FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marlieke Eaton, 757-333-0823, MarliekeEaton@ussailing.org
US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics Member Zach Railey Wins
Silver at Finn World Championship
Portsmouth, R.I. (July 11, 2009) – Less than a year after winning a silver medal at the Olympic Games – and after having taken most of that time off from sailing - US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics member Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) has proven that he is still on top of his game. Today in Vallensbaek, Denmark, the 25-year-old Railey won the silver medal at the Finn Gold Cup, the world championship for the Olympic Finn class.
The world’s top Finn class sailors – 89 sailors from 30 countries in total – competed in the regatta and racing was tight throughout the six-day event. Going into today’s medal race – where points count double and only the top ten sailors on the scoreboard race - Railey was in the overall lead, but with only seven points separating the top four, anyone could have brought home the gold.
“My goal going into the medal race was to sail the best race I could,” said Railey, who crossed the finish line in third place in today’s medal race, enough to secure second place overall. “It was a very difficult race and I’m happy about my finish. Of course I would have preferred to finish one step higher on the podium, but I’m happy with this result and am already looking forward to next year’s Gold Cup.”
Said Kenneth Andreasen (Tampa, Fla.), the High Performance Director and Head Coach for the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, “Zach is an excellent Finn sailor, there’s no doubt about it. No other sailor in the world currently has the same consistency in the Finn at such a high level as Zach has.” Railey won silver at both the ’08 Olympic Games and this world championship, while no other sailor has had a podium finish at both events. The Finn Gold Cup winner, local favorite Jonas Hogh-Christensen of Denmark, finished sixth at last year’s Olympic Games. This is the first time since 1991 that a USA sailor has won a medal at the Finn Gold Cup (Brian Ledbetter won the silver medal at that event).
Railey was not the only American competing in this world championship. He was joined by fellow USSTAG members Bryan Boyd (Annapolis, Md.) and Andrew Casey (Alameda, Calif.) who finished 34th and 45th respectively (based on preliminary results). In addition to the three USSTAG members, several other Americans were on the starting line. Among them was Caleb Paine, a junior sailor from Southern California who is part of a new program created by the International Finn Association and piloted in the USA. As part of the program, Paine was offered the use of a Finn boat for one year to sail in several major regattas. He finished 56th overall at the Gold Cup and, according to Railey, who is also the Vice President of Development for the International Finn Association, “Caleb learned a lot at this event.”
For complete results of the Finn Gold Cup, as well as daily news reports and video, please visit the event website at www.fgc-2009.com.
With the Finn class’ top event wrapped up, Railey plans to go home to Clearwater, Fla., to continue to work hard on his physical fitness and prepare for his next big sailing event, the Skandia Sail For Gold Regatta, the seventh and final event of the International Sailing Federation World Cup Series, held at the site of the 2012 Olympic Regatta in Weymouth, England, from September 14 to 19.
The 2010 Finn Gold Cup will be hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club, Calif., in late August/early September.
About the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics
The US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. The top three boats in each Olympic and Paralympic class are selected annually to be members of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. US SAILING supports these elite athletes with funding, coaching and training. The title sponsor of the team is AlphaGraphics; other sponsors include Rolex, Atlantis WeatherGear, Sperry Top-Sider, LaserPerformance, Harken, Team McLube, Bow Down Training, and New England Ropes. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country. For more information about US SAILING, please visit: www.ussailing.org. For more information about the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, please visit: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org.