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Sail for Gold Day 1

The first day began under postponement for all but the Women’s Match Racing at Skandia Sail for Gold, first of two Selection Events for the U.S. Olympic Team – Sailing. Once racing got underway in Weymouth, U.K., the venue for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, racing in all classes lasted throughout the day. US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics athletes hold 11 top-10 spots across the leaderboard.

Full list of USSTAG athletes competing at the 2011 Skandia Sail for Gold regatta: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Events/2011/SFG.htm

Performance highlights include:

• USSTAG’s two match racing teams headed by skippers Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.) and Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.) counted wins in round robin racing. Barkow, with team mates Alana O’Reilly (Charleston, S.C.) and Elizabeth Kratzig Burnham (Miami, Fla.), scored 2 wins, one loss in the day’s first grouping. In the second group, Tunnicliffe, with her “Team Maclaren” crew Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi went 4-0.

Sally Barkow introduces her crew in an exclusive video: http://youtu.be/ykx7rSfbq94

• The Sonar team of Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Me.) started the regatta with a win, then followed it up with a second to stand second overall. They are the 2009 champions and looking to add another medal.

• In the day’s only Laser race Clay Johnson (Toms River, N.J.) scored a 7th in his fleet’s only race to stand 13th overall in 124-boat fleet. The fleet is divided into groups each day of the qualifying series.

• With a third and an eighth-place in the Men’s 470, Stuart McNay (Boston, Mass.) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.) are in 6th overall.  Audio interview: http://soundcloud.com/usstag/sounds-from-monday-evening-1

Quotes on Day 1:

Erik Storck on US Trials, day one: “Fantastic and ready to go. Trevor and I have been working super, super hard. Hard to believe it’s here already. We’ve been sailing together for two and a half years and it’s culminating. We’re ready to go.”

Zach Railey on Skandia Sail for Gold, US Trials and his new Finn: “Very excited to be here at this moment. There are three events we’re concentrating on for this quadrennium looking forward toward 2012. This is the first of those three events, and we’re excited and nervous to be here all at the same time.”
Full video interview: http://youtu.be/uahk6NyePLs

Hugh Freund, crew on Sonar USA 674’s two races: “Two races we have to be really proud of. For us, starting and executing our plan has always been a key point we haven’t been able to achieve every time. Today we got on the line, had great holes and able to get to the side and with this shifty wind, it was exceptional.  We had a fantastic forecast this morning that made all the difference.” Full interview: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Events/2011/SFG.htm

Olympian Graham Biehl on two races in the Men’s 470 and how they stay focused when the day extends into the evening: “Pretty good first day, thankfully the Race Committee waited because there wasn’t any breeze all day. In our first race, we sailed smart and we sailed well and were able to pull a third on that one. We’re really happy with the day. It’s pretty much bed time already. We’re going to get everything done and get food and get hydrated. You have to stay on the routine and get it all done.”
Full interview: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Events/2011/SFG.htm

2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe on four straight wins: “We set some goals for ourselves coming into the regatta. We focused on those and came away with four wins. We had a great start to the regatta. We are all looking forward to racing tomorrow.”

The racing: Scheduled for June 6-11 across 10 Olympic and three Paralympic classes, the Skandia Sail for Gold is hosting over 1,000 sailors from 62 countries.

Fleet racing started Monday, June 6 in 10 Olympic classes and concludes with the medal race on Saturday, June 11 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 Saturday, June 11. In the Paralympic classes, fleet racing takes place Monday, June 6 through Friday, June 10.

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.

Notes on Olympic Selection
:
For more information on 2012 Olympic Selection Procedures: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/News/2010/Olympic_Selection_Procedures.htm

To read an interview with Dean Brenner that explains the 2012 Olympic Selection Process: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/News/2010/Selection_Procedures_Interview.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.

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, danapaxton@ussailing.org or mobile +1 401-369-0490 (in Weymouth through June 12)