Wednesday 30th January
Going into day three the Brits are doing well, with Nick sailing well in third and his training partner El Carney in fifth. In the women’s fleet Bryony is also in third, with Izzy Hamilton currently in seventh.
There’s a new racing format in Miami as Nick Dempsey explains:
Recap of racing so far from ISAF:
he RS:X Men’s and Women’s events are back in Miami for 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup and these two fleets feature the best of the best in an early season clash of Olympic medalists and new challengers.
Most elite board sailors enjoyed some much needed time off following their intense Olympic campaigns for London 2012. However, a quick turn around and immediate focus is in order with the RS:X World Championships in Brazil this February. Up and comers are looking to assert themselves in the class this week in Miami, while other more seasoned veterans are trying to re-capture the magic they sustained in their successful performances in Weymouth.
The 2012 Olympic gold medalist Dorian Van Rijssbelberghe of The Netherlands surged ahead of the fleet with two wins today to take a two point lead over Brazil’s Ricardo Santos. Great Britain’s Nick Dempsey dropped two spots from Monday, and is in third. The 2012 Olympic silver medalist and 2004 bronze medalist commented on the upcoming schedule and training for Rio 2016. “Following the World Championships in February and March, it will be about focusing on the Olympic campaign for Rio 2016,” said Dempsey. “I’m just trying to get back out on the water now and get as fit as possible for the World Championships.”
Dempsey is intrigued about the venue in Rio. “If you look at Rio as a light wind venue, as windsurfers we’re going to have to be light, strong, fit, and technically good. It’s going to be a difficult venue. There is a lot of current and with it being light winds it’s going to be very physical. I like to mix up my training, because it can be a bit monotonous. Anything you can do to keep it interesting and different to keep you inspired.”
Van Rijssbelberghe, the three-time ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami Champion, was reserved, yet focused on the new challenge. “There is some great build up for these events, but I want to keep it fun,” said Van Rijssbelberghe. “Miami is such a great place to sail. It has always been one of my favorite destinations. We’ve got some breeze going on and it’s quite tricky out there. “I do a lot of cross training and it’s great to get on that mountain bike and start ripping some trails.”
Defending RS:X Women’s Champion Demita Vega of Mexico is out to defend her crown against the world’s best this year. She won race four and finished second in race three to take a one point lead. 2012 Olympic silver medalist Tuuli Petaja-Siren of Finland has won two of four races, including race three. She trails Vega by a point.
Petaja-Siren has had a surreal offseason following her outstanding performance in Weymouth. She was honored as the Finnish Athlete of the Year. “My name and face is now in a lot of newspapers and TV channels,” said Petaja-Siren. “Not many people thought a windsurfer could get that much publicity in Finland, which is more about the winter sports.”
“I didn’t surprise myself that much. I knew from the training I did earlier in the summer in Weymouth I was capable of racing with the very best girls. The first goal this year is to compete in the World Championships, so that’s going to be my first visit there and I don’t know much about Rio yet.”
Spain’s gold medalist and World #5 Marina Alabau, who has won the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami event in 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2007, is currently in sixth place. “My goal is to qualify for the Olympics, but it’s not easy in my country to qualify,” said Alabau. “So this is really good motivation to keep going. I’ll be spending a lot of time training in Rio.” Spain also features board sailing standout Blanca Manchon.
Alabau prefers participating in other sports and activities as a source of training. “I like to play other sports like kite sailing, cycling, and swimming. I’m not going to the gym much, because it is boring to me. I’m just trying to do fun activities, because when you have fun you don’t realize how much you are pushing yourself and that’s how I enjoy training.”