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Mark Mendelblatt
came into the sport the way many sailors do, through family. His parents were recreational sailors, but it was by following the lead of older brother David that he started racing Optis at St. Petersburg Yacht Club. Mark raced throughout high school, helping to take the St. Petersburg High School sailing team to win four consecutive national titles. Although he was still following David’s lead when he enrolled at Tufts University, college sailing was where Mark blossomed, and he picked up ICSA All-American honors three years (’93, ’94, ’95) as was named Tufts Athlete of the Year in 1994.

After he graduated from Tufts in 1995, with a BA in Psychology, he put some time in on the Laser circuit, finishing third at the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Over the next three years, he kept sailing the Laser, all the while working full-time as a stock broker. In 1999 he finished eighth out of 71 boats at the Laser World Championship held in Australia, earning him recognition as the top-placing American. Later in the year he picked up a silver medal at the Pan Am Games, along with the Laser North American title.

Mark was the favorite going into the 2000 US Olympic Team Trials, and despite starting the series with an OCS, he held the lead midway through the series. But an admitted lack of preparation caught up with him and by the time the fat lady sang he had finished second, four points behind the winner. He went to the Games – albeit as coach to a female competitor in the Europe event.

Three years with the One World America’s Cup campaign contributed to his absence on the Laser circuit until he jumped back into the fray at the 2003 Rolex Miami OCR. On the last day of the series, he was only two points behind defending champion Paul Goodison (GBR), finishing 6-1 to Goodison's 14-2. Mark’s sixth was a remarkable comeback from a crippling wind shift that had him 30th out of 49 boats at the first mark. His win in the second race came after he passed Goodison -- the leader at the top mark -- on the second beat to win the race and the series.

Mark followed with wins at the Laser Pacific Coast and Gulf Coast Championships before travelling to Athens for the Saronikos Gulf Regatta, where he was fourth in a fleet of 40 Lasers. At the 2003 Laser World Championship in Spain six top-three finishes, including a win in race four, culminated in a final placement of sixth overall in the 171-boat fleet. It was a personal world-best performance that also qualified the U.S.A. its Laser berth for the 2004 Olympic Regatta.

Two months later, the 31 year old set the bar right from the outset of the US Olympic Team Trials held at Houston Yacht Club. Holding a dominant lead in the 32-boat fleet allowed him the luxury of sitting out the last two races of the 15-race series and win with a commanding 16 points over runner-up John Myrdal, to whom he had lost the 2000 Trials.

Just the Facts:

NAME:

Mark Mendelblatt

CLASS:

Laser

POSITION:

Skipper

US SAILING TEAM:

1996, 1998-2000, 2004

MEMBER OF:

St. Petersburg Yacht Club

HIGH SCHOOL:

St. Petersburg High School, graduated 1991

COLLEGE:

Tufts University, 1995, Psychology

BIRTHDATE:

19 February 1973

BIRTHPLACE:

St. Petersburg, Fla.

HOMETOWN:

St. Petersburg, Fla.

HEIGHT:

6'2"

OCCUPATION:

Securities broker

SAILING SINCE AGE:

6

SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENTS:

2004 Laser World Silver Medallist
Collegiate All American ('92-'94)
Tufts Athlete of the Year (93-94)

SAILING RESUME:

2004
Laser European Championship (4th/96 boats)
Laser World Championship, Turkey (2nd/145 boats)
Hyeres Week, France (12th/159 Lasers)
Princess Sofia, Spain (6th/58 Lasers)
2003
Laser World Championship, Spain (6th/171 boats)
Saronikos Gulf Regatta, Athens (4th/40 Lasers)
Laser Gulf Coast Championship, Texas (1st/56 boats)
Laser Pacific Coast Championship (1st/33 boats)
Laser Midwinter’s East, Clearwater, FL (3rd/28 boats)
2000
Laser Olympic Team Trials (2nd/32 boats)
1998
Laser US Champs, Osterville, MA (10th/118 boats)