Final Report: U.S. Athletes Deliver Four Medals in Miami
Miami delivered surprising conditions for the final day of the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami. Contrary to the forecast, the Race Committee was able to fire off all of the Medal Races, allowing four American sailors to secure Medal victories, three Gold and one Bronze. On the final day of the regatta, U.S. athletes in the 470, RS:X, and Finn classes also capped off the second of three events that make up the U.S. athlete Olympic trials.
Athlete Pedro Pascual (West Palm Beach, Fla.) is the Men’ RS:X Gold Medalist and the recipient of this year’s Golden Torch Award, an honor given to the top American sailor at this event each year. After winning today’s Medal Race, Pascual became the first windsurfer to earn the award.
He had an incredibly steady week at the front of the RS:X fleet. He led from day one and never finished a race below third place. Pascual also demonstrated his ability to perform in the full range of conditions that sailors experienced on Biscayne Bay.
“It’s awesome to win a World Cup,” said Pascual. “It’s my first time winning an event in the senior class and it was really hard to stay consistent this week. We had really different conditions. Today, I came into the Medal Race with a lead of 11 points, so I didn’t necessarily have to win the race to win. I just focused on controlling the fleet and staying close to everyone but still sailing my own race.”
Pedro’s victory will give him a buffer of few more points in the U.S. RS:X Men’s trials. After a strong showing this week and finishing fifth overall, Geronimo Nores (Miami Beach, Fla.) trails by 12 finishing positions heading into the 2020 RS:X World Championships.
Yesterday, Caleb Paine secured his Gold Medal in the Finn class. Today, his teammate Luke Muller (Fort Pierce, Fla.) secured the Bronze, despite taking a penalty turn in the exciting Finn Medal Race.
“I took more risk than some of the other boats on the upwinds, but I did what I thought was going to pay,” Muller said. “Then on the last downwind, because I was pushing so hard to pass as many boats as I could, I got a penalty. The points were such that if I pushed it and broke the [propulsion] rule, I would still be okay, but if they didn’t penalize me, I was closer to getting Silver. So, in my mind, it was a good risk.”
Muller will continue to lead the U.S. trials. Currently, he has a buffer of six finishing positions between him and Paine. The victor will be determined at the 2020 Finn Gold Cup.
Also bringing home a Gold Medal today is Laser Radial athlete Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Reineke went into today’s Medal Race leading the fleet by only two points. The race was an exciting tactical battle with Vaselia Karachaliou (GRE) for the Gold. Neck and neck through the final downwind leg, Reineke finally solidified a Gold Medal win after Karachaliou received a penalty from the jury.
“Off the start, I felt really good,” said Reineke. “I tacked and I was at the front of the race and then I messed up one shift and my competitors split from me. Vasileia played the first beat extremely well and I tried to keep my head in the game and not give up. On the last downwind I covered her and unfortunately, she got a flag, but that’s the sport. I had to beat her [Vasileia] in the race and the Italian [Talluri] was also very close so I just went out there trying to win.”
Reineke was ecstatic to win her first race of 2020. “It feels really good. I’m still trying to get my head around it, but it feels great. The nerves got to me during the race. I dropped my tiller extension, and I had bad mark roundings, but now it’s great. I couldn’t have done it without my coach, Steve [Mitchell], my team and support.”
In the Women’s 470 Medal Race, Carmen and Emma Cowles (Larchmont, N.Y.) finished in fifth place and first among the American teams. Atlantic and Nora Brugman (Winthrop, Mass.) also appeared in today’s Medal Race. The pair finished the final race in eighth, to end up ninth overall. The Women’s 470 trials will remain incredibly tight as they head into their 2020 World Championship. The Brugmans lead by one point over the Cowles and three over Nikole Barnes (Miami, Fla.) and Lara Dallman-Weiss (Shoreview, Minn.).
With the exception of the Men’s Laser, the remaining fleets likewise had American representatives in the final races of the event. In some unfortunate circumstances off the starting line, U.S. athletes in the Men’s 470 and Women’s RS:X fleets received penalties for being over the line just before the starting signal. Men’s 470 sailors Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) & Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) finished eighth overall and Women’s RS:X sailor Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) finished fifth.
Both Hall and team McNay/Hughes are comfortably leading their trials, with almost no American competition for the spots on Team USA for the 2020 Games.
Overall, the 2020 Hempel World Cup Miami was an excellent display of Olympic class racing. The regatta featured six days of challenging conditions ranging from light and shifty, to heavy chop and high winds. After packing up and returning the US Sailing Center Miami to its normal operations, the US Sailing Team will turn its focus to the upcoming World Championships in Australia and the 51st Trofeo Princesa Sofia Regatta in Spain.
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Day Five: U.S. Athletes Line up for Medals in Miami
The athletes and Race Committee were again challenged by today’s fluky conditions at the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami. Each of the classes, with the exception of the Lasers and RS:X fleets, were able to complete at least one race despite the fickle and light breeze.
The Finn sailors were the only fleet to complete both of their scheduled races today. Rounding out a full series of 10 races, the U.S. will begin tomorrow’s Medal Race with two athletes in contention for Medals, one of which is a guaranteed Gold.
Caleb Paine had an incredibly steady week at the top of the leaderboard. Apart from the 11 points he earned in today’s first race, he never finished below second. He attributes the continued dominance over the fleet to approaching the event as if it weren’t playing a role in the U.S. athlete trials.
“I just focused more on the sailing and not all of the stuff that surrounds it, the trials and all of the drama behind that and everything else that brings to the table,” he said. “I was really thinking about what makes the boat go fast and what gets it around the racecourse as quickly as possible.” Comfortably winning the Gold, Paine has little to worry about tomorrow, “I’m just going to implement the same strategy and go out there and do what I love.”
Paine’s 23-point lead guarantees him a Gold Medal tomorrow. Fellow U.S. competitor, Luke Muller (Fort Pierce, Fla.), follows closely behind in the Bronze Medal position. He and Kyle Martin (CAN) are currently tied with 36 points. Though Martin is currently winning the tiebreaker for the Silver Medal, their final standings will be decided tomorrow.
Tomorrow’s race will also be a first for U.S. Finn athlete, Eric Anderson (Chicago, Ill.). His inaugural appearance in a Medal Race is an exciting challenge that Anderson looks forward to, “It’s going to be a good experience. It’s good practice and I’m excited for one more good race here in Miami.”
Despite not having any races today, three American RS:X sailors are lining up to take home some hardware. Pedro Pascual (West Palm Beach, Fla.) established an early lead and has remained on the top of the Men’s RS:X scoreboard throughout the week. He has already guaranteed himself a medal win and has a solid 11.5-point lead for the Gold.
Just behind Pascual, Geronimo Nores (Miami Beach, Fla.) will have a shot at his first World Cup medal. He’s currently in position for the Bronze with four and a half points between him and the Silver. In the Women’s RS:X fleet, Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) also stands in the Bronze position. She has two points separating her from the nearest competitors on either side.
Each of the 470 classes finished one race today. US Sailing Team athletes Atlantic and Nora Brugman (Winthrop, Mass.) won the only Women’s 470 race of the day to move up to 8th overall. They and fellow U.S. athletes Carmen and Emma Cowles (Larchmont, N.Y.) will both appear in tomorrow’s Medal Race.
In the Men’s 470 fleet, Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) finished today’s race in 7th. The pair will begin the double-point Medal Race with everything to gain. They currently stand in fifth place, just seven points away from first.
Like the 470s, The Laser Radial fleet only saw one race today. Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) finished 14th, but remains in the Gold Medal position. She has a two-point gap between her and the boat that is currently in position to win the Silver.
The Men’s Laser sailors weren’t able to get another race in, and the U.S. won’t see any stars and stripes in their Medal Race tomorrow. Leading the Americans is Malcolm Lamphere (Lake Forest, Ill.), who is in 13th.
Thanks to more challenging forecasts, the first race is scheduled for 9:07 a.m. local time (GMT-5). To watch the LIVE coverage of the Medal Races, click here.
Day Four: Rain and Wind Delays Keep Sailors Ashore in Miami
Today, sailors experienced the first rounds of extended postponements at the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami. After long wind and rain delays on the water and ashore, only the Finns finished both scheduled races. The Men’s Laser, Men’s RS:X, and Women’s RS:X fleets each finished one race. Despite the Race Committee’s best efforts, the unstable breeze didn’t allow for any races in the Laser Radial, Men’s 470 or Women’s 470 fleets.
Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.) continues to lead the Finn fleet. Continuing his incredibly consistent streak, he finished both races in first. In the eight total races, he has yet to finish below second place, allowing him to lead the fleet with 16 points between him and teammate, Luke Muller (Fort Pierce, Fla.), who is in second. Paine attributes most of his success this week to keeping focused on his own boat and not paying much mind to the fact that this event will play a role in the Finn U.S. athlete trials for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Paine and Muller won’t have much certainty over who will be the U.S. Finn representative in Tokyo until after the 2020 Finn Gold Cup. After the 2019 Men’s RS:X World Championships, a similar dynamic exists between Pedro Pascual (West Palm Beach, Fla.) and Geronimo Nores (Miami Beach, Fla.). Today, Pascual and Nores finished their race in first and second, respectively. Both will hold the podium positions they established yesterday. Pascual is in first overall and Nores is in third.
Unlike the Finn and Men’s RS:X sailors, Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) is leading the Women’s RS:X trials quite comfortably. This week, she continues to hang near the front of the pack. Hall finished today’s race in seventh and stands third overall. Despite the less than ideal conditions, she’s sure to appreciate the time on the water before the Games, “I’m really enjoying these last few months with the RS:X and through the Tokyo 2020 Games before I put all of my equipment in the museum.” Hall is making the most of her last year campaigning in the RS:X but is looking forward to the new iQFoil class that has been selected as the windsurfing equipment for the Paris 2024 Games.
While the Women’s 470s didn’t race today, they are in the midst of what will likely be the closest race for the U.S. trials. While qualifying for Tokyo is certainly a priority for each of the three U.S. boats, they’re not preoccupied with the stakes of the event.
US Sailing Team Women’s 470 skipper, Atlantic Brugman (Winthrop, Mass.) is particularly proud of the progress all three of the boats have made. “We enjoy the challenge, they push us to get better,” she said. “It’s also nice to see that there’s a lot of talent going for this spot. As a country with three teams that are all new to this boat, we’re all working really hard and are making advances in a fleet of people who’ve been sailing 470s for a really long time.” Regardless of the results at this event, the trials for all of the Olympic classes will conclude with the 2020 World Championships.
The final fleet to race today was the Men’s Laser class. Among U.S. athletes, Malcolm Lamphere (Lake Forest, Ill.) is currently leading, standing in 13th overall.
Tomorrow, the racing is scheduled to resume at 10:30 a.m. (GMT-5). Both the Race Committee and the athletes have their fingers crossed for more stable wind to round out the final fleet races before medal races begin on Saturday.
Day Three: U.S. Athletes Triumph Over Cold Conditions in Miami
International sailors expecting warm temperatures in Coconut Grove were again surprised by today’s conditions at the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami. The early morning featured temperatures in the low 40s and wind speeds reaching just above 20 knots. Despite the chilly weather, U.S. athletes welcomed another full day of racing.
While Florida local and US Sailing Team Laser Radial sailor, Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), doesn’t love the colder temperatures, she welcomes the windy racing. She said with a smile on her face, “I’ve been training in these conditions for a bit now, so I’m feeling big!” Unsurprisingly based on that response, Reineke did well in today’s two windy laser Radial races. She finished both races in second place and maintains the overall lead in the fleet.
The American RS:X sailors excelled in today’s conditions as well. In the Women’s fleet, Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) moved up to second place overall and Pedro Pascual (West Palm Beach, Fla.) continues to lead in the Men’s fleet.
Also representing the U.S. in the Men’s RS:X fleet, Geronimo Nores (Miami Beach, Fla.) particularly enjoyed the breeze, “I honestly really liked the conditions. I like when it’s windy. We had a little bit of chop out there as well, so it was a little crazy out there, very fun. It was also a fast course. We were really moving out there, making fast decisions and that’s the kind of racing I enjoy.” Nores climbed up to third place after finishing all of the races over the last two days in the top three.
U.S. Men’s 470 athletes Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) also enjoyed their morning in the heavy-air thanks to some improvements they made today. “We left a little bit on the table with some of our technique yesterday,” said McNay. “Today, we were able to clean up some of the edges, so I was really happy with the noticeable improvement in similar conditions.” After today’s advances, the pair is in 7th overall.
Carmen and Emma Cowles (Larchmont, N.Y.) continue to lead the U.S. Women’s 470 sailors in 8th place overall. Atlantic and Nora Brugman (Winthrop, Mass.) are 10th overall and Nikki Barnes (Miami, Fla.) and Lara Dallman-Weiss (Shoreview, Minn.) are in 10th.
