2008 Olympic Silver medalist Zach Railey has started 2012 in the best possible way by dominating and winning the Rolex Miami OCR, the second event in the 2012 ISAF Sailing World Cup series. Though numbers were down following the recent Perth 2011 ISAF World Sailing Championships, the front of the fleet was still very competitive with an Olympic medalist and a double world champion slugging it out for most of the week. At 26 boats it was also the same size fleet that will be at the Olympics this coming August, so it was good small fleet practice for many.
With a week of near perfect sailing conditions, Railey opened his series with three race wins. After that he never slipped below third in any of the next seven races and went into the medal race with a commanding 12 point lead. He won that as well to take the tally to seven and become the clear winner with a 18 point margin over the runner up.
Double world champion Jonas Hogh-Christensen only managed to win one race all week, but a long string of second and third place finishes ensured he took home the silver medal, while third placed Greg Douglas started the week badly with a black flag but was soon moving up the rankings with some good results, including a win in race eight.
Fourth placed Brendan Casey – who had filled third place for most of the week – also won two races, but five races outside the top three, as well as a poor medal race cost him dearly. He only lost the bronze on count-back to Douglas.
Douglas said, “I am very happy with my event, having started with a black flag to end up third overall. It is only my second medal race – my first was at Delta Lloyd last year. The medal race is very tough because people are always changing positions in the race which effects their overall score.”
“The main thing I took away from this event is that every place counts. No matter what happens you have to push hard in every race to gain places because the points at the end will be close.”
For more on this race and its results, go to www.ussailing.org.