The second of seven ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas, the Rolex Miami OCR will bring together some of the world’s best sailors in all of the Olympic events for the first time since the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships. Twenty five Women’s Match Racing Crews will start their Sailing World Cup campaign in Miami, after the competition was not featured in Melbourne. Nine of the World’s top ten Women’s Match Racers will compete as they look to get their campaign off to a good start. World #1, Anna Tunnicliffe (USA), will be the skipper to beat in Miami after her dominating performance at the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships. The ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year crushed Lucy Macgregor 4-0 in the final of the competition to claim the Women’s Match Racing gold. Tunnicliffe’s rivals for the American Match Racing Olympic spot Sally Barkow, Stephanie Roble and Genevieve Tulloch will all sail in Miami ahead of their qualification event at Weymouth and Portland, Great Britain from 4-9 May 2012.
Australia’s Olivia Price and Nicky Souter will continue their battle for Australian Olympic selection after very little separated them at Perth 2011. Immediately after the Rolex Miami OCR the 2012 Women’s Match Racing International Country Olympic Qualifying Regatta takes place on Biscayne Bay. Crews from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Spain, Finland, Germany and Slovenia will get valuable competitive action time to prepare for the regatta where three places are up for grabs. In the Laser Radial Lijia Xu (CHN) will look to continue her good start to her Sailing World Cup campaign after victory at Sail Melbourne.
The World #42 won Sail Melbourne after a dominating display following seven top three finishes during the regatta in the competitive 25-boat fleet. But the 2008 Olympic bronze medallist and former Laser Radial World Champion will find Miami a harder nut to crack with 59 sailors registered to compete. Among the fleet is World #1 Evi Van Acker (BEL), Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships Laser Radial gold medallist Marit Bouwmeester and Perth 2011 bronze medallist and winner of the 2011 Rolex Miami OCR Paige Railey (USA). Bouwmeester is going for a third consecutive ISAF Sailing World Cup title after a six point victory over Veronika Fenclova (CZE) in 2009-2010 and a one point win over Van Acker in 2010-2011. But after one regatta Bouwmeester sits in 15th position with Xu leading the way followed by Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) and Krystal Weir (AUS). With 81 entries the Laser fleet is the largest at the Rolex Miami OCR. World #4 Bruno Fontes (BRA) is the highest ranked sailor competing World #5 Julio Alsogaray (ARG) and Beijing Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison (GBR) set to join him on the starting line. In the Men’s RS:X 14 sailors will compete for ISAF Sailing World Cup points with last year’s World Cup runner up Nick Dempsey (GBR) set to line up. And in the Women’s fleet, 13 windsurfers will compete. The Finn, Star, Men’s 470, Women’s 470 and 49er preview will be released on Wednesday.