Maximum Intensity At Miami World Cup Finals

Perfect conditions finally arrived in Miami as the 49er and 49erFX fleets raced on the final day of the 2014 ISAF World Cup of Sailing – Miami.   The top 10 boats from each fleet were scheduled for a 3 race Theatre Style Final series that was completed on the blue waters of Biscayne Bay in 6-10 knots of breeze.  The entire race series is available on our YouTube channel ‘as live’.

First up were the 49er fleet, who were all very close on points with two teams tied for first, another two teams tied for 3rd, only three points back, and a fifth team only 6 points back.  John Pink and Stuart Bithell (GBR) made the first move up the leaderboard with a second place finish in the first race.  Unfortunately for them, that was the highlight as they had finished off with a 5 and a 9 to settle into Fifth overall.  The four remaining teams finished the regatta with a total of 4 points between them, and it came down to the final race.

Stevie Morrison (GBR) had built up a good lead heading into the final race, but as he started on port, ducking the fleet, his new crew Chris Grube became unclipped from his trapeze and fell into the water.  They recovered quite quickly but a mistake like at at the start of a race is tough to come back from, and they could not do it, finishing in 10th place.  That left plenty of opportunity for the remaining teams of Warrer/Lang (DEN), Funk/Burd (USA), and D’Ortoli/Delpesh (FRA) to make a move for the title.  The Danes took took the opportunity well and lead for the first lap, with the French on their tails and the American’s farther back.   The Danes s lipped back to 3rd, but it was enough to take the victory with the American’s up in to 6th, that was enough for the Silver, and then the French needed one more pass to claim the Bronze but ultimately ended up 4thoverall behind Stevie Morrison and Chris Grube.

Next up were the 49erFX sailors.  The French duo of duo of Sarah Steyaert and Julie Bossard took a commanding lead into the final, and it was one they would not relinquish.  They took a second place in the 2nd race of the day and that was enough to clinch the victory, their second this month as they also won the North American Championships last week.

The outcome was not so clear cut in the battles for Silver and Bronze.  4 teams were vying for the two remaining medals.  Jena Hansen and Katja Iversen from Denmark started out fantastically with a bullet in the first race to put them right in the medal hunt.  Unfortunately for them, they fouled in each of the two remaining races and finished in 5th overall.

That left Grael/Kunze (BRA), Peters/Groves (GBR) and Conti/Clapcich (ITA) to fight it out and it came down to the final race.  The Italians had a great start and took control of the final race up the first beat.  A tough battle at the top mark saw them slip a little bit, and then at the bottom of the second beat they slipped down to third.  That placing was enough to secure them the Silver medal, a well deserved one as they were leading by a significant margin at one point during the week.   Moving in the other direction during the race were the British, who picked up boats on every leg to win the race, and that was enough to secure them the Bronze medal.  The Brazilians were not at their best today, and it was not enough to finish 6th in the final race as they ended up out of the medals.

The 49er class would like to extend a huge thanks to the Miami World Cup organizers, the race committee teams, and mark boats who did a fantastic job to highlight how exciting stadium sailing on the final day can be!

For race tracking, overall results and more go to the official website.