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2021 West Marine US Open Sailing Series - Clearwater Day 2

by US Sailing 6 Feb 04:01 GMT February 4-7, 2021
2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Clearwater © US Sailing Team / Allison Chenard

The action on the water picked up on Friday right where they left off from Thursday's first set of races in the Gulf. For some classes, Day 2 of 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing - Clearwater featured stronger winds than any other US Open event in 2021. This proposed new challenges and thrilling races for much of the day.

The Foiling Kites have now totaled 11 races after logging another six on Friday. 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 Thursday. 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," continued Edgran.

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," added Moroz. "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 ultra-packed Laser Radial fleet continues to entertain. The top five sailors in the 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 Thursday after winning the last two races of the day to take a five-point lead.

Rose is in fourth place and had this to say about today's sailing. "The conditions we sailed in today were some of the best conditions I've ever sailed in. 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 Thursday, 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 on Friday. 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.

For more information visit the official 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing Series event website.

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