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Kiel, Germany (June 19, 2010) -- US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) kicked off Kiel Week, the sixth ISAF Sailing World Cup event in the 2009-2010 series, with a bang Saturday, posting top results in several Olympic classes. Forty-four members of the USSTAG and US Sailing Development Team (USSDT) are competing at Kiel Week this week, among 5,000 competitors. 

teamAmong the sailors to watch this week are Laser Radial sailor Paige Railey and Star sailor Mark Mendeblatt, who both won gold medals at last year’s Kiel Week and are undoubtedly hoping for repeat performances. Mendeblatt, who also won gold at Kiel Week in 2006 with Mark Strube, will be joined by 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist Magnus Liljedahl this year. Another USSTAG Star team, Andy Horton and James Lyne, will be in the medal hunt, after their recent bronze medal win at Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik.

Check out the USSTAG event site for the latest news, results, action photos from Fried Elliott, exclusive video interviews with the team. For up-to-the-minute team news, please follow the team on Facebook and Twitter

Athlete reports:
Day 1:
Anna Tunnicliffe, WMR: "There was a cold wind blowing, and the rain came through the course intermittently, but overall it was a great day of racing." more:

Before Day 1:
Zach Railey, Finn: "I am excited about Kiel Week as we have been focusing a lot on my technique and some tweaks to my settings in the boat. We have also had two long training camps to test and push as a team and are feeling better in the boat after these two camps. First, was in Weymouth after Holland and second is here in Kiel. Our main focus is peaking at the World Championship in the end of August, so we are ramping up the training and Kiel will be a good test to see where we are at right now. We can identify the progress made and also what needs to be done when we have our next training camp in July after Kiel."

Erik Storck, 49er: "We're looking forward to having such a deep field at Kiel Week as our final tune up for the European Championships to be held in Poland July 5-10. We will focus specifically on holding our lane in all scenarios after the start and on making solid tactical decisions here this week. Our goal is to make it to the medal race. Racing is the best practice for racing, and at this stage we want to keep climbing the ladder from gold fleet up to the podium."  More: