Big Time Comes to Miami
Published on January 23rd, 2016
What many remember as OCR (Olympic Classes Regatta), this Miami event is now part of the international Sailing World Cup circuit. More than 780 sailors from 64 nations are gearing up for the 2016 Sailing World Cup Miami on January 25-30, which will have all ten Olympic events and two of the three Paralympic events.
With so many of the elite Olympic and Paralympic competitors based overseas, it is fortuitous to have an event in North America that delivers high level competition. Gary Bodie, who has been involved in running the event since 2005, offers his view of the upcoming competition…
The event has evolved to become one of the premiere competitions in the world, and we are arguably the only event outside of Europe that has repeatedly achieved this level of success. Amid the Sailing World Cup circuit, we are the one event outside of Europe that has really succeeded. We fit well into the schedule, and for the bulk of Europeans, coming to Miami is relatively easy and affordable compared to other non-European events in Asia or Australia.
For sure, being involved as a Sailing World Cup event has been an asset. It denotes significance which drives traffic. And it is a good measure of our success that the event gets used as a prominent qualifier, as it was for the Pan Am Games in 2015 and this year for the Olympic Games. In short, the evolution of our Miami event has seen the fleets getting bigger and better.
Being a Sailing World Cup event, there are some additional requirements for us as organizers, but by and large it is beneficial partnership. World Sailing does the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions, which provides the competitors with uniformity as they compete on the circuit. World Sailing also brings in the tracking and television.
While we have always had outstanding course management, we are now required to have International Race Officers (IRO) in charge of each course. We also now need approval of who we invite as judges and umpires. The focus is delivering consistent quality for all circuit events. New this year, each course also has additional advisers, which is ultimately getting everyone prepared for the upcoming Olympic Games.
Overall, it is a good partnership that we enjoy with World Sailing. With a promising weather forecast ahead, we look forward to a great competition for the Paralympic and Olympic events.