08 April 2020
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Sailing: Brits on form as racing ramps up in Miami

January 27, 2010

British sailors made up for lost time on day two of the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta (Tuesday 26 January), with Nick Thompson, Giles Scott and Lucy Macgregor’s match racing team all leading their events as the second World Cup regatta of the season got into full swing.

Lucy-Macgregor,-Annie-Lush,-There were solid starts also for the in-form Skandia Team GBR duo of Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell in the 470 class, while Scott’s fellow British Finn sailors also showed good pace with a British winner in each of the three races held today for the heavyweight fleet.

After a shortened opening day on Monday, with many classes confined to shore due to storm warnings, conditions were much improved for Tuesday’s second day, allowing for a full day of race action out in Biscayne Bay.

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Sailing: Lucy Macgregor off to a flying start in Miami

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Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Ally Martin booked their berth in the quarter-finals of the women’s match racing event, taking a clean sweep of seven wins from their group B round-robin matches, with only world number one Claire Leroy (FRA) in group A capable of equalling that early form.

Macgregor’s team overcame one of the home favourites, Sally Barkow, plus the Netherlands’ Renee Groeneveld and Anna Kjellberg of Sweden to earn their place in the top eight, but there was less joy for the second British boat, helmed by Katie Archer, who could only manage three wins out of seven in their round-robin stage.

Macgregor will now race a second round robin on Wednesday to determine her seeding and opponent for the quarter-final phase.

Skandia Team GBR’s Finn sailors showed promising signs as they took to the racecourse for the first time today.  Defending Miami and World Cup series champion Ed Wright led a British 1-2-3 in the opening race of the regatta, with Giles Scott in second and Andrew Mills in third, while Mark Andrews took the advantage and the gun in race two.

But taking the win from the final race of the day it’s Scott who leads the pack after three races, leading USA’s Olympic silver medallist Zach Railey in second ad Norway’s Per Moberg in third.

In the Laser class, Lymington’s Nick Thompson signalled his intent on reclaiming the title he picked up at this venue 12 months ago, with two race wins and a sixth today to see him poised at the top of the leaderboard in the 104-boat fleet.

In the 470 men’s event, Skandia Team GBR’s world silver medallists Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell continue to be comfortable in the venue following their win at the North American Championships last week.  They had a strong opening day to sit them in second place overall.

“We had a good solid day today, with perfect wind conditions,” Bithell explained.   “As a team we had three solid counters, three top ten results, which was the aim for the day so we’re happy.”

“But it’s early days,” Patience continued.  We’ll take each race as it comes.  We try and stick by that and not look at the result board too much – that’ll take care of itself.  We’ll just keep plugging in the counters as we go along, see how the regatta unfolds and ramp it up towards the end.”

The duo are certainly the ones to watch among the Skandia Team GBR 470 crews right now, with three podium finishes – including a World Championship silver – from the three regattas they’ve contested during their short partnership.

Did they expect such a rapid rise to podium success?

“Certainly not when we teamed up which was five or six months ago now!” Patience explains.

“But we went straight to the Worlds and won a medal there and I think from that point on it became apparent to us that actually there was absolutely no reason why we’re not running a London campaign here with all the intentions of going to the [2012] Games and winning gold there.

“We’ve had three good regattas and have been on the podium for all of them so we’re setting our sights quite high!”

Elsewhere, RS:X World Champion Nick Dempsey is in third overall in the men’s windsurfing event, with Bryony Shaw sixth in the women’s fleet, while in the Paralympic classes Megan Pascoe is poised in third in the 2.4mR event, with John Robertson, Hannah Stodel and Steve Thomas also in third in the Sonar event.

SKUD World Champions Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell are fourth with 4,1,4 on the water today, Alison Young is the leading British Laser Radial sailor in fourth, Dave Evans and Ed Powys are ninth in the 49er event, with the scratch 470 pairing of Sarah Ayton and Saskia Clark in 15th place.

Louise Hudson, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

Photo credit: Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush, Ally Martin (match racing) – Richard Langdon/Skandia Team GBR.

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  1. Pingback: Sailing: British sailors continue their march at Miami mid-way stage - Sportsister - The Women's Sprt Magazine | Sportsister

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