“Super gnarly” at Clearwater OCR
Published on February 5th, 2021
Clearwater, FL (February 5, 2021) – The action at the third stage of the 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing Series picked up today where it left off from yesterday’s first set of races in the Gulf. For some classes, Day 2 of Clearwater OCR featured stronger winds than any other US Open event in 2021.
The Foiling Kites have now totaled 11 races after logging another six today. The conditions were very good for the kiters this morning at 15-17 knots, with puffs reaching 25 knots. The left side of course was especially difficult to contend with due to the buildings on shore making it hard to complete tacks and gybes from the pressure differences.
Markus Edegran (West Palm Beach, Fla.) put some separation between himself and the rest of the fleet after close racing on Day 1. He leads by six points over Evan Heffernan (Santa Barbara, Calif.). Edegran has yet to place worse than third place and has won six of 11 races.
“We had good breeze and we were able to downsize our kites and get rippin’ pretty good close to shore,” said Edegran. “Definitely tricky with offshore breeze but good fun out there.
“This event provides a good start to domestic racing that we’ve been lacking for the last couple years. It will be good to have a set schedule in the U.S. where all the top guys will come together. We are all happy to be here joining the Olympic classes going forward.”
Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, Calif.) is the only women’s kiter in the fleet and maintained her fourth-place position.
“I’m the only girl in the fleet right now, so the boys are keeping me on my toes,” said Moroz. “Markus and Evan have been super-fast. It was pretty hectic out there today. It was super gnarly, really gusty, and a lot of big wipe-outs coming from the Kite fleet, but it was a lot of fun, and everyone is super stoked to be racing.
“I can see this being a very good racing and training venue here in Clearwater. It’s good training for international events and it’s good training and competition for U.S. sailors here as we look ahead to our Olympic campaigns for the 2024 Games. I’m definitely planning on coming back next year.”
The top five sailors in the Laser Radial fleet fleet through six races are Chapman Petersen (Fontana, Wis.), Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), Sarah Douglas (Toronto, CAN), Charlotte Rose (Houston, Texas), and Lillian Myers (Sarasota, Fla.). Petersen held to his lead from yesterday after winning the last two races of the day to take a five-point lead.
“The conditions we sailed in today were some of the best conditions I’ve ever sailed in,” said Rose, a 2-time Youth World Champion. “I felt really good in the boat today and I had good speed.”
Rose also spoke about her training and focus this week. “The ODP [Olympic Development Program] girls have been working on our hiking and Coach Steve [Mitchell] has been pushing us to do upwind sprints, so I was working on that today.”
The three Laser fleets tallied three more races for six total. The Lasers raced further offshore than the other fleets. After taking a one-point lead through three races into today, Leo Boucher (West River, Md.) expanded his lead to 12 following another strong day on the course. Robert Hallawell (Jensen Beach, Fla.) is in second place.
Anna Vasilieva (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) remains undefeated in the Laser 4.7 fleet through six races after winning three more today. She owns a 10-point lead at the midway point of the regatta.
The iQFoil Open fleets continues to be led by Mariana Aguilar Chavez Peon (MEX) who has won all eight races. Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) is the top American in third place and 10-points back. Giovanna Prada (BRA) is in second place.
Mateus Isaac (Sao Paulo, BRA) is eight for eight in the iQFoil Men’s fleet and has an 11-point lead over Noah Lyons (Clearwater, Fla.) who is in third place and the top American. Adrien Gaillard (MEX) is in second place.
Racing at Clearwater OCR is planned for February 4-7 in five classes for both men and women: Laser Standard, Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, iQFoil (Men, Open), and Foiling Kites.
Organized by US Sailing and host yacht clubs at venues in Florida and California, the inaugural 6-stage West Marine US Open Sailing Series seeks to fulfill demand for a racing and training platform based in the United States to provide a path to the Olympic Games for prospective athletes.
Source: US Sailing, Scuttlebutt