Marlow Rigged Olympic Sailing Teams Compete in Miami World Cup Series
The 29th World Cup Series in Miami USA started this week for top-level Olympic class racing across both the Marlow rigged British and US Sailing Teams. As the only North American regatta to be included in the World Cup Series, the regatta is a mainstay on the winter circuit for sailors campaigning for the next Olympic Games.
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Olympic 470 duo Luke Patience and Chris Grube were among the British Sailing Team athletes who took control of their respective fleets on a wet and wild day third day of the World Cup Series Miami.
The pair moved to the top of the 470 rankings with a masterclass of heavy weather sailing as a fresh breeze of more than 20 knots blew through Biscayne Bay on Thursday, a stark contrast to the light winds of the first two days.
Patience and Grube dominated day three’s two races, winning the opener and finishing runners up in the second.
The impressive performance moved them into pole position with a healthy six-point buffer over closest rivals Kevin Pepponet and Jeremie Mion of France with three fleet races left before the concluding medal race.
“We won the day with a first and a second – we’re pretty happy,” said Patience, a silver medallist from London 2012. “It was booming windy out there and the boats were flying. It was fun but tiring. The key was to get to maximum boat speed as quickly as possible. That one thing can get you ahead of the fleet and you can just do simple things from there. We didn’t do anything heroic, we just stayed calm.”
The World Cup Series Miami is only the second major outing for Patience and Grube since returning from a year-long break following Rio 2016.
As well as providing a benchmark for winter training, the regatta is a good test of where the pair sit ahead of 2018’s biggest event – the Hempel Sailing World Championships taking place in Aarhus, Denmark, this summer.
“It’s still early in the Olympic cycle and this is the first event of the year, so for us this is about establishing where we sit in the world fleet and giving us an indication of what we need to work on ahead of the world championships,” Patience added.
Finn class Olympic gold medallist Giles Scott and 49er world champions Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell also took the lead, each bagging a race win among a string of top results.
Fletcher and Bithell bounced back from a capsize in the opening race of the day to finish 12th, then followed it up with a 1, 3, 8 as downwind speeds topped 20 knots in the high performance skiffs.
Team mates James Peters and Fynn Sterritt, the world number two-ranked 49er pair, notched up a race win along with a 6, 7 but had to settle for 23rd in the third race when a trapeze wire snapped.
As official rope supplier to both the UK & US Teams, Marlow is delighted to see the squads working hard and sailing fast – good luck to all!