Welcoming the Olympic world to Miami
Published on January 15th, 2020
Launched in 2008, the World Cup Series has been that annual circuit of Olympic sailing events that marked the pathway for aspiring sailors toward the Olympic Games. The USA has been on the schedule since the beginning, and with the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami on January 20-25, Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck checks in with US Sailing Team Olympic Director Meredith Brody for an update.
Well before the World Cup Series began, the USA has had a history of hosting international competition.
This year marks the 31st edition for the event, so yes, we’ve been doing this awhile. The timing in January is a good fit for South Florida weather and generally sits well within the international competition calendar. After the holiday break, the event has been a great opportunity for training and competition before the European Olympic schedule begins.
With 10 Olympic events requiring high level race management and personnel, how do you pull this off?
This will be my 8th year as event Co-Chair, and it is a team effort with US Sailing, World Sailing, and local clubs to host the event. Along with significant local participation, we have a lot of volunteers who come from outside the region, with specific support from Chicago Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club, CORK, and San Diego Yacht Club.
Explain what is different about the 2020 event.
We have a small event this year as it is common that participation is reduced before and/or after the Olympics. Nations send smaller teams, either because they have selected their representative or are otherwise allocating their budget differently.
On top of that, from November 2019 to February 2020, there are 11 Olympic Class World Championships in either New Zealand or Australia, so athletes in those events are remaining in the Oceania region.
With reduced participation and only 7 of the 10 Olympic events, we’ve adapted by moving the venue. The event has been hosted at Regatta Park and Coconut Grove Sailing Club the last four years, but this year we are shifting back to the US Sailing Center where all boats and boards will launch.
However, World Sailing will continue to provide tracking and Live TV on the Medal Race Day (January 25), but since we are not at the park, we will not have the Festival/Fan Zone we have had the last few years.
What is the view of the event after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics?
The World Sailing World Cup Series will conclude in 2020, so the event will go back to its name prior to the World Cup, which was the Miami Olympic Classes Regatta.
How will this impact the event?
This event has been held since 1990, and the budget to run the regatta is independent of World Sailing, so we expect no changes. Hosting an Olympic event in North America is immensely important for sailors in this region, and international competitors have a long history of wanting this event as part of their sailing program. So y’all come back in 2021.
Racing will commence at 11:00 local time on January 20 and run through to January 25 where seven Medal Races will decide the 2020 Hempel World Cup Series Miami Champions.
The World Cup Series is an annual circuit of Olympic sailing for elite and professional sailors, and a key touchpoint for fans and media to connect to the sport of sailing and develop support for athletes on their road to Tokyo 2020 Olympics and beyond. Over 2,000 of the world’s leading sailors, representing 75 nations, have competed in the World Cup Series since its inception in 2008.
2019-20 Hempel World Cup Series
Aug 27-Sep 1, 2019 – Enoshima, Japan
January 20-25, 2020 – Miami, USA
April 14-19, 2020 – Genoa, Italy
June 16-21, 2020 – Enoshima, Japan