US Sailing, national governing body for the sport in the US, has announced that Rolex Watch U.S.A. has come aboard as title sponsor for its 2002 Miami Regatta. Changes for 2002 emphasize the event’s importance for U.S. athletes.
The Rolex Miami OCR is scheduled for January 29 to February 2 on Biscayne Bay. Organized by US Sailing, the regatta, formerly known as the Miami Olympic Classes Regatta, is the only International Sailing Federation (ISAF) grade one ranking event held in the U.S. for Olympic class competition. Hosts for the event are the U.S. Sailing Center; Coral Reef, Biscayne Bay, Key Biscayne and Miami Yacht Clubs; and the Coconut Grove Sailing Club. Opening and awards ceremonies take place at the Coral Reef Yacht Club.
"Rolex Watch U.S.A. has been a sponsor of the US Sailing Team since 1985 and the US Disabled Sailing Team since 1998," said Fred Hagedorn (Chicago, Ill.), chairman of the US SAILING committee overseeing the event. "We are very excited that Rolex has expanded its support of U.S. elite sailors through their sponsorship of this important event. This undoubtedly will be the most critical regatta on the training schedule for elite athletes in our sport, especially in light of changes incorporated for 2002 that will only increase the regatta's importance."
Over the past 12 years attendance at the regatta has averaged 350 sailors representing 25 countries. To date, a high number of advance registrations from foreign competitors confirms the regatta's worldwide reputation for competitive excellence.
New For 2002
Mandatory Attendance - Under the ranking system established by US SAILING, sailors working toward making the 2002 US Sailing Team must attend and must count their finish at the Rolex Miami OCR. This is the first time that the event has been designated as a mandatory ranking event for U.S. athletes.
Sonar, 2.4 Metre and Yngling Classes Debut - With the introduction of the Sonar and 2.4 Metre at this year's event, US Sailing continues as a leading NGB in the Paralympic movement. Ynglings, chosen as the equipment for the newest discipline of women's fleet racing at the Olympic regatta, will also sail for the first time.
Qualifying Event - Selection for the 2002 ISAF World Sailing Games in the 470 (men and women) and Laser (men) classes will take place at the Rolex Miami OCR. The top-finishing US boat in these classes will have their choice of either a berth to the Athens 2002 Regatta in Greece, or the ISAF World Sailing Games in Marseille, France.
Laser Grand Prix Points - The North American Laser class will include the Rolex Miami OCR in its Grand Prix rankings, awarding a maximum of 30 Grand Prix points based on entries. The Grand Prix rankings will determine the allocation of the U.S. entries to the Laser World Championship.