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Racing at U.S. Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta

First of Two Events to Determine Women’s Match Racing Team for 2012 Olympic Games

 Portsmouth, R.I. (October 20, 2011) – On October 26, the nation’s top Olympic hopefuls in Women’s Match Racing will begin competition in the U.S. Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta, in Miami, Fla. Organized by US SAILING, the national governing body for the sport, the Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) and Key Biscayne Yacht Club, the ISAF Grade 3 event is scheduled for Oct. 26-30, and will determine the top four teams who will advance to the second, and final, selection event for the 2012 Olympic Team berth in Women’s Match Racing. Daily racing recaps, results and photos will be on the event website: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Events/2011WMRTrials.htm

Competing teams in order of ISAF ranking (as of Oct. 12 ) with skipper (skipper hometown), crew, crew:
#1 Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, FL) with Molly Vandemoer, Debbie Capozzi
#3 Sally Barkow (Nashotah, WI), with Elizabeth, Kratzig-Burnham, Alana O’Reilly
#11 Genny Tulloch (Sausalito, CA) with Jennifer Chamberlin, Alice Manard
#25 Maegan Ruhlman (Cleveland, OH) with Martha Fisher, Abby Rowlands
#33 Becca Dellenbaugh (Brookline, MA) with Katie Pettibone, Janel Zarkowsky
#38 Stephanie Roble (East Troy, WI) with Darby Smith, Maggie Shea
#100 Sandy Hayes (Scituate, MA) with Carol Arnold, Cindy Olsen
#105 Kaitlin Storck (Huntington, NY) with Sarah Lihan, Emily Babbitt

The winning team will qualify for the USA berth at the following events: ISAF Combined World Championships (Dec. 3-17, 2011 in Perth, AUS); US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR (Jan. 23-28, 2012 in Miami, Fla.); Princess Sofia Regatta (March 31-April 6, 2012 in Palma, ESP); French Sailing Week (April 20-27, 2012 in Hyeres, FRA); and the 2012 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship (TBD).

The event format will consist of three stages. Stage 1 -two round robins where each skipper will race against each other skipper two times. The four skippers with the highest total scores at the end of the round robins will advance to Stage 2. The winner of each series in Stage 2 will advance to the Final Series (Stage 3) where the Final and Petit-Final rounds will be staged.

Unlike the nine fleet racing Olympic events, which use a combined performance at two existing events, 2012 Olympic Team qualification in Women’s Match Racing uses two stand-alone events, organized by US SAILING. The second selection event is scheduled for May 4-7 at the Weymouth & Portland National Academy, in England, the site of the 2012 Olympic sailing venue.

“The OSC chose the more traditional U.S.-only qualification series because it is nearly impossible to predict how many spots will be available to U.S. teams at any one international match racing event,” said Dean Brenner (Wallingford, Conn.), Chairman of the Olympic Sailing Committee. “Unlike in fleet racing events, it’s impossible to guarantee more than one spot per country. We’re blessed with having multiple strong teams in the U.S., and we want to make sure every competitive team, and every interested team, has sufficient opportunity to compete for selection.”

US SAILING will send a maximum of one boat per event, pending country qualification, to the 2012 Olympic Games for a maximum team size of 16. Upon approval from the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), the qualifying athletes will be named to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team – Sailing and will compete in the Olympic Regatta. The Olympic Regatta will be held July 27 – August 12, 2012, in the towns of Weymouth and Portland, which are located on the southern coast of England, approximately 120 miles southwest of London.

The 10 sailing events selected for the 2012 Olympic Games are: Finn (Heavyweight Dinghy); Laser Radial (Women’s One Person Dinghy); Laser (Men’s One Person Dinghy); 470 Men (Men’s Two Person Dinghy); 470 Women (Women’s Two Person Dinghy); 49er (Men’s Two Person Dinghy High Performance); RS:X (Men’s Windsurfer); RS:X (Women’s Windsurfer); Star (Men’s Keelboat); and Elliott 6m (Women’s Match Racing).

All selection procedures have been reviewed and approved by the USOC Team Selection Working Group. For additional details about the selection procedures for the 2012 Olympic Team - Sailing, please visit http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Games/Olympics/Selection.htm.

To read an interview with OSC Chairman Dean Brenner about the evolution of the 2012 selection procedures, please visit http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/News/2010/Selection_Procedures_Interview.htm

About 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 athletes 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. http://sailingteams.ussailing.org.

About US SAILING
The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. 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, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org .
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 Contact: Dana Paxton, US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, 401-683-0800 x615, danapaxton@ussailing.org; onsite in Miami 401-369-0490