In 200 days 380 sailors will be set-up at the Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, finalising their preparations for the greatest sporting spectacle, the Olympic Games.
On 5 August the Rio 2016 Olympic flame will be lit, signalling the start of 17 days of sport. For sailors to get to an Olympic Games they have to play their cards right, qualify their country, qualify themselves and fine tune their physique and boats so they’re fully optimised for the stresses and strains an Olympic Sailing Competition provides.
In order to do exactly that, sailors go through Worlds, Europeans, South American’s and the Wodrld Cup events. Over 780 sailors will be using the first shuffle of 2016 in Miami, USA to deal a killer blow to their rivals in the Olympic year.
Watch a promotional video to Sailing World Cup Miami here
Racing is set to commence at 10:00 local time on Monday 25 January across the ten Olympic and two Paralympic fleets. Medal Races on Saturday 30 January will bring Sailing World Cup Miami to a close with the races to be broadcast live on the World Sailing TV YouTube Channel – www.youtube.com/worldsailingtv
If World Cup glory was not enough to drive the sailors forward, those from North and South America will be aiming to qualify their nation for Rio 2016 as the event acts as the Continental Qualification regatta for both regions.
In the 49er, crews from the British Virgin Islands, Canada and USA will be going for the North American Olympic spot and duos from Chile and Uruguay will aiming for the South American position.
The 66-boat 49er fleet features a strong and seasoned contingent of skiff racers. London 2012 Olympic gold medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) are amongst the entrants. They are joined by defending champions Nico Delle-Karth and Nikolaus Resch (AUT) and Beijing 2008 gold medallist Jonas Warrer and crew Anders Thomsen (DEN).
Newly crowned 49erFX World Champions Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich (ITA) are amongst the 36-boat 49erFX fleet in Miami. The Italian duo won their first World Championship together in Buenos Aires, Argentina last year and will be looking to bring that form into Miami.
They will be joined by World #1 duo, Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA), defending Miami champions Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) as well as three leading Danish crews.
Partnerships from Aruba, US Virgin Islands and USA will be aiming for the North American Rio 2016 place and Chilean sailors are the only representatives from South America.
By Daniel Smith – World Sailing