The Miami Olympic Classes Regatta has been a regular event on my schedule for years. Graham Biehl and I have sailed 470’s in this event eight years in a row and had a great time together. This year, Dave Hughes and I teamed up. We put in some preparation with coach Morgan Reeser. While I feel experienced in the 470 class – sailing in two Olympic games – I am always surprised at how much I don’t know. Sailing with Dave and Morgan helped open me to some areas I had not explored recently.
The event turned out to be mostly medium wind, with one heavy air day and one light wind day. The fleet was smaller than it has been in years, but the men sailed combined with the women and were scored together, so we had close races in all conditions.
The first half of the event, we were neck-on-neck for the lead. After day one, we were two points ahead of the top Austrian team (ISAF World ranking #2). Then after day two we were tied. The tie continued after day 3. On the fourth day, we sailed in light and shifty winds. We missed early shifts on the first beat, but pulled together some decisions over the race and finished with a 1, 2 on the day. We gained 10 points on the Austrians that day. In such a small fleet, points are hard to come by. We held onto our lead through the medal and ended with a regatta win!
We would like to thank our friends and family for their support leading up to and during this event. Sperry Topsider helped make this possible for us in a number of ways, including with their very comfortable, grippy, and supple Sea Sock booty. Also, thanks to the whole US Sailing Team Sperry Topsider.