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24 January 2006, 09:24 am
International Field Powers Up
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Rolex Miami OCR 2006
Miami, Florida, USA

For the 610 sailors at US SAILING's ISAF Grade 1 Rolex Miami OCR, the weather on the opening day could not have been more perfect, nor the competition more high calibre. The morning's brisk breeze slowly lessened through the day and combined with sunny, cloudless skies to form near perfect conditions on Biscayne Bay, where competition is taking place on seven circles and in eleven Olympic classes and one Paralympic class.
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Representing 40 nations, a total of 406 boats are sailing, while among the ranks are no less than seven reigning world champions. In its 16 year history, the event has been bigger only twice, and that was in the year of and prior to the 'home court' 1996 Olympic Games in Savannah, Georgia.

'With only two years to go before the Olympic Games in Beijing, sailors have flocked to this event to see how they stack up against the best Olympic and Paralympic talent the world has to offer,' said Dean BRENNER chairman of US SAILING's Olympic Sailing Committee, which organizes the event.

TRUJILLO Leads Strong Finn Fleet

That was certainly the case with today's Finn leader Rafael TRUJILLO (ESP), who won a silver medal in Athens. 'In our class, there are eight people here in the top 20 on the ISAF World Sailing Rankings list, so it is a good regatta,' TRUJILLO said. 'In the first two races, I was going good upwind, but the second race I was fighting really close with the GBR sailor [Edward WRIGHT]. I need to work more on my downwind sailing - that is the definition of the day.'

TRUJILLO posted a 1,1,5 for a spot at the top of the scoreboard, with defending champion Christopher COOK (CAN) taking the next spot with a 3,2,3.

Home Sailors Star

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Rafael TRUJILLO looked good
in the Finn
© Dan NERNEY/Rolex

In the Tornado fleet, defending champions and 2004 Olympic silver medallists John LOVELL and Charlie OGLETREE (USA), 'Put the whole package together,' winning both of yesterday's races. 'We were going fast, sailing well,' said LOVELL matter of factly. He added that the current world champions, Spain's Fernando ECHAVARRI and Antón PAZ, were right behind them the whole time. With finish positions of 2,4, the Spanish team sits four points behind the Americans, in second place overall.

The Yngling World Champions from the USA, Sally BARKOW, Carrie HOWE and Deborah CAPOZZI, turned in a not so surprising performance yesterday, winning all three of their races.

Also posting perfect scores in two races today was reigning Laser Radial World Champion and winner in Miami last year Paige RAILEY.

470 Sailors Carry Over Their Form

The 470 results replicated the final results of last week's ISAF Grade C1 470 North Americans also held in Miami. At that event, Great Britain's Nic ASHER and Elliot WILLIS and France's Ingrid PETITJEAN and Nadege DOUROUX topped the men and women's fleets, respectively.

The Australian Star team of Iain MURRAY and Andrew PALFREY topped that highly competitive fleet, edging out by only one point the current World Champions from France, Xavier ROHART and Pascal RAMBEAU. With 70 boats, the Star fleet is hosting the most sailors (140) in this regatta.

American sailors Rick DOERR, Ezra CULVER and Mike ROSS came out strong to lead the three-person keelboat Sonar, one of three Paralympic events that will be sailed in the 2008 Paralympic Sailing Competition. The team is closely followed by a fellow American team skippered by David SCHROEDER.

Brits Going Well

British sailors dominated the remaining classes today. Nick DEMPSEY (GBR) and Bryony SHAW (GBR) lead in the RS:X Men's and Women's fleets, respectively, while the team of Chris DRAPER and Simon HISCOCKS (GBR) lead in the 49er, and Paul GOODISON (GBR) leads in Lasers.

US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR is an ISAF Grade 1 event, a designation that indicates its importance in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings. It also is a qualifying event for the members of the 2006 US Sailing Team and a country qualifier for the 2007 Pan Am Games. In addition to Rolex, sponsors for US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR are Nautica, Extrasport, Gill, Harken, McLube, New England Ropes, Nikon, Sperry Top-Sider, Vanguard Sailboats, Vineyard Vines, and Zodiac. Rolex and Nautica are also sponsors of the US Sailing Teams.

Headquarters for US SAILING's 2006 Rolex Miami OCR are at the US Sailing Center, with classes hosted by the US Sailing Center; Coral Reef, Key Biscayne and Miami Yacht Clubs; the Coconut Grove Sailing Club; and Shake-A-Leg-Miami. The event is organized by US SAILING, the national governing body of the sport.

For a complete list of all the news about the Rolex Miami OCR 2006 CLICK HERE.
Barby MACGOWAN (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Sally BARKOW, Carrie HOWE and Deborah CAPOZZI were dominant in the Yngling:© Dan NERNEY/Rolex
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