Cronin, who sails with fellow Jamestown, Rhode Islander Jamie HAINES and Kate FEARS of Washington, D.C. capitalized on a nice start with Barkow beneath her. 'Sally didn't pull the trigger in time and had to tack off to the right to clear her air. We went on to round the top mark in third with a pack of leaders.' Cronin worked up to second place at the finish while Barkow settled for sixth, breaking the tied point score they shared after yesterday's racing. 'We've done lots of sailing here in these kinds of conditions, so we feel really comfortable,' said Cronin, who has shown good speed in the light breezes that are expected to repeat tomorrow.
In Lasers, the largest fleet with 46 boats, a single race allowed Andrew CAMPBELL (San Diego, Calif.) to close in on leader Brad FUNK (Plantation, Florida) in overall scoring. Campbell, a two-time College All-American, won the race after leading from the start. 'Things just fell into place,' he said.
Funk, also a two-time College All-American who finished third at the Laser Olympic Trials last year, didn't much care for the light conditions but was satisfied with his third-place finish today. Both Funk and Campbell, like many sailors at this regatta, have announced their Olympic campaigns for 2008 in Beijing. 'Right now I'm mostly training in the gym,' said Funk, who weighs 168 pounds and needs to put on 12 more before the Laser Worlds. 'I'm going to be a body builder, so that I'm the first guy to loosen his outhaul to power up in a big breeze.' Canada's Christopher COOK, who has led the 26-boat Finn class since the regatta began, was surprised to get in two races today. 'I prefer a breeze because you don't have to worry as much about other competitors, but any wind is good,' he said. Cook, a three-time North American and Canadian National Champion who finished second at his country's 2004 Olympic Finn Trials, added that he is mostly watching runner-up Kevin HALL (Bowie, Md.), who represented the USA in Athens in this class. Cook contends, however, that Bill HARDESTY (San Diego, Calif.), in third overall, is 'coming on strong.'
Cook also believes the Rolex Miami OCR's expansion to five days from four aligns it more with other Grade 1 events in Europe. 'In the grand scheme of things, I've always treated this as a very important event,' said Cook, who has competed in this regatta three times in the Laser class and four times in the Finn. 'It's the first big Grade 1 event of the season. You have to establish yourself as a player, and sponsors love it if you do well here.'
In the Paralympic classes, Sweden's Stellan BERLIN is leading the 2.4 Metre class, while Great Britain's John ROBERTSON and crew Hannah STODEL and Steve THOMAS still top the Sonars. With two races each today, respective leaders in the Star, 49er and 470 Men's and Women's classes are: Andrew HORTON and Brad NICHOL (Newport, R.I./Hanover, N.H.); Morgan LARSON and Pete SPAULDING (Capitola, Calif./Miami Beach, Fla.); and Sven COSTER/Kalle COSTER (NED) and Amanda CLARK/Sarah MERGENTHALER (Shelter Island, N.Y./Matawan, N.J.).
Results are available on the event website via the link below.