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23 January 2013, 03:30 pm
New 49erFX Teams Ready For Lift Off At ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami
Martine Grael in the light Miami winds at the 49erFX North Americans
Martine Grael in the light Miami winds at the 49erFX North Americans

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami
Miami, USA

In less than one week the second of four 2012-2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup Regattas will get going in Miami, USA.
Whilst the Nacra 17 makes its debut on the international stage, the 49erFX makes its second appearance in the ISAF Sailing World Cup. For all competitors in the eight boat fleet it will be their first competitive action in the women's skiff.

America's Anna Tunnicliffe has teamed up with her former match racing crew Molly O'Bryan Vandemoer. Tunnicliffe has sailed on her own and as part of a trio at the Olympic Games and now she's in a duo, and aiming for Rio 2016.

Joining Tunnicliffe and Vandemoer in the fleet is Italian pair Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich. Both sailors competed at London 2012 with Conti stepping away from the 470 and Clapcich taking the leap from Laser Radial to the 49erFX. With hours of winter training behind them on Lake Garda their in-depth preparations could see them pick up a podium finish.

Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) recently won gold at the 49erFX North American Championship as they got acclimatised to the venue. Despite early success in the boat Grael knows where her rivalries lay, "I think Anna and Italy's Giulia Conti will be our greatest enemy. With light wind it is hard to say who is the best, but with a little more wind it will be difficult for all."

Three Canadian crews, Erin Berry and Danielle Boyd, Laura Bordenand Marie-Pier Alary and Kristine Williams and Jen Braem will join the fleet as will Americans Allison Blecher and Helena Scutt and Kristen Lane and Molly Carapiet.

Portuguese 49er Olympian Francisco Andrade will be teaming up with André Fonseca to fly the Brazilian flag in Miami whilst Swedish 470 Olympian Sebastian Östling makes a transition from 470 to 49er to sail with Kalle Torlén. Both crews should be leading the pack as some fresh new faces amongst the 14 entrants are set to sail.

Ireland's Annalise Murphy will get her Rio 2016 ambitions underway in Miami after she came so close to glory at London 2012. The Irish Radial sailor had led the fleet early on at London 2012 but in a winner takes all Medal Race she was knocked out of the podium places and into fourth. After taking two months off from sailing Murphy is back and keen to get back into things, "I didn't really feel like I messed up in the races," said the 22-year-old. "I did have a great experience and its definitely kind of driving me, it's the reason I'm training harder than I was before, for Rio."

Joining Murphy in the fleet will be World #8 Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR), who at 34 and with four Olympics behind her is starting the familiar road to an Olympic Games. "Not all heights are reached yet," said the Belarusian. "I have a childhood dream and I very much want to reach it. I go to every regatta with the highest aims and for Miami I am aiming for the podium."

Drozdovskaya's participation at Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 has made a positive influence on sailing in Belarus and she wants that to continue, "People have learnt about sailing through my good results as all the previous thoughts were on rowing. I hope that children go sailing because I am often shown on TV."

At just 24, Juan Ignacio Maegli (GUA) is one of the most seasoned sailors in the 71-boat Laser fleet having represented Guatemala at the last two Olympic Games. With a strong performance at London 2012 he will be one of the favourites in the young Miami fleet.

Among the Laser entrants are 2011 ISAF Youth Worlds podium finishers Zan Luka Zelko (SLO) and Giovanni Coccoluto(ITA). Both sailors have mixed it up in the senior ranks and will want to shine in the Miami sun.

A 30-boat Finn fleet will take to the water in Miami and will include three of the world's top ten sailors in the ISAF Rankings. World #1 Brendan Casey (AUS) will come into the regatta as favourite having won gold at ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne in December. Nonetheless with an experienced field that includes World #3 Zach Railey (USA), World #4 Caleb Paine (USA), Bruno Prada (BRA), Jorge Zarif (BRA) and Greg Douglas, the competition for podium places will be fierce.

View the full entry list here.

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