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USSTAG Wins Two Bronze, Two Gold Medals at Sail for Gold
Two Teams Win ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings
Weymouth, England (September 19, 2009) – USA’s medal count doubled today at Sail for Gold when Olympic Silver Medalist Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) won a bronze in the Finn class and Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), crew Molly O’Bryan Vandemoer (Redwood City, Calif.) and Alice Manard (Charleston, S.C.) won a bronze in the new Elliott 6 m. Today, the usual Southwesterly winds returned to Weymouth after a long postponement on shore, but only six classes were able to sail their double-point Medal Races to finish off the week-long International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup event.
Medal Races were cancelled in the Finn, Star and Men’s and Women’s RS:X classes, which frustrated some sailors who wanted one last showdown. “I would have liked to get a medal race in because you always want to have the opportunity to keep moving up and working harder,” said Railey. “But I am happy with another podium finish this year.” Railey won a bronze medal at US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR and a silver at the Finn Gold Cup earlier this year.
“The conditions were difficult,” said Railey, who explained the Finn race course was close to a cliff face, which allowed the wind to drop down and spread over the course. “Everyone sailed over different pressures and wind angles, and the shifts happened quickly. The races I did very well in this week, I tried to lead the fleet out to the side that was favored and capitalized along the shifts when they happened.”
In the new Women’s Match Racing Event, Tunnicliffe and her team battled France’s Claire LeRoy in the petit-finals, ultimately winning 2-1. In the first race, the USSTAG team led to the second windward mark, but they got a penalty and LeRoy passed them. In the second race, they played the shifts and sailed smartly to barely win by a half boat’s length. In the third and last race, the French boat got a penalty in the pre-start, but caught up to Tunnicliffe at the second windward mark. They had a close race downwind, and at the finish, LeRoy drew a second penalty and a black flag, and Tunnicliffe won the race.
“It was exciting. We made it much more difficult than it had to be, but we learned a lot out there,” said Tunnicliffe. “We’re slowing learning the boat more. We’re happy with how we did.”
“It’s an awesome start to the new quad and for USA Women’s Match Racing,” said Vandemoer. “It was definitely a team effort to get the bronze. It wasn’t just our boat; it was a group effort with our American teammates.”
Sail for Gold is the seventh and final stop of the ISAF Sailing World Cup 2008-2009 series, and the leaders in the Sailing World Cup standings were also awarded today. Tunnicliffe won the Laser Radial class, and Stu McNay (Boston, Mass.) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.) finished second in the Men’s 470. Tunnicliffe won three Sailing World Cup events this year: Sail Melbourne, US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR and French Olympic Sailing Week. McNay and Biehl won silver at Sail Malbourne and US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR.
Yesterday, two more US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) boats won gold medals: Scott Whitman (Brick, N.J.) and Julia Dorsett (Westchester, Pa./Boca Raton, Fla.) in the doublehanded SKUD-18 and Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Hugh Freund (So. Freeport, Me.) and Maureen McKinnon-Tucker (Marblehead, Mass.) in the triplehanded Sonar. Whitman and Dorsett also won the ISAF Sailing World Cup standings in the SKUD-18, and Doerr’s team finished second in the ISAF Sailing World Cup standings in the Sonar. Read press release
“The USSTAG has a lot of talent, and they’re working extremely hard,” said USSTAG High Performance Director/Head Coach Kenneth Andreasen (Tampa, Fla.). “We came here representing all the classes and with a full team of coaches to learn and experience being in Weymouth.”
Held at the venue of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Weymouth/Portland, England, this event was also a critical fact finding mission about the conditions and facility. Sailors experienced a wide range of conditions this week, including gusts that ranged from 5 to 30 knots.
“We’re taking it as a challenge,” said Andreasen. “We’re going to train hard at home and in Weymouth, and this time next year we’ll show we’ve made some great improvements.”
For complete results of all the USSTAG members who competed at Sail for Gold, please visit the event web site: http://www.sailracer.co.uk/events/event-v2.asp?eventid=18401
For racing photos, more USSTAG news and athlete bios, please visit the team web site, http://sailingteams.ussailing.org.
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.