U.S. Boats Qualify for Medal Races In Miami, Worldwide TV Broadcast Set For Weekend

Pictured: Olympian Louisa Chafee (Warwick, R.I.) and helmsman Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.), Nacra 17. Photo: Sailing Energy.


January 27, 2017

Miami, Fla. – World Cup Series Miami 2017, Presented by Sunbrella (January 22-29, 2017) will see the first medal races of the regatta take place on Saturday. On day four, competition was intense as the final berths in each ten-boat, double-points medal race were decided. The United States will be represented in two medal races on Saturday, in the Men’s 49er and Nacra 17 classes. Full-fleet racing will continue in five other classes on Saturday, and medal races for those fleets will take place on Sunday at North America’s premier Olympic-level sailing event. All ten medal races will be broadcast live around the world by World Sailing over the course of the weekend.

WATCH: LIVE TV Broadcast Begins at 12:00 EST (Medal Races – RS:X, 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17)

Medal Race Schedule (Saturday, January 28)

  1. Men’s 49er: 12:05 EST
  2. Women’s 49erFX: 12:45 EST
  3. Mixed Nacra 17: 13:25 EST
  4. Women’s RS:X: 14:05
  5. Men’s RS:X: 14:45

Note: Five of ten classes will hold their medal races on Saturday, with the remaining five medal races held on Sunday.

In the Nacra 17, Olympian Louisa Chafee (Warwick, R.I.) and helmsman Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.) qualified for the medal race, capping off an impressive performance for a team that lacked much experience together heading into this week. “We had an eventful four races out there today, finishing 5th three times and then unfortunately getting caught on the wrong side of the time limit when the breeze died during the third race,” said Chafee. “Overall, we were just really encouraged to be competing consistently around the top boats this week.”

Gibbs and Chafee will have a narrow chance to make the podium during Saturday’s medal race, as they are currently 19 points out of bronze medal position. “We’ll have our big U.S. flag spinnaker out there tomorrow, and hopefully we can make the US Sailing Team fans watching the broadcast at home and at the Regatta Park fan zone proud of us tomorrow,” said Chafee. “Our fellow American Nacra 17 sailors told us they’ll be on the water, on coach boats, cheering us on during the race. We’ll try our best to give them something to shout about.”

The U.S. will be represented in the Men’s 49er medal race by David Liebenburg (Livermore, Calif.) and Ian MacDiarmid (Delray Beach, Fla.), who after a slow start to their event charged up the leaderboard to record four top-five scores in their last six races. The pair will enter the medal race in 10th overall, and have a chance to advance as high as 7th in the standings. “We had no real expectations heading into this event, and are looking forward to representing the U.S. tomorrow,” said Liebenburg, who is embarking on his second 49er Olympic campaign after finishing 4th in the hard-fought Rio 2016 selection series.

“After the last campaign, I wasn’t sure what would happen next,” said Liebenberg. “Other teams have had full programs going for the past year, and it was hard to have some uncertainty around my own plans. Ian and I joined up a few weeks ago, and have crammed in as much training as we could. We’ll have nothing to lose out there tomorrow, and we plan to be aggressive, push hard, and just send it.”

MacDiarmid was similarly excited to have another chance to mix it up with the best. “This is my first World Cup event in any class, though I’ve done a lot of training in skiffs heading into this. It was a little shocking to see just how good the top guys are. That being said, the 10th place position that we’ll carry going into tomorrow doesn’t define us. We’ll go at it hard, and see what happens,” said the Florida native.

Despite an impressive effort on Friday that saw them finish 6,1 in the final two races on Friday, the US Sailing Team 49er team of Judge Ryan (San Diego, Calif.) and Hans Henken (Coronado, Calif.) missed medal race qualification by one point, and will end the event in 11th overall. Trailing close behind in 12th was the family team of Andrew Mollerus (Rye, N.Y.) and Matthew Mollerus (Rye, N.Y.), who also recorded a standout score on Friday with a second in the final race.

Pictured: David Liebenburg (Livermore, Calif.) and Ian MacDiarmid (Delray Beach, Fla.), Men’s 49er, far left. Photo: Sailing Energy.

U.S. Olympians Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) pulled into the overall lead in the Men’s 470 class after finishing 5th in Friday’s lone race. McNay and Hughes were able to put six boats in between themselves and the venerable Greek team on the final leg of the race, allowing them to claim a narrow four-point lead in the overall standings. The accomplished American pair, who finished 4th at Rio 2016 and are the defending champions in Miami, will look to stay consistent on Saturday, the final day of full-fleet 470 racing before Sunday’s 470 medal race.

Erika Reineke (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) currently stands in 4th overall after finishing 11,13 on Friday. While the four-time U.S. College Sailing Singlehanded National Champion is firmly in the hunt for the podium, Reineke will have to close a 28-point deficit with Mathilde De Kerangat of France during the final two full-fleet Laser Radial races on Saturday in order to be in the mix for the podium heading into Sunday’s Medal Race.

In the Men’s Laser, U.S. Olympian Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) faces a similar situation as Reineke. The leading American Laser athlete is currently 24 points from podium position in 5th overall, and will look to record a strong final set of races on Saturday to climb back into the medal hunt.

Finn sailor Luke Muller (Ft. Pierce, Fla.) recorded a race victory on day four, and also will look to flight closer to podium position on Saturday. The previous U.S. Laser national champion, who switched into the Finn heavyweight dinghy a year ago, stands in 5th overall and will try to shrink a 14 point deficit to 3rd place on Saturday.

Pictured: Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.), Men’s 470. Photo: Sailing Energy.

What’s Ahead

Six days of racing for the ten Olympic classes are scheduled to take place from January 24-29, with medal races scheduled for Saturday, January 28 and Sunday, January 29. Additionally, Sailing World Cup Miami 2017 will feature the debut of the Regatta Park Fan Zone, a new effort to bring as much sailing action as possible to fans watching from shore. Spectators will get to watch live TV coverage on a large video display, with an experienced commentary team led by U.S. Olympian and 2005 Sailing World Cup Miami champion Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis). The medal race video feed will also be available online on Saturday and Sunday on World Sailing’s Facebook and YouTube Channels.

Watch the Racing:


For sailing fans in Miami looking to take in all the action this coming weekend, Regatta Park is located at 3400 Pan American Drive in Miami, Florida.


Live tracking and competitor’s analytics is available via SAP Sailing Analytics throughout the event here.

Follow the US Sailing Team: Team Media Guide

Notable US Standings: Day 4

See Also: Full Standings & Race Replays

See Also:

About the US Sailing Team

The US Sailing Team is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. The top boats in each Olympic class are selected annually to be members of the US Sailing Team. US Sailing helps these elite athletes with financial, logistical, coaching, technical, fitness, marketing and communications support. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org/olympics

About US Sailing

The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org

Contact: Will Ricketson, Communications Manager, US Sailing
Email: willricketson@ussailing.org
Phone: +1 978 697 2384 (USA)