U.S. leads the way at Rolex Miami regatta
The Rolex Miami Olympic Class Regatta wrapped up with a single medal race for the Olympic hopefuls, and finals and petit finals, for the women's match racers.
Just as will happen at the Olympics in 2012, only the top 10 finishers - determined after five days of fleet racing - earned the right to sail in the medal race for each class. The event hosted 448 teams with 633 athletes from 45 nations. The United States topped the medal count with 10, followed by Great Britain with six, France with five and Spain with four.
In the women's match racing finals, Anna Tunnicliffe of Plantation, Fla., Molly Vandemoer of Redwood City, Calif., and Debbie Capozzi of Bayport, N.Y., defeated Lucy MacGregor's British team in a highly charged, best-of-five series. Thanks to a substantial 35-point lead in the Laser Radial, Paige Railey of Clearwater, Fla., wrapped up the gold medal a day early in the 57-boat fleet, but added another bullet in the medal race. Following in second was Spain's Alicia Cebrian and the bronze went to Britain's Alison Young.
A couple of 2008 Olympians in Amanda Clark of Shelter Harbor Heights, N.Y., and Sarah Chin of Hoboken, N.J., won an impressive gold medal in the women's 470, after taking a year off following the Olympics.
Norway's Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland won a gold medal in the Star class in a come-from-behind victory over Andy Horton of South Burlington, Vt., and James Lyne of Granville, Vt., who led the 24-boat fleet throughout the regatta. Only three points separated the two teams going into the last race. Horton and Lyne went back to the start for an unforced error and played catch-up for the rest of the race, finishing fifth in the race and second overall. Mark Mendelblatt of St. Petersburg, Fla., and John Von Schwarz of Annapolis, Md., finished third.
In the Paralympic classes, the United States took four medals to Canada's two and one each for Norway, Great Britain and The Netherlands.
KEY WEST RACE WEEK
Mike Williamson of Newport, R.I., sported a very satisfied look as he sat in the cockpit of his Summit 40 sipping a beer and reflecting on capturing the IRC 2 class at Key West 2010 presented by Nautica. John Cooper's Cool Breeze from Cane Hill, Mo., took second place in IRC 2, followed by David Murphy's Pugwash, also from Newport.
Winners of the other 10 classes at Key West 2010 had similar feelings. There were hearty handshakes and slaps on the back among the Joe Fly crew upon return to the dock on Friday after Giovanni Maspero's Italian team topped the Farr 40 class. Runner-up was Barking Mad, owned by Jim Richardson of Newport, R.I. Nerone, another Italian entry, finished two points behind Barking Mad.
This article originally appeared in the New England Home Waters Section of the April 2010 issue.