Weymouth, England (August 4, 2010) -- Almost 50 members of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) and US Sailing Development Team (USSDT) have descended on Weymouth/Portland, England for the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, the final stop on the 2009-2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit. The regatta is especially important for 2012 Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls because it is held at the venue of the 2012 Games, so this is a crucial opportunity to test the conditions and the world-class competition. Team USA will compete in all 10 Olympic classes and two Paralympic classes. Event organizers are expecting a record number of athletes to compete: to date, 975 athletes have registered from 57 nations.
At the end of this event, in addition to the awards for the regatta, ISAF will award medals for the overall Sailing World Cup standings. Sailors have accumulated points at each World Cup event, which count toward their final standings in each class.
“We have a strong and talented team here in Weymouth, and our athletes are pumped to compete at the venue of the 2012 Games, two years out,” said High Performance Director/Head Coach Kenneth Andreasen. “We have medal contenders in several classes at Sail for Gold, and we’re on track to bring home several overall Sailing World Cup medals as well. This will also be a terrific learning experience for our athletes who are getting used to the venue and Weymouth’s conditions.”
Racing starts Monday for all classes, weather depending. To see the full list of team members competing at Sail for Gold, please visit: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Events/World_Cup/SFG2010.htm
Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), Finn: “The Finn class will have every top sailor in the world attending. For us as athletes, competing at the Olympic venue is really an asset to see where we stand and what improvements need to be made in preparation for our Olympic trials and also the Games in 2012.”
Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), Laser Radial: "I am excited to do sail for gold because this is where the Olympics will be held. It's as though we are getting a taste of what to look forward to in 2012. Besides the fact that its the olympic site, this event will be important because of the World Cup Standings. The points are very close in the Laser Radials and I would really like to win them.
Erik Storck (Huntington, N.Y.), 49er: "We've made some huge strides since racing here last year, and we look forward to showing our improvement at the last World Cup stop for 2010, and in Weymouth. We are always excited for the chance to race at the site of the Olympic Trials and the Olympic Games."
Amanda Clark (Shelter Harbor, N.Y.), Women's 470: "Sarah and I are proud to help represent the 470 Women's class for the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics at the 2010 Sail for Gold Regatta. It is going to be some exciting racing as all of the international competition gathers important knowledge about racing in Weymouth."
Andrew Campbell (San Diego, Calif.), Star: "We've come out of the biggest Star regatta in history at the Europeans last month into without a doubt the most concentrated high-quality fleet of the season here in Weymouth. This is a critical piece to my preparation for the Olympics. Not only will we have the Olympic Trials here next year, but the Olympics the year following. We're lucky to have such great access to the course area and comfortable support from our USSTAG Compound. We're putting it to good use."