The Miami Olympic Classes Regatta has returned to Biscayne Bay for its 11th consecutive year with racing in six of the nine classes selected for the 2000 Olympics
The Miami Olympic Classes Regatta has returned to Biscayne Bay for its 11th consecutive year with racing in six of the nine classes selected for the 2000 Olympics — Europe, Finn, Laser, Soling, Star and Tornado. When racing concludes on Saturday, January 29, U.S. sailors who are in the final months of preparation before their Olympic Trials will have had another opportunity to test their mettle against the top competitors at the world level. As the only International Sailing Federation (ISAF) grade-one ranking event in the U.S.A., the Miami OCR has drawn five Olympic medalists and at least ten Olympians, along with numerous world champions.
For the event’s second day of racing, depending where on the Bay a class was racing, the light and fluky winds offered varied results. Despite postponements on several courses, by day’s end some classes were able to complete three races, while others only one.
EUROPE – After six races, with one drop, Soren Johnsen (DEN), leads the 15-boat fleet, followed by Denise Cesky (AUT) and ’99 ISAF World Youth Bronze Medalist Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.).
FINN – After six races and one drop, Mark Herrmann (Seattle, Wash.) is first in the 28-boat Finn class with nine points. In second is Richard Clarke (CAN) with 16 points, followed by Eric Oetgen (Savannah, Ga.) with 18 points.
LASER – Karl Suneson (Sweden), ranked fourth December ’99 ISAF World Sailing Ranking List, holds the lead with 14 points in the 62-boat Laser fleet, the event’s largest. In second place with 22 points is defending champion and ’99 Pan Am Games Silver Medalist Mark Mendelblatt (St. Petersburg, Fla.), followed by Gustavo Lima (POR) with 33 points.
MISTRAL – After five races, Japanese boardsailors Suzuki Kazuyoshi and Keisuke Ogawa, with nine and ten points, respectively, lead this fleet of 11 boards. In third place, with 16 points, is Floridian Ben Barger (St. Petersburg).
SOLING – No results have been reported.
STAR – With 50 boats, and ostensibly one of the toughest fleets here, the Star class has completed three races, after light breeze only allowed them to get off one race today. In first place with 21 points is Jose Maria Van Der Ploeg and crew Rafael Trusillo (ESP). Van Der Ploeg, the ’92 Finn Olympic Gold Medalist, will not complete the regatta as he is returning home to be at the side of his wife who delivered the couple’s first child, a son, early this morning.
Ian Walker and crew Mark Covell (GBR), ranked 11th on the December ’99 ISAF World Sailing Ranking List, sit in second place with 23 points, followed by ’92 Star Olympic Bronze Medalist Ross MacDonald and Kai Bjorn (Canada) with 27 points. The top U.S. competitor is John MacCausland and George Iverson (Cherry Hill, N.J./Marblehead, Mass.) in sixth place with 36 points.
Tornado – ’96 Olympians John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree (New Orleans, La./Newport Beach, Calif.) hold the lead in their 13-boat fleet with eight points; followed by defending champions Lars Guck and PJ Schaffer (both Bristol, R.I.) with 12 points, and Robbie Daniel and Jacques Bernier (Clearwater/Daytona, Fla.), also with 12 points. Hosting the Miami OCR are the U.S. Sailing Center; Coral Reef, Key Biscayne and Miami Yacht Clubs; and the Coconut Grove Sailing Club.