,1 from the day’s three races to see them up into sixth place.  McMillan and Will Howden are currently in second place overall, three points off the Australian series leaders and World Champions Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby, with 2,11,3 to show for their efforts on Thursday.


Megan Pascoe and Helena Lucas held on to their overnight positions of second and third in the 2.4mR Paralympic class, while it’s proving to be a close battle amongst the 49ers, with just seven points separating the top six teams.  Overnight leaders Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes had a mixed bag of results across the fleet’s four races, starting with a win in the first and gaining two more top ten finished, but only managing 17th in the last race of the day.  Paul Campbell James and Mark Asquith managed two second places to see them into seventh place, while a race win of the regatta for World Champions Chris Draper and Simon Hiscocks in the third race of the day helps them into the top ten.


In the men’s single-handed events, Paul Goodison has improved his lot back up to fifth in the Laser class, while Ed Greig and Ed Wright are eighth and ninth respectively in the Finn fleet.  In the women’s single-handed Laser Radial class, Lizzie Vickers is the top Brit, currently in eighth place and with a race win to her credit today. 


Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson are up to 13th place in the Star class with a seventh place finish in their only race of the day on Thursday, while Allan Smith and Jackie Gay have dropped one place to sixth in the SKUD-18 Paralympic class.


Racing at the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta runs through until Saturday 27 January.


For the full results and information, visit


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