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This Article Last Updated: Oct 14th, 2010 - 15:13:49 

The Team to Beat in Miami – Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pederson
By Lynn Fitzpatrick, WorldRegattas.com
Feb 1, 2010, 11:30

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Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen (NOR).
Photo by Sheila C. Hill.
Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen (NOR) have been unstoppable on Biscayne Bay this year. With their come from behind victory in US Sailing’s 2010 Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta the Norwegians took the top spot on the podium for the third time this season. Their earlier wins were in the Levin and the Commodore’s Cup.

Less than 24 hours after their plane landed at MIA and fresh off an eighth place finish at the 2010 Star World Championship in Rio de Janeiro, the Norwegians were racing on Biscayne Bay. They won the first race of the MOCR, but played catch-up for the rest of the regatta after they posted a mid-fleet finish in the second race and 2009 Star North American Champion, Andy Horton, and James Lyne (USA) notched a string of top five finishes in their score line.

The chink in Horton and Lyne’s armor was the starting line. They discarded an OCS in Race 7 and had an unforced error during the starting sequence of the Medal Round. It was their turn to play catch-up, which is not an easy feat in the short course, small fleet, double point format of the Medal Round. Horton/Lyne's beeline to the left corner during the first beat put them in striking distance of Melleby/Pedersen, but after a tacking duel, the Americans found themselves forced beyond the layline with another boat to leeward of them and the Norwegians speeding toward the windward mark. Horton/Lyne made a valiant attempt to pass boats on the final run to the finish, but in the end the runway was a bit to short, and Andy MacDonald and Austin Sperry (USA) crossed the finish line less than a boat length ahead of Horton/Lyne. Melleby/Pedersen's third place finish in the Medal Round and Horton/Lyne’s fifth was just the margin that the Norwegians needed to win the regatta by a single point. Talk about exciting!

"We are very happy with our sailing this year, especially in Miami. It was a close regatta and a close Medal Race. We didn't even know the outcome until Thomas Guttormsen, our coach, came over to our boat and confirmed it, " said Melleby following the regatta. "We look forward to returning for the Bacardi."

Melleby/Pedersen have been one of the top teams in the Star for the past few years. They had stellar performances on Biscayne Bay throughout 2008, however they sailed a 2008 Star World Championship that will always haunt them, because it dashed their 2008 Olympic prospects. However, it did not put an end to their sailing. Melleby went offshore and was Ericsson 3 Nordic crew’s helmsman for eight legs of the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race while Pedersen returned to school and made guest appearances as a Star crew.

There is no question that Melleby/Pedersen have regained their stride. They are the team to beat in Miami and were one of the few teams that had a shot at the podium in a very talent-laden fleet at the recent Star World Championship.

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