Racing was cancelled today at the Rolex Miami OCR due to lack of breeze, but not before several of the nine Olympic and two Paralympic classes competing here had left the docks and journeyed out to their courses on Biscayne Bay.
For other classes, the morning started with postponements ashore, where shelter from sporadic showers and lightning was appreciated.
"All reports indicate that we should have a freshening breeze this evening that will last for tomorrow," said US Sailing's Olympic Sailing Committee Chairman Fred Hagedorn (Chicago, Ill.). "With two great days of moderate breezes and sunny skies under our belts, we're looking forward to a strong finish for tomorrow's final races."
Over 400 elite-level athletes competing on 282 boats and representing 26 countries were anything but disappointed about the cancellations. The regatta already has provided at least six races for each class and is proving to be a shot in the arm for developing young talent for future Olympiads, especially for the U.S.
"The 470 scene is dramatically different from prior years when the field was almost exclusively dominated by veteran teams and complemented by a small number of post-collegiate newcomers," said US Sailing Team coach Skip Whyte. "In the 20-boat fleet at the Rolex Miami OCR, there are five junior teams -- an incredible 25%. Another four teams include current collegiate sailors."
San Diego sailors Mikee Anderson and Graham Biehl, last year's Junior Olympic 420 champs and sixth-place finishers in the 2001 International 420 Worlds, top the list. Genny Tulloch (Houston, Texas), the 2000 U.S. qualifier for both the single and doublehanded Youth Worlds is here with fellow Texan Lindsey Duda (Dallas).
"They are last-minute additions in an old charter boat, but they are having a blast and learning a ton," said Whyte.
Also here on a learning journey is 19-year-old Anna Tunnicliffe (Perrysburg, Ohio), who is sailing her first-ever Europe regatta to test the Olympic waters. She currently stands 10th in a 25-boat fleet.
"I normally sail a Laser Radial," said Tunnicliffe. "I love the Europe because it's more responsive and there are more controls to deal with, so it's more challenging. I plan to do the 2004 Olympic Trials but with an eye toward the 2008 Olympics."