Fickle winds return to Lauderdale OCR

Published on January 17th, 2021

Ft. Lauderdale, FL (January 17, 2021) – The 135 sailors waited patiently today for consistent breeze during a lengthy postponement, with all three Laser fleets eventually completing one race each on Day 3 at the 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing Series – Fort Lauderdale.

Shifty winds at Lauderdale OCR made racing a challenge in the late morning and early afternoon hours, but improved later in the afternoon winds, reaching 8 to 12 knots with puffy and shifty gusts and relatively flat seas.

Juan Maegli (GUA) added to his lead by taking Race 4 in the Laser Full Rig fleet. He now leads Francisco Guaragna Rigonat (ARG) by 10 points. Leo Boucher (Annapolis, Md.) placed second in today’s race, while Luke Ruitenberg (CAN) finished third. Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif) is the top American entering tomorrow’s last day of racing in fifth place.

“We went out there with very little hopes of getting races off,” admitted Boucher. “It was pretty chilly, very cloudy, and it didn’t look promising. Then around three o’clock we got a bit of breeze; just enough to get us started. The breeze never settled in and was very all over the place.”

Chapman Petersen (Winnetka, Ill.) had another strong performance in Race 4 with a win in the Yellow Fleet to lead the Radials by eight points over Robby Meek (Annapolis, Md.). Isabella Maegli (GUA) earned the win in the Blue Fleet. Today was the final qualifying round for the Radials with the fleet splitting into Gold and Silver tomorrow.

Jacob Zils (Wayzata, Minn.) has a one point lead over Umi Noritake (Miami Beach, Fla.) and Conor Kellett (Miami Beach, Fla.) through four races in the 4.7 fleet after placing second in Race 4. Dorothy Mendelblatt (St. Petersburg, Fla.) won today’s race and moved into fifth place overall.

Two to three races are planned tomorrow.

Morgan Reeser, Olympic Development Program (ODP) Coach and Olympic Gold Medalist, was impressed with the overall talent of these young athletes. “They’ve all shown flashes of brilliance, which I’d much rather have than just an average performance. I’d rather see some some great ones, and they’ve all had top four races or top six races. That’s all I’d ask for at this point.

“I go back to when I was their age, there was nothing like this. So I constantly tell them they have no idea how lucky they are. They have hardworking, really smart people behind them trying to guide them, whereas I had to continually make mistakes myself and just try not to make the same mistakes twice. So we’re trying to help them not make the mistake the first time.”

ODP Coach Chris Barnard added, “It’s great that all these sailors at different levels are mixing it up this week. It’s on us to keep pushing the level higher and over the years we will keep getting better.”

US Open informationEvent detailsResults

US Sailing and host yacht clubs at established sailing venues in Florida and California launched the 6-stage West Marine US Open Sailing Series to provide high-quality Olympic-class racing in the USA.

Source: US Sailing

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