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Preview to French Olympic Sailing Week

Hyères, France (April 20, 2011) – With three ISAF (International Sailing Federation) World Cup events behind them, US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) athletes are in Hyères, France this week for the next stop of the series. Scheduled for April 24-29 across 10 Olympic and two Paralympic classes, the 43rd French Olympic Sailing Week expects to host over 800 sailors from more than 50 countries. The regatta doubles as a qualifying event for the first of two Selection Events that will be used to select the U.S. Olympic Team – Sailing. Exclusive photos, video interviews and reports from the racecourse will be posted on USSTAG’s Facebook and Twitter channels.

“We had some very strong results at Princess Sofia Trophy (in Palma de Mallorca, Spain) earlier this month, including a gold and bronze medal in Women's Match Racing,” said USSTAG’s High Performance Director/Head Coach Kenneth Andreasen (Tampa, Fla.). “French Olympic Sailing Week is the next-to-last event before Sail for Gold, which doubles as the first step of our Olympic Team selection. This regatta is important for us to put together what we learned in Palma and continue to improve on our results. We will also see the first European competition for our Paralympic classes, as a Sonar and a 2.4m will be competing.”

Fleet racing starts Sunday, April 24 in 10 Olympic classes and concludes with the medal race on Friday, April 29 in nine of the 10 classes. Women’s Match Racing consist of an opening series, a knockout series, and a sail-off for boats not advancing to the knockout series, with the final matches scheduled on Friday, April 29. In the Paralympic 2.4mR and Sonar classes, racing takes place Sunday, April 24 through Friday, April 29.

Sailors accrue points at each of the seven ISAF Sailing World Cup events to earn an overall Series Score. A first place win translates into 20 points, a second place earns 19 points and so on. (Twentieth place earns one point.) The skipper/crew with the highest Series Score at the end of the season wins the ISAF Sailing World Cup Trophy.

For a full list of USSTAG athletes competing at the French Olympic Sailing Week, please visit: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Events/World_Cup/SOF.htm

Trials Tracker
Follow the progress of U.S. athletes as they campaign for the U.S. Olympic Team – Sailing. Currently campaigning in the midst of the European season, athletes in nine of 10 Olympic classes qualify for a berth at two Selection events based on combined results at ISAF World Cup events. http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Games/Olympics/Track.htm

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,  Trinity Yachts, New England Ropes, Group Experiential Learning and Bow Down Training.

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.

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Contact: Dana Paxton, US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics Press Officer, +1 401-683-0800, x615, danapaxton@ussailing.org