The three Paralympic class events awarded gold medals on Friday at the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami. The 2014 gold medalists are Megan Pascoe (GBR) in the 2.4mR, Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) in the SKUD 18, and Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont Vicary (FRA) in the Sonar.
No racing was possible in the Paralympic events on the final day as the honours were distributed based on the weeks performances.
Pascoe successfully defended her gold medal from last year's regatta. She won with an impressive scoring line of 3-2-1-1-(3) = 7. The World #1 edged Allan Leibel (CAN) by two points, who won the silver, and Pascoe's teammate Helena Lucas (GBR) took home bronze medal honours.
"It's a very good way to start off the year,"
said Pascoe. "I've been working on quite a bit of speed stuff. We need to work on downwind pace. I actually brought both of my boats out here so we're going to do a bit more training after the event. Speed training is the way to go and then hopefully we'll get into Palma and some good racing."
Pascoe discussed her plan for 2014, "I think 2014 could be very important in terms of my Rio campaign. There are all sorts of rumors about when trials might start, but really it's always nice to win and it would be nice to go to the IFDS Worlds in a really good place. They've always kind of eluded me so hopefully we'll get one this time."
World #1 Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (GBR) collected another major regatta gold medal this week. Rickham and Birrell have won five consecutive SKUD 18 World Championships. This week's win marks their first ISAF Sailing World Cup gold medal. The 2012 Paralympic Games bronze medalists won four of five races this week.
World #2 Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul, and Nicolas Vimont Vicary (FRA) will take home the gold following a steady week that included consistent scores, 2-3-1-2-(4) = 8. They won by two points over the team of John Robertson, Hannah Stodel, and Stephen Thomas (GBR). Robertson and crew moved into contention yesterday by posting a pair of bullets, which sealed the silver medal. Alphonsus Doerr, Hugh Freund, and Timothy Angle earned the bronze.
Jourden, the 2013 IFDS World Champion, commented on his team's successful week in Miami, "We felt very prepared even though we didn't have our own boat. We trained in more wind than we had this week, but the wind strength doesn't matter for our team. We race strong in everything and don't let the wind reflect our results. Our winning strategy for the week was to avoid risk because the breeze was so shifty and light forecast. We stayed away from laylines and edges of the course."
ISAF Sailing World Cup Website