Bouvet and Mion End Belcher Streak At ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami
dimanche 2 février 2014 –
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Uncooperative wind this week limited the number of series races for most of the events. This created even more significance for the Medal Races, as many sailors and their crews were in contention Saturday. The Medal Race series included the top ten ranked sailors in each fleet competing in one race with double points applied. The 49er and 49erFX conduct a series of three short races worth single points each.
The story of the day, quite possibly came from the Men’s 470 event.
The defending champions Stu McNay and Dave Hughes (USA) had a slight lead over Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) by one point at the start of the day in the Men’s 470 event. The regatta favorites World #1 Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) were 14 points back of the leaders.
Saturday belonged to the French team Bouvet and Mion who notched their first ISAF World Cup victory. A fourth place finish was good enough to secure the gold medal, as fleet leaders McNay and Hughes dropped back to ninth in the medal race.
Meanwhile, Belcher and Ryan placed second, which moved them up for a silver medal. McNay and Hughes earned bronze medal honors.
The second place finish for Belcher snaps his 18 regatta win streak, and 10th with Ryan.
Belcher had this to say about this week’s experience and the end of their win streak,
"Getting in six races as opposed to 10 was challenging, but the French had a great regatta, and so did the Americans. The fleet quality here is phenomenal. We’ve got most of the top 15 in the world here.
"We’ve learned a lot about our competitors and how they race in these conditions. It certainly motivated the fleet to try and turn those results, but for us it’s all about Rio. And these conditions will be similar to Rio.”
On his gold medal Bouvet commented,
"We are very happy because it was the objective to win the regatta and be better than Mat and Will. We try to do our best in every important regatta. Here was very important for us because it’s the start of 2014 and we wanted to let everybody know how good we are.”
Winning the Medal Race was Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE). The Greek team finished eight points ahead of Belcher and Ryan, and 12 points ahead of World #3 Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO).
Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri (ITA) secured gold in emphatic fashion in the Nacra 17, winning the Medal Race by 16 seconds over compatriots Federica Salva and Francesco Bianchi.
The Italians were untouchable in the Medal Race, leading from start to finish and were delighted after racing,
"We are very happy we won here in Miami,” said Sicouri. "It’s the first time for us we’ve won a World Cup. We couldn’t have asked for more.”
Heading into the day the Italians were locked on 36-points with training partners Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank (AUT) so it was a winner takes all scenario. A strong start mixed with good upwind speed meant they had a solid advantage at the first mark. From there the chasing pack could not touch them and they raced away to take the win.
"It was a good race, we had a good start and that’s what allowed us to get ahead of the Austrians, our direct competitors. From there we raced our race, just had fun and it worked.”
The Austrians came through in seventh in the Medal Race which was enough to secure silver.
A fight for bronze played out at the back of the fleet. Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond (GBR) trailed Iker Martinez and Tara Pacheco (ESP) by two points heading into the Medal Race with it all to play for.
The Brits came from behind to pass the Spaniards at the midway point, finishing in ninth and securing bronze.
Voir en ligne : Press info ISAF / www.sailing.org/swc
Full final standings : http://bit.ly/1fnNhPJ
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