Nacra 17 Olympic silver medallists Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin have successfully defended their Miami World Cup Series title, with an emphatic win in the medal race this morning.
Waterhouse and Darmanin spent most of the week chasing the leading Brazilian team of Samuel Albrecht and Gabriela Nicolino de Sá in light winds, but came in to the medal race just four points ahead of the Brazilians in what was effectively a match race for gold.
“Last year we won before going in to the medal race, but this year we came in pretty much even” Waterhouse commented on the water after the race. “So we had to manage the Brazilians today, who really sailed a phenomenal event so congratulations to them.”
Their Miami win is the second World Cup Series event win in a row, after the team took out the Enoshima leg on the 2020 Olympic course in Japan last August.
There was more good news for the Aussies with rising 49erFX team Natasha Bryant and Annie Wilmot ending their time in Miami on a high by moving up to finish fifth overall, their best result in an international event to date.
With gold and silver locked up prior the Laser Medal Race, the primary drama was whether Rio 2016 gold medalist Tom Burton (AUS) would be able to hold off a hungry pack of four sailors all with designs on the final spot on the podium.
Charlie Buckingham (USA) kept Burton honest by working his way into second on the opening leg and remaining there for the remainder of the race.
Burton dropped as far down as fifth, which would’ve put his position at risk, but crossed the finish line in third, right on Buckingham’s heels.
Sam Meech (NZL) won the race to put an exclamation point on his silver medal in the regatta. Herman Tomasgaard (NOR), the gold medal in hand after one of the most impressive Hempel World Cup Series performances in recent memory-he led by 65 points going into the Medal Race-finished last.
“It’s been a lot of training, and it’s nice to see the results from it and it’s a good inspiration to continue with the training,” said Tomasgaard. “I think I’m a sailor that needs to sail a lot to improve. Some of the top guys manage with not as much sailing, but if I don’t train so much I start doing big mistakes and technical things.”
Despite his scoreline, which included nine top-five finishes, it wasn’t a perfect regatta.
“It’s quite a lot of things,” he said. “The first race yesterday, I was thinking too much about the results and not enough about doing a good race. To the future I’ll think more about that. You always have mistakes in the race, it’s just about making the least. A lot of the downwinds can, for sure be better, when I’m in a group. And the starts can be better.”