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Sailors battle ‘haywire’ shifts and gusts on third day of Sailing World Cup

The first stop of World Sailing's 2017 World Cup Series will see more than 450 competitors race across the ten Olympic classes from Regatta Park at Coconut Grove.
The first stop of World Sailing's 2017 World Cup Series will see more than 450 competitors race across the ten Olympic classes from Regatta Park at Coconut Grove. World Sailing

American boats are in the top 10 overall in seven of 10 Olympic classes at Sailing World Cup Miami after battling shifty, gusty conditions on the third day of racing on Biscayne Bay.

Defending regatta champs Stu McNay of Providence, Rhode Island, and Dave Hughes of Miami moved up to second place in the men’s 470 fleet, just behind the Rio Olympics bronze medalists from Greece.

“Miami never ceases to keep things fresh by delivering unexpected conditions,” McNay said.

In the men’s 49er class, David Liebenberg of Livermore, California, and Ian MacDiarmid of Delray Beach moved up to ninth place after three strong finishes.

“Before this, we’d been focusing on speed and missing the shifts we needed to catch,” Liebenberg said. “We tried to be proactive on the racecourse.”

Charlie Buckingham of Newport Beach, Calif., was in fourth in the 59-boat men’s Laser fleet.

“It got a bit haywire out there and I had to fight back a few times,” he said.

Erika Reineke of Fort Lauderdale was sixth in the women’s Laser Radial class, Luke Muller of Fort Pierce was fifth in the men’s Finn and Rio Olympian Pedro Pascual of West Palm Beach was 26th in the RS:X (windsurfer) fleet.

Medal races are Saturday and Sunday at noon. The Regatta Park Fan Zone opens Friday in Coconut Grove and features live TV coverage on a spectator-friendly large video screen and expert commentary.

Olympic gold medalists Martine Soffiati Grael and Kahena Kunze of Brazil held a comfortable lead over two Norwegian teams in 49erFX. British sailors hold first and second places in the co-ed Nacra 17 class with three days of racing left.

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