Running from 22-28 January at Biscayne Bay, Florida, USA, the Rolex Miami OCR will feature all of the Olympic events as teams ramp up preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.
Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada (BRA) will be the pair to beat in the Star class following their gold medal performance in Perth 2011. The pair also dominated the 2010-2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup winning four of the five regattas they sailed in and are reigning champions in Miami.
With a winning margin of 49 points over Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen (SWE) at the 2011 regatta, a repeat performance would give the Brazilian World Champions a great start to their World Cup campaign.
In a fleet of 31-boats Loof and Salminen will join the Brazilians in Miami, as will Perth 2011 bronze medallists Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih (USA) and 2009-2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup Star champions Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen (NOR).
A competitive 16-boat fleet will line up in the Women’s 470. Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan (USA) and Kathrin Kadelbach and Friederike Belcher (GER) sailed at Sail Melbourne and registered early World Cup points. The Americans finished third whilst the Germans came fifth. Another good performance from either crew will give them a superb start to the 2011-2012 campaign.
Joining the American and German crews will be World #2 Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR). Having already been selected to represent Great Britain for the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition the pressure of qualification is off the girls and they will get some valuable competition time in Miami.
Israel’s Gil Cohen and Vered Bouskila and the Netherlands Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout will also sail following strong performances at Perth 2011.
The Men’s 470 fleet welcomes 24 crews to Miami including Perth 2011 gold medallists and World #1 pair Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page. The Australians finished second behind Stuart McNay and Graham Biehl (USA) at the opening ISAF Sailing World Cup Regatta, Sail Melbourne, and are looking to defend the World Cup crown they won by 19 points last year.
World #3 Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlov Kagialis (GRE), World #7 Gideon Kliger and Eran Sela (ISR) and World #8 Luca Calabrese and Juan De La Fuente (ARG) are also set to sail.
Thirteen American Finn sailors make up half of the 26-boat fleet. World #6 Zach Railey (USA) will be the favourite to take the title with only Brendan Casey (AUS) and Caleb Paine (USA) the other sailors in the top 25 of the world’s Finn sailors.
2010-2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup 49er Champions Nico Delle-Karth and Nikolaus Resch (AUT) begin their World Cup campaign and will be joined by World #4 pair Allan Norregaard and Peter Lang (DEN) and the American team of Erik Storck and Trevor Moore whose dreams of world championship medals were shattered in Perth when their rudder broke in the Medal Race.
The Paralympic Classes also commence sailing with 29 registered 2.4mR entries, seven SKUD-18 and 11 Sonar entries.
Women’s Match Racers enjoy a practice day on 22 January before competition for all the fleets kicks off on 23 January.
For more information on the ISAF Sailing World Cup click here.