It may have been a day late for Australia Day, but on the second day at the Sailing World Cup Miami, the Australian Finn sailors were on a charge with some sparkling performances. Giles Scott (GBR) still leads after winning the opening race of the day, while Jake Lilley (AUS) won the second and moved up to second overall. Ed Wright (GBR) is in third.
However, it was the former World No.1, Oliver Tweddell (AUS), who had the best day overall with a 3, 2 to move up to eighth overall after struggling on day one.
With the wind at 12 to 14 knots for most of the day, it was a lot easier on the legs, but still as shifty as ever with some big losses and gains through the fleet. In race 3, the right side came in strong at the top mark with Harles Liv (EST) rounding first from Tweddell and the 1974 World Champion, Henry Sprague (USA). The early leaders lost a lot of ground stuck out on the left.
Scott rounded in eighth, but it wasn’t long before he was moving up, choosing a course to the right of the fleet and gradually eroding the gap. He took the lead just before the gate and led up the second beat from Tweddell and Piotr Kula (POL). Scott loosely covered the main group out to the right, with Kula even further to the right. When the fleet tacked back both Kula and Tweddell has passed Scott, but it was short lived
Scott found a way through and rounded the top mark just ahead of Tweddell and Anders Pedersen (NOR). The regatta leader stayed in the middle down the run to protect his lead, which turned into a dual of wits as he maintained a narrow lead over the pack to win his third race in a row. Kula just beat Tweddell across the line for second with Pedersen, Bjorn Allansson (SWE) and Wright not far behind.
In the shifty conditions, race 4 started to mix the fleet up a bit with more high scores going on the board for some. However, Tweddell was again at the front following Caleb Paine (USA), round the top mark, with Jake Lilley (AUS) in third.
Paine, who had broken a boom on Monday and couldn’t sail the second race, initially broke clear down the run, but Tweddell lined up further to the left and passed him near the gate to lead up the second beat. Lilley remained in third, while Scott, who had rounded the top mark ninth, was up to fourth
Lilley then favoured the right on the second beat and crossed back ahead to lead round the top from Paine, Ben Cornish (GBR) and Tweddell. Scott was now down in fifth. The only change down the final run was Tweddell passing Paine to put Lilley under pressure and make it an Aussie 1, 2. Paine crossed in third with Cornish fourth and Scott fifth.
Man of the day, Tweddell, sounded relieved after a poor performance on Monday. “It was a much better day for me today. Yesterday I had an unfortunate day, really struggling for speed in the first race and then having to retire from the second race with some gear failure.”
“Today was a bit lighter than yesterday, probably around 13-15 knots, with a short chop and straight offshore so quite shifty.”
“I changed a few things around with my set up for today which made a big difference to my speed, and I managed to keep myself in a good position on the race course which helped out a lot. The downwinds were a lot of fun today.”
Former World No. 1, Allansson, currently in 13th overall, said, “We had a day with plenty of shifts and pressure differences. One consistently needed to attack the next pressure. I make improvements out there every day, so it's good fun.”
The 2012 European Champion, Ioannis Mitakis (GRE), is in sixth overall, and is upbeat about his first ever visit to Miami. “Today it was windy again but more tricky with big shifts which made our job really difficult. I had an eighth and an 11th, which I think in these conditions is ok.”
“It my first time here and this place is perfect. I think year by year this event is becoming bigger and it’s a really good place for training and racing.”
The World Junior Champion is also fairing well in his first year as a senior. Anders Pedersen (NOR) is fourth overall after a 4, 9 today. He said, “Today’s racing was tough. It was very shifty and up and down in pressure. The first one for me was good, I had a good start and got the flow. The second was a bit more difficult. I lost the wind half way up the first beat, and got knocked out of rhythm. Then the rest of the race was a struggle to hang on the fleet.”
On changing from a Junior to a Senior, “The perspective hasn’t changed that much really. My goal is to do well in the Olympics so that is what the goal is really all about. But it’s good to feel that I am fighting with ‘the big guys’ as well.”
Racing in Miami continues through for Friday for the opening series, with the medal race for the top 10 on Saturday. The first start for Finns on Wednesday is scheduled for 13.00.
Results after four races
1 GBR 41 Giles Scott 3
2 AUS 41 Jake Lilley 6
3 GBR 11 Edward Wright 16
4 NOR 1 Anders Pedersen 18
5 POL 17 Piotr Kula 20
6 GRE 77 Ioannis Mitakis 22
7 USA 6 Caleb Paine 23
8 SLO 573 Vasilij Zbogar 24
9 AUS 261 Oliver Tweddell 25
10 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 25
Event website: http://miami.ussailing.org
Live tracking at: www.sailing.org/worldcup/multimedia/tracking.php