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Andy Horton Gives Play-by-Play of Star Medal Race at Delta Lloyd Regatta

US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics’ (USSTAG) Andy Horton (S. Burlington, Vt.) and James Lyne (Granville, Vt.) won a bronze medal in the 16-boat Star class at Delta Lloyd Regatta, the fifth International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup event in the 2009-2010 series. This was their second podium finish at a Sailing World Cup event in 2010: they also won a silver medal at US SAILING’s 2010 Rolex Miami OCR in January. Horton described the challending Medal Race:

"The medal race went off last night at 7 pm in pretty light conditions of 3-6 knots, right under the town of Medemblik with the weather mark about 100 feet off the breakwater. All of these things made the race quite challenging along with tons of spectator boats and jury boats creating mountains of chop.

We went into the race in third position. We needed to win and have the first place team get a eighth place in the medal race to win the event. For second overall we needed to beat the second place team by a boat and we were tied with the fourth place team going in, so we needed to beat them boat for boat.

The boat was really favored but there was pressure on the left. Basically nothing was going to make this race easy. So we started somewhere in the middle right end of the line, didn't have a very good acceleration and got swallowed up by both sides off the line. After about 40 seconds, we had to tack to keep our breeze clear. A few other boats had been flushed out before us and were under us on port and the other half was still sailing on starboard, needless to say things were not going that well.

About half way up the beat things starting turning around for us. As you can imagine you can not see the puffs on the water coming down above the course - unless you could magically read the leaves on the trees so this race was a little more about dealing with what gets thrown at you the best you can. Keep in mind this whole beat took about seven minutes, with the whole race taking about 35 minutes.

The next passing lane, we found was a great one. The fleet bore away and sailed on starboard down the run. We did the same staying in pressure, but as we approached the gate there was a big lift most of the fleet missed. We gybed first and had a nice powerful reach to the downwind left gate mark. This was a big gain. When I looked over at the opposite gate mark we had passed at least two boats.

The next lap was a little more of the same. We had taken a great gain at our gate but had to get to the pressure on the left. We were fourth at the second windward mark and had a very similar run, gybed on a similar shift and this time rounded even with the first boat. Again, on the beat our problem was getting out of the right side. Every once and a while a puff would drop in and make the right ok, but in general the pressure was on the left. On this beat we starting playing the balancing act of beating back one of the boats we needed to beat in the regatta and not losing places in the race. Unfortunately this beat was even more left pressure dominant than the others and it was a struggle to get to the left edge of the course. We rounded the last windward mark in the third. The last run was uneventful so that's where we finished the race and the event."

For more USSTAG results from the 2010 Delta Lloyd Regatta, click here. 
 

About the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics
The US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. The top 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 Watch USA, Atlantis WeatherGear, Sperry Top-Sider, LaserPerformance, Harken, Team McLube, Bow Down Training, New England Ropes, Group Experiential Learning and Trinity Yachts. 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 Olympic Sailing Program and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, please visit: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org.