The world’s leading Olympic sailors, including 34 Olympic medallists, competed in the second round of the Hempel World Cup Series in Miami, Florida, USA. More than 650 sailors from 60 nations raced on the waters of Biscayne Bay in the first big event of 2019.
As every year, the Sailing World Cup Miami marks the start of the Olympic sailing season after the winter break. It is important to show excellent performances during this qualification year for Tokyo. Four sailors of the GYC Racing Team competed in three different classes, Nils Theuninck / Finn, Eliot Merceron and Nicolas Rolaz / Laser and Mateo Sanz Lanz / Windsurfing. Despite unstable weather conditions, which fluctuated between light breezes and heavy gusts, two GYC athletes clearly stood out.
Nils Theuninck in the Finn achieved a very good 5th place. He will be the next SST sailor to secure a national quota spot this coming May. After circling the buoys in third position, he opted for a time-consuming option that made him fall back to the very bottom of the fleet before finally catching up and finishing sixth in the final race. “The wind was very unstable, I tried to do the best I could during this tricky Medal Race! It’s a really good regatta for me overall. I think I’ve improved a lot here in Miami; I’m really looking forward to racing in other big events soon!” said Nils Theuninck after the race.
Bursting with confidence
The windsurfer Mateo Sanz Lanz also showed an outstanding performance and would have almost climbed the podium of the medal race. Given the extremely weak wind conditions during the last race, the lull specialist had all the trumps in hand to win a medal. Unfortunately, he crossed the starting line just under a second before the start. This mistake made him fall back to sixth place in the overall ranking. The main thing is that he can tackle the rest of the season with increased self-confidence.
With 18 months until the Tokyo 2020 sailing competition, now is the time for possible medallists to do an honest self-assessment and figure out what weaknesses they need to work on.
Gstaad Yacht Club