In the Finn fleet, Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.) and Luke Muller (Fort Pierce, Fla.) maintained their podium positions. Although, Paine and Muller remained in first and second place, respectively, the high winds still caused Muller some trouble on the water. While sailing upwind to check out the course before the first race of the day, Muller and coach Luther Carpenter (Cypress, Texas) got into a collision.
Carpenter hit the port side of Muller’s boat near the mast after Muller tacked without realizing Carpenter’s position thanks to the breeze drowning out the sound of his engine and hails. Muller was entirely unharmed, but the same could not be said for the boat. Despite the damage, Muller was able to complete both races without taking on significant amounts of water. Tomorrow he will use a different boat.
Racing will resume at 11:00 a.m. (GMT -5) on Thursday, January 22.
Day Two: Strong Minds and Performances Deliver Results for U.S. in Miami
Sailors at the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami were again greeted with a full day of racing on day two of the event. With the breeze from the northeast at 13-15 knots, the athletes experienced some shifty conditions on Biscayne Bay.
Following suit after yesterday’s strong start, several U.S. athletes shone in the breezier conditions today. In the Men’s RS:X class, Pedro Pascual (West Palm Beach, Fla.) extended his lead to remain in first with six points between him and the second-place boat. Pascual’s fellow American competitor Geronimo Nores (Miami Beach, Fla.) saw a significant improvement over yesterday’s results. After winning the last two races of the day, Nores will move up to sixth.
In the Women’s RS:X fleet, Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) also jumped up a couple of positions. Hall finished two of today’s races in third and one in first to move into a podium position. She currently stands third overall and will don the red bib tomorrow.
On today’s success and how she’s feeling at this event, Hall mentioned that her mindset is key on the racecourse. “I’m mostly working on a little bit of technique and a lot of psychology,” she said. “Sailing is a very complex sport, so for me, I’m pretty regimented in my daily routines. I’m focusing on keeping all of that straight but being flexible at the same time. This has been a good event for me psychologically, so I’m pretty happy where I’m at.”
Like Hall, Women’s 470 athletes Carmen and Emma Cowles (Larchmont, N.Y.) are sure to take the right mental approach to their racing. The pair finished today’s races in fifth and eighth to stand in eighth place and as top Americans. With Olympic trials at stake this week, the pair doesn’t let the pressure distract them from their tried and true process.
“The goal isn’t necessarily to qualify, but just to get better as a country,” said Carmen speaking of the priorities among U.S. Women’s 470s. Emma continued, “We’ve all learned a lot in these past few years. All three boats are pretty new, none of us have decades of experience in the 470 like some of the other athletes do.”
With the big picture in mind, Carmen adds that their approach is one step at a time, “I think we take each event one by one, and step by step. That approach worked for us in the 420, so we’re just trying to keep the ball rolling with what we know works.”
As the wind built, reaching the low 20s in the late afternoon, more U.S. sailors took the opportunity to climb the leaderboard. Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) climbed the Laser Radial ranks to stand first overall and Luke Muller (Fort Pierce, Fla.) did the same to land second in the Finn class. Several U.S. athletes will be donning the colored bibs tomorrow as Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.) remains the leader in the Finn fleet.
U.S. leaders in the two remain fleets are US Sailing Team Men’s 470 athletes Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.), who are ninth overall, and Nick Sessions (San Francisco, Calif.) is currently ranked 14th overall among the Lasers.
Tomorrow, Racing continues at 11:00 a.m., local time (GMT-5).
Day One: Strong Start for U.S. Athletes at Hempel World Cup Series Miami
The 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami is well underway. With two boats atop the leaderboard in their respective classes and several more in the top five, the US Sailing Team fared well on day one of the 2020 regatta season.
U.S. competitor, Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.), currently leads the Finn fleet after finishing both of today’s races in first place. Despite having the element of the U.S. Olympic trials in play, Paine felt comfortable focusing on what he could control. “I just focused on my own stuff, just going out and sailing like I know how,” he said.
Rather than worrying about the trials, Paine made sure to keep the small Finn fleet in mind today. He added, “One of my goals for today was to do some fleet management and minimize splitting away from the fleet to look for crazy leverage on the racecourse. Because the fleet is small, I wanted to stay in touch.”
Also atop the leaderboard is Men’s RS:X athlete Pedro Pascual (West Palm Beach, Fla.). Pascual finished the first two Men’s RS:X races in first place. Like Paine, he focused on managing the small fleet to stay at the top. “It was fun racing, today,” said Pascual. “The first two races, I focused on the start and had two really good ones, so after that, I just controlled the fleet.”
The U.S. Women’s 470 athletes have also officially qualified the United States for representation at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by finishing the first race of the day. As the only North American team competing in the Women’s 470 at this event, the U.S. has earned the North American berth and the U.S. has officially qualified in nine of the 10 Tokyo 2020 Olympic classes.
Olympic implications won’t end today for U.S. Women’s 470s, the three boats will continue with the second of three events that determine which pair will occupy that berth and represent team USA in Tokyo. After finishing today’s races in fourth and ninth, Atlantic and Nora Brugman (Winthrop, Mass.) are currently the top Americans in the Women’s 470 fleet, standing in fifth overall.
In addition to the athletes above, several U.S. competitors stand in the top five today. Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) are fourth in the Men’s 470. Likewise, Luke Muller (Fort Pierce, Fla.) and Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) are fourth in the Finn and Laser Radial fleets, respectively. Finally, Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) stands fifth in the Women’s RS:X fleet.
Racing is scheduled to resume tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., local time (GMT -5).
US Sailing Team Remains Focused Ahead of 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami
MIAMI, Fla. (January 19, 2020) – The US Sailing Team’s first major international event of the year approaches quickly with the start of the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami. On Monday, January 20, U.S. 470, Finn, Laser, Laser Radial, and RS:X athletes will have the chance to kick off the year on home waters.
For three of the seven classes, the event will serve as a piece of the U.S. Olympic trials. Sailors in the Men and Women’s 470, Men and Women’s RS:X, and Finn classes will face the second of three selection events that determine the Sailing athletes that will represent Team USA at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
After the 2019 World Championships, some athletes are left with particularly comfortable leads in the trials. U.S. Men’s 470 team, Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.), have a 33-point lead in the U.S. Men’s 470 trials. Similarly, Women’s RS:X sailor, Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.), leads her trials by 34-points.
On the other end of the spectrum, three U.S. Women’s 470 boats are within a point of one another. US Sailing Team athletes, Atlantic Brugman (Winthrop, Mass.) and Nora Brugman (Winthrop, Mass.), will be facing off with the U.S. team, Nikole Barnes (Miami, Fla.) and Lara Dallman-Weiss (Shoreview, Minn.), and the young U.S. duo, Carmen Cowles (Larchmont, N.Y.) and Emma Cowles (Larchmont, N.Y.).
US Sailing’s Olympic Head Coach, Luther Carpenter (Cypress, Texas), is looking forward to watching these sailors prepare for an important leg of the trials. “We’ve had two regattas here in the last month, and it’s been good practice for the coaches and sailors,” he said. “It’s always great to see how we perform when we have to bring our best. It’s one of the best learning tools for all of us.”
In addition to proceeding with the U.S. Olympic athlete trials, the American 470 Women will secure U.S. representation at the Tokyo 2020 Games. As there are more countries competing in Olympic classes than there are spots at the Games, countries have to qualify for representation. This event serves as the North American country qualifier. As the U.S. is the only North American country registered to compete in the Women’s 470 class, the country has all but officially earned the berth.
In both the Finn and Men’s RS:X trials, eight points separate the top two U.S. athletes. Pedro Pascual (West Palm Beach, Fla.) leads over Geronimo Nores (Miami Beach, Fla.) in the Men’s RS:X, while Luke Muller (Fort Pierce, Fla.) is ahead of Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.), in the Finn.
Thanks to relatively small fleets at this event, it’s unlikely either point-spread will be significantly extended or shrunk in Miami. Rather than focusing on the trials, Carpenter has been working with Muller and Paine to focus on making as many improvements as possible.
“I don’t want them to be completely focused on each other, I want them to be focused on the improvements we have to make,” said Carpenter. Keeping a bigger picture in mind, he continued, “If we don’t improve a lot in the trials process, it makes the final goal harder to reach.”
Erika Reineke will also be representing the US Sailing Team in the Women’s Laser Radial Fleet. Though the event is not an element in her Olympic trials, Reineke is looking forward to competing on home waters leaving her best on the racecourse.
Racing will begin on Monday, January 20 at 11:00 a.m., local time (GMT -5). Thanks to solid wind forecasts, the Race Committee is optimistic that the regatta will feature the full schedule of races. All of the classes will have 10, with the exception of the RS:X classes, who have 15. On Saturday, January 25, the top ten boats in each fleet will compete in a final, additional Medal Race.
HEMPEL WORLD CUP SERIES
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ABOUT THE US SAILING TEAM
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