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USSTAG’s Railey, USSDT’s Kiss Win Bronze Medals at Laser Radial World Championship
Largs, Scotland (July 14, 2010) – US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics’ (USSTAG) Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) and US Sailing Development Team’s (USSDT) Mitchell Kiss (Holland, Mich.) conquered a wide range of conditions to win bronze medals in the women’s and men’s divisions, respectively, at the Laser Radial World Championship in Largs, Scotland. Yesterday’s still air was replaced by 40-knot gusts today, which caused postponements and ultimately abandonments for two days in a row. At 3 pm today, the Race Committee decided to call racing and declared the existing scores as final. The 149 sailors competing at this event quickly learned that every point counted, considering they only accomplished six races in both the men’s and women’s events, allowing only one drop score.
“Every race – every point -- was really important,” said Railey, who also won a gold medal at Kiel Week last month. She described one of the races in which she faced an unlucky shift and rounded the windward mark in 40th, but ultimately climbed her way up to 17th. “All I could think about was that I had to keep fighting, which I did. I got up to 17, which was a huge achievement for me. Every point mattered.”
Overall, Railey said she accomplished her goal of performing well in windy conditions: “The first day of the event, I was in a group of girls who are strong in the big breeze, and I won the group,” said Railey. “I have been working hard at gaining weight and getting stronger, so to come here and be the fastest girl in the big breeze was exciting.”
Coach Dennis Paaske (Kolding, Denmark) credited Railey’s success with her strong tactical decision-making and confidence. “We have been working on her strategic planning -- having a set plan about what to do for that specific race and then adapting her tactics [accordingly],” he said. “Paige had a definite plan for where she wanted to be on the course.”
Railey agreed and offered a final piece of advice for the younger sailors on the development team: “Follow your own instincts and no one else’s. And go for it.”
Railey shared the podium with Kiss, the youngest member of the US Sailing Development Team at age 15, whose bronze medal in the Men’s event was his first medal at a major international event. Kiss consistently stayed at the top of the 92-boat fleet throughout the event, thank to four top-four finishes.
“I have made great gains with my speed in breeze, and now I have to work on my fitness, strength and conditioning,” said Kiss, who has a few days to prepare for his peak event: the Laser Radial Youth World Championship for sailors under the age of 19. Racing starts Tuesday in the same venue in Largs, Scotland.
The team’s coach, Ryan Minth (New York, N.Y.), said Kiss was “rock solid off the line and making his way to the correct side of the course. In tight spots, he made it work. And in easy spots, he made it work.”
Other USSTAG and USSDT members finished the event with strong results, including USSTAG’s Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.) in seventh, USSDT’s Sarah Lihan (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) in 21st and USSTAG’s Claire Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.) in 33rd. In the men’s event, Dodge Rees (Pensacola, Fla.) finished in 21st, Greg Martinez (Houston, Texas) in 28th and Carson Crain (Houston, Texas) in 39th. The male USSDT members will also all compete in the Laser Radial Youth World Championship. For complete results, please visit the event web site: http://www.laserworlds2010.co.uk/laserworlds/. For the latest USSTAG news and updates, please follow the team on Facebook and Twitter.
USSTAG is made up of the United States’ top athletes in each of the 10 Olympic and three Paralympic classes who train together with the common goals of winning medals at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The next major event for the team is Sail for Gold, the seventh and final ISAF Sailing World Cup event in the 2009-2010 series, which is scheduled for August 8-14 in Weymouth/Portland, England, the venue of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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.