Bryony Shaw takes gold at the RS:X World Cup in Miami, whilst Dempsey (who did secure entry in the end!) finishes 5th. Full info from the RYA and Team GB:
Shaw has certainly found her groove as she also looked to defend her title from this event 12 months ago. Counting no worse than a fifth place across her 11 races heading into Friday’s penultimate day, the 31-year-old old pumped her way to a second and a fourth in the two light wind races the class managed, and turned her 21 point lead at the start of the day into a 33 point margin by the end of it.
The Weymouth sailor was delighted to claim gold with an impressive all-round performance amid some tricky conditions at this season-opening event.
“We’ve had a really mixed week of wind and today has been the lightest so it’s been much more like a game of chess I would say. I’ve been trying to stay in touch with my closest rivals. The wind’s been really tricky with an offshore breeze so we’re really having to play the percentages. I did that well in the two races [today]," said Shaw of her display on Friday.
“Considering we’ve had all winds from 25 knots down to five it’s been a really broad-ranging week and I think that’s played to my strengths. Every day I’ve been edging that points gap bigger and bigger so I’ve been pleased to start off the year well.
“Miami was a target regatta for me and it’s important to kick-start the year on a high with a view to trying to get medals at the next Olympic Games. It’s important to start winning now and try to keep that momentum going."
[part title="Defending champion... "]
Defending champion Bryony Shaw extended her lead at the halfway stage of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami on Wednesday (28 January), with British Sailing Team crews well placed across the 13 Olympic and Paralympic Classes after the third day of competition.
Shaw, who won the 2014 edition of the season-opening regatta, added two race wins and a second to her scorecard today to stretch out a 17 point lead in the women’s windsurfing class with three days still to run.
She’s one of five British boats to top the standings heading into the second half of the regatta, with Giles Scott and Megan Pascoe maintaining their leads in their respective Finn and 2.4mR Paralympic classes, and 470 European Champions Luke Patience-Elliot Willis and 49er pairing John Pink-Stuart Bithell advancing into pole position through their efforts on the water on Wednesday.
In spite of her commanding position at this stage of the regatta, the Olympic bronze medallist Shaw feels there’s room for improvement looking ahead to the rest of the week.
“It’s strange, it didn’t feel like a perfect day out there. I made a lot of mistakes actually," the 31-year-old admitted.
“It was really shifty and puffy and I think it was my awareness, especially on the downwinds, that really pulled me through.
“I made a couple of silly calls by going a bit too extreme at the start so I had to make some pretty big comebacks today."
With a gold medal at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi, a gold medal on the Rio 2016 waters just before Christmas, and another victory in the warm-up regatta to this week’s World Cup a fortnight ago, Shaw feels confident about her present form and hopes to continue in that vein this week.
“I feel like this is a momentum from winning in Abu Dhabi at the end of last year and the event we had in Rio. It’s nice to come out here and put on a good show.
“I really feel like 2015 is my year and it’s important for performance. I want to try and be selected for the Games and win a medal in Rio, so I need to be performing at that level now."
[part title="Miami Heat"]
Miami’s Biscayne Bay will next week play host to the first ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta of 2015, with a strong British cast set to do battle across the 13 Olympic and Paralympic events, including windsurfing. The RYA report on Shaw's chances and why Dempsey won't compete...
More than 800 sailors from 63 nations will contest the regatta (26-31 January) as 2015 sharpens the focus towards Olympic and Paralympic qualification for Rio 2016.
The 64-strong British line-up can therefore expect to some tough competition at the six-day Miami regatta, where they claimed five titles at the last edition 12 months ago.
Bryony Shaw, kicked off her season with Miami World Cup gold last year, will also be hoping her current golden streak continues.
The 31-year-old has won three regattas over the past three months – the ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi, the Copa Brasil de Vela on the Rio 2016 waters in December, and the RS:X Midwinter Championships – a warm-up event to the World Cup held in Miami last weekend and where teammate Izzy Hamilton also claimed silver.
Tom Squires will fly the flag in the RS:X Men’s event with Olympic silver medallist Nick Dempsey failing to secure an entry in the over-subscribed men’s windsurfing event.
“Miami typically provides some great winter racing, and there’s a strong entry across the classes this year as nations start to increase their focus on which sailors might represent them at the Rio Games next year," explained RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park.
“There’s a larger entry than we’re used to seeing here which, in addition to the continually increasing quality of competition, sees many nations trying to take advantage of Miami as the final 200 point ranking event prior to the new sailing World Cup format being introduced for Hyeres in April with a limited entry of 40 boats per class.
“For the first time ever it appears that the world ranking system is going to have a true purpose for Olympic Classes sailing.
“It’s ironic that this event has such large fleet numbers and a system where some top sailors from around the world have fallen foul of an entry system based on ‘first come first served’ rather than quality on the ranking list or MNA nomination," Park concluded.
The ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami kicks off on Monday 26 January, with final medal races for the Olympic Classes on Saturday 31 January.
Stay with us at www.britishsailingteam.com, on Facebook on Twitter @BritishSailing for all the action on Biscayne Bay.