January 27 - The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) World Cup Miami event begins tomorrow, with attention focused on the Nacra 17 (mixed multihull) and 49er FX (women's skiff), which will make their debuts as Olympic class events at Rio 2016.
The Nacra 17 event will make its first appearance at the ISAF World Cup, with many sailors still adapting to the event from other classes or boats.
Puerto Rican sailor Enrique Figueroa will compete in the class with his wife Carla Malatrasi serving as crew, and he is hoping to get as much experience in the new boat as possible at the event.
"My objective this week is to get as much time in the water as possible in order to learn as much as I can about the Nacra 17 and place well in the regatta," said Figueroa.
"We have only sailed the Nacra 17 for a few hours over the past couple weeks, but we are definitely getting better."
On teaming up with his wife, Figueroa said: "We have been sailing together since 1993; there is always tension when you race specially among couples."
"At high level regattas maybe a little more tension than usual but with so many years under our belts we have learned to separate the racing part from the couple's part."
American teenage skippers Taylor Reiss and Matthew Whitehead will also be making the switch to the Nacra 17 class from the SL16 class this week.
The pair have competed as a team on various occasions and won the US Youth Multihull Championships in 2011.
Reiss will be partnered by Sarah Lihan, who competed in the Women's 470 for Team USA at the London 2012 Olympic Games, whilst Whitehead will be sailing with 17-year-old compatriot Sarah Streater.
In the 49er FX fleet, British-born Beijing 2008 gold medallist Anna Tunnicliffe of the United States will compete in the Laser Radial with Molly O'Bryan Vandemoer.
Four-time Yachtswoman of the Year Tunnicliffe was also a part of the USA Elliott 6m team that finished a disappointing fifth-placed at London 2012.
Italian pair Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich will pose a strong threat as they compete together in the 49er FX.
Conti is making the switch from the 470 and Clapcich transitions from the Laser Radial as the pair team up once more after competing together at London 2012.
Brazilian duo Kahena Kunze and Martine Grael will also be looking for a strong performance after winning the 49er FX North American Championship.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]