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Marlieke Eaton, 401-441-3948 , 

Team USA Grabs Two Gold Medals, One Bronze at Kiel Week in Germany

Portsmouth, R.I. (June 24, 2009) – Team USA prevailed in the medal races today at Kiel Week, finishing the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup event with three medals in two classes. US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) members Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) and Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.) once again dominated the Laser Radial class by winning a gold and bronze medal, respectively, while Mark Mendelblatt (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Mark Strube (West Palm Beach, Fla.) won a gold medal in the Star class.

The biggest surprise was the weather: Kiel Week has a reputation for stormy, windy weather, but this year’s event failed to live up to its reputation, said team meteorologist Doug Charko (Auckland, New Zealand). As a result, most classes only got five or six races in this week. “We had beautiful weather -- if you’re on vacation,” said Tunnicliffe, “but it wasn’t perfect sailing weather.” Even so, the team made every race count and showed strong performances.

USSTAG Dominates Laser Radial Class
Railey and Tunnicliffe’s performances only further proved they have a firm grasp on the Laser Radial class. This is the fifth ISAF Sailing World Cup event this year in which they have won: Tunnicliffe earned gold medals at Sail Melbourne in Australia, US SAILING’s 2009 Rolex Miami OCR in Miami, Fla. and French Olympic Sailing Week in Hyères, France, while Railey won gold at Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma de Mallorca, Spain and a silver medal at Rolex Miami OCR.

“It feels so good to win,” said Railey, who credits her win to her successful midline starts. She said she was able to tack easily in the first shift because she wasn’t pinned out. “I had control of my own upwind instead of someone else dictating what I was going to do,” she said. Railey added that she has a new mental mindset this year: “I’m really relaxed. When I’m sailing, I’m not putting pressure on myself. I’m having more fun with it all.”

Tunnicliffe, who is the number one-ranked Laser Radial sailor in the world by ISAF, said she was excited to win a bronze medal, despite the conditions only allowing five qualifying races in four days. “I sailed well and learned some big lessons about when to be conservative and when to be more risky, when to push a situation and when not to,” she said. “They are important lessons going into the Worlds.” Railey and Tunnicliffe will compete in the Laser Radial World Championship in Japan at the end of July.

Two Wins at Kiel Week for Mendelblatt/Strube
This was the second time Mendelblatt and Strube have competed at Kiel Week together as a team – and the second time they have won the event. “We won two Kiels. It’s pretty nice to win gold every time we come over,” said Strube, who added that they focused on doing well and tried to stay positive. “Our downwind techniques are getting better, and we are trying to improve our upwind and tacks.”

“We consider ourselves one of the top [Star] teams,” said Strube. “A few teams have an edge on us, and we’re trying to surpass them over the next couple of years before the Olympic Games.”

Americans Show Top Finishes in Medal Races
US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics members who competed in today’s medal races were Andrew Campbell (San Diego, Calif.) and Brad Nichol (Miami, Fla.) who finished seventh overall in the Star class, and windsurfers Ben Barger (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) both finished ninth overall in the 34-boat Men’s RS:X and 16-boat Women’s RS:X fleets. This was the first time both Barger and Hall competed in the medal races at an ISAF Sailing World Cup event this year.

In Women’s Match Racing, USA’s Genny Tulloch (San Francisco, Calif.), Jamie Haines (Jamestown, R.I.) and Chafee Emory (Newport, R.I.), whose top finishes granted them automatic entry into the quarter finals, finished the regatta in sixth place overall.

USA’s Deb Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.), Emily Hill (Miami, Fla./New Haven, Conn.) and Karina Shelton also competed in the 21-boat fleet. This was the first ISAF Sailing World Cup event in which match racers competed in the Elliot 6m, the equipment chosen for the new Women’s Match Racing event for the 2012 Games.

Strong American Presence Overall
A total of 22 USSTAG members, five US Sailing Team Under 18 and Under 23 members and 24 additional Americans competed at Kiel Week, rounding out a large and strong Team USA presence.

In the 64-boat Finn fleet, USSTAG member Bryan Boyd (Annapolis, Md.) sailed to a 12th place finish overall, while 2008 Olympic silver medalist Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) finished 17th after not being able to drop a black flag from the first day because they only got five races in. USSTAG’s Andrew Casey (Alameda, Calif.) and Americans Caleb Paine, Ian Cook and Phillip Ramming also competed.

USSTAG’s Emily Billing (Clearwater, Fla.), US Sailing Team Under 23 teammates Claire Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.) and Sarah Lihan (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and USA’s Erika Reineke competed in the 75-boat Laser Radial fleet. Among the 153 Lasers competing were USSTAG’s Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Brad Funk (Plantation, Fla.), US Sailing Team Under 23 members Derick Vranizan (Shoreline, Wash.), Cam Cullman (Rye, N.Y.) and Rob Crane (Darien, Conn.), as well as USA’s Andrew Fox, Vilhelm Roberts and Carl Shorett.

In addition to the aforementioned Star teams of Mendelblatt/Strube and Campbell/Nichol, fellow Americans Andy MacDonald and Brian Fatih, Andy Horton and James Lyne, and Jack Jennings and Mike Nichol also competed in the 43-boat fleet. In the Women’s RS:X class, USSTAG’s Lisa Kremer (Worthington, Minn./Sioux City, Iowa) finished 14th.

USSTAG’s Stu McNay (Lincoln, Mass), who is currently sailing with Willie McBride while his regular crew Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.) recovers from ankle surgery, finished 11th out of 60 boats in the Men’s 470. Also competing were USSTAG’s Adam Roberts and Nick Martin (both San Diego, Calif.) and Americans Charlie Modica and Nick Martin, Brendan Kopp and Michael Costello (Men’s 470) and Sara Fox and Lauren Sinclair (Women’s 470). In the 50-boat 49er fleet, USSTAG’s Eric Storck (Huntington, N.Y.) and Trevor Moore (N. Pomfret, Vt.) finished 15th.

Weather Lessons
“The team did really well; we learned a lot,” said Kenneth Andreasen (Tamps, Fla.), the High Performance Director and Head Coach for the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. “We had our meteorologist Doug Charko here and we focused a lot on learning about the weather. We made a lot of progress on that.”

Explained Charko: “An area of high pressure covered Kieler Bay for much of the regatta, providing sunny skies but also light wind conditions. Except for the first day with a few races in wind over 10 knots, the remainder of the regatta had light winds with two days [of racing] lost due to a complete lack of wind.” For today’s medal races, “a choppy two- to three-foot sea that developed in the stronger wind overnight remained on the courses and with the lighter wind, made for challenging sailing especially in the downwind runs,” he said.

Kiel Week, also known as Kieler Woche, is the sixth stop on the inaugural International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup 2008-2009 circuit, bringing together the world's top Olympic and Paralympic class competitors. The next Sailing World Cup event is Sail for Gold in Weymouth, England, which starts September 14, 2009. The event will be held in the same venue as the 2012 Olympic Sailing Regatta. Sail for Gold is the seventh and final event in the ISAF Sailing World Cup 2008-2009 circuit. The 2010 circuit begins in Melbourne, Australia in December 2009. While the next ISAF Sailing World Cup event is a few months off, many USSTAG members will next compete at the World or European Championships in their respective classes.

For more information about the 2009 USSTAG, including bios and photos, please visit the new team web site, For complete results from Kiel Week, please visit the event web site at, or the International Sailing Federation's website at

About the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics and US SAILING
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, 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: For more information about the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, please visit: