International

2.4mR

Association

2011 Miami OCR

The Miami OCR, which began Monday for 716 sailors from 53 nations, prepares Olympic and Paralympic sailing aspirants for the 2012 Games and is the second of seven stops on the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup circuit.

For France’s Damien Seguin, a two-time 2.4mR IFDS World Champion who is currently ranked  #1 in the world, winning gold in the Paralympic 2.4mR class was looking good from day two when he assumed the lead over his 30-boat fleet. Clinching today, however, was not as straightforward as today’s scores seemed to reflect.  Following seven boat lengths behind leader USA’s John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wis.) at the finish in race one, Seguin was determined the actual winner when Ruf was disqualified for starting the race prematurely and neglecting to exonerate himself. “After that, for my next two races, my score was such that I needed only to loosely cover Thierry Schmitter (NED),” said Seguin, further explaining that only if he finished worse than sixth would he foil his own plot. Schmitter, another IFDS World Champion, took the Silver Medal, finishing fourth in the first race and winning the next two, each time with Seguin behind in second.

“There were many different winds here,” said Damien about the practice this provides for his run for a spot on the French national team. “We started in strong wind, then there was light wind and today medium-strong. I am very happy for that and for the competition.”

Taking bronze was Canada’s Allan Leibel, who is able-bodied and allowed to compete here, since the class is declared “open” for this event.