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28 January 2009, 11:59 pm
Spanish Success On Day Three Of Rolex Miami OCR
The USA's Paige RAILEY competing in the Laser Radial
Paige RAILEY closed the gap on Laser Radial leader Anna TUNNICLIFFE

Rolex Miami OCR 2009
Miami, Florida, USA

It was a great day for Spain as lighter conditions arrived on Biscayne Bay for day three of US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR, round two of the ISAF Sailing World Cup,
Bets on mid-week gains had to be laid on light winds today at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR, where 444 sailors from 41 countries completed a third day of competition. The regatta is part of the 2008-2009 ISAF Sailing World Cup for Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls and is also the USA's only qualifying regatta for determining its 2009 U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics.

View our photo gallery of the best action from Miami here.

Spanish Success

In the Women's 470 fleet, reigning World Champions Erin MAXWELL and Isabelle KINSOLVING (USA) won today's race to move within two points of overall leaders Henriette KOCH and Lene SOMMER (DEN). The USA is also second overall in the Men's 470 fleet, thanks to Stuart MCNAY and Graham BIEHL (USA). The US crew finished second at the opening round of the World Cup at Sail Melbourne, and with the Australian winners not competing in Miami, MCNAY and BIEHL look well placed to jump to the top of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings following this event. The Spanish crew of Onan BARREIROS and Aaron SARMIENTO, who didn't compete in Melbourne, maintained their overall lead ahead of the Americans after winning today's single race.

Spain also leads the both the windsurfer fleets. Ivan PASTOR LAFUENTE (ESP) and Marina ALABAU (ESP) both scored wins in today's races to top the Men's and Women's RS:X fleets respectively. Meanwhile in the Star class, the Swiss/Norweigian team of Flavio MARAZZI and Petter Morland PEDERSEN have broken the US domination of the fleet and jumped to the top of the leaderboard.

RAILEY Family

Zach RAILEY (USA) and Paige RAILEY (USA), two siblings with the same cause, are gunning for berths not only on their national team but also at the 2012 Olympic Games. They are perfect examples of the calibre of sailors racing here: Zach won a silver medal for the USA in Finn class at the 2008 Olympic Games, while Paige is a winner of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award (in 2006). Brother is currently sitting in third overall after the Finn class completed two races today and sister is in second after winning Wedensday's single race in the Laser Radial fleet.

"I was leading in a race that had to be abandoned, which was too bad," said the 21-year-old Paige, who trails long-time rival and Olympic gold medallist Anna TUNNICLIFFE (USA) in the standings. "I didn't pass Anna in the scoring but I closed the gap." TUNNICLIFFE, who also was recently named US SAILING's Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year and is the leader of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings after winning round one at Sail Melbourne, finished seventh today, which she used as her one discarded score, and carries 11 total points over RAILEY's 15.

In the Finn fleet, Chris COOK (CAN) was the star, extending his overall lead with wins in both of today's races. For Zach, it wasn't his best day, since he dropped down a peg on the scoreboard, but it didn't seem to phase the 24-year-old. "My main goal is to qualify for the U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, which is looking good because I'm the top American right now, and after that, it's to be on the podium after the Saturday's Medal Race," he revealed.

RAILEY says that since it's early in the Olympic quadrennium, he has room to experiment. "I've been working on my decision making downwind-trying to use riskier tactics to see if I can end up in a better position," he said. "It worked yesterday but didn't work today," he chuckled.

And how does this brother-sister team interact at the many world-class regattas they attend together? "We always check in with each other at the end of racing," said Paige, while her brother added: "I analyze things after racing. The Olympics are so far away right now, I really don't even look at that. It's how can we get better now."

Women's Match

Italy's team of Giulia CONTI, Alessandra MARENZI and Alessandra ANGELINI is one of several in the 12-boat fleet that are seemingly neck-and-neck in the Women's Match Racing event, which will make its debut at the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition. CONTI won three of three races today for a 100% record and yesterday finished second overall in round robin #1, behind Lucy MACGREGOR, Annie LUSH and Alison MARTIN (GBR), who also made a three-race sweep of their matches today. When asked if competition here could be considered vicious, CONTI said: "Yes, a lot of people came to match racing and took it very seriously. They are really aggressive and [laughs] trying to scare everybody. We are doing very well and having a good time in the boat, also, which is very important."

In addition to MACGREGOR's team, CONTI counts as her biggest threats the Danish team of Lotte MELDGAARD PEDERSEN, Tina SCHMIDT and Trine PALLUDAN and two US teams: Genevieve TULLOCH, Jennifer MORGAN and Jamie HAINES; and Debbie CAPOZZI, Jackie SCHMITZ and Emily HILL. CONTI, a 470 Women's World Championship silver medallist who represented her country in that class at the Olympic Games in Qingdao, has not yet decided if she will declare an Olympic match racing campaign for 2012. "I have had a great 470 season in 2008 and I am still first in the rankings for that class, so I will continue sailing in both classes and decide which road to take after this year."

Nick THOMPSON (GBR) and Pavlos KONTIDES (CYP) remain first and second in the Laser fleet after race six of their series. Between them the young pair count three gold medals at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championshipip, THOMPSON in 2004 and KONTIDES in 2007 and 2008, and they are now making their mark on the senior circuit. After today's race, KONTIDES closed the gap on THOMPSON and now lies just four points behind the leader, with Canada's Lee PARKHILL third overall.

Austria's Nico DELLE - KARTH and Nikolaus RESCH maintained their lead in the 49er fleet, although a 16th place finish in race eight saw their advantage at the top cut to just four points.


Fleet racing continues through until Friday, when Paralympic and Women's Match Racing medallists will be named. The top-ten from the remaining nine Olympic event will move on to a single Medal Race on Saturday.

ISAF Sailing World Cup

The ISAF Sailing World Cup 2008-2009 consists of the following events:

16-21 Dec 2008 - Sail Melbourne The Asia Pacific Regatta, Melbourne, Australia
25-31 Jan 2009 - Rolex Miami OCR, Miami, USA
4-10 April 2009 - Trofeo SAR Princess Sofia MAPFRE, Palma, Spain
18-24 April 2009 - Semaine Olympique Francaise, Hyeres, France
27-31 May 2009 - Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, Netherlands
20-29 June 2009 - Kieler Woche, Kiel, Germany
14-19 Sept 2009 - Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, Weymouth, Great Britain

Find out more about the ISAF Sailing World Cup, including more on the seven events, the latest World Cup Standings, the scoring system and the Notice of Series at www.sailing.org/isafsailingworldcup.

Barby MacGowan
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