Stellar Day for USSTAG at Sail for Gold
Weymouth, England (August 11, 2010) – US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) members shook off yesterday’s damp cold and hit their strides today with 12 top ten finishes in fleet racing, including two bullets, at Skandia Sail for Gold. Sailors were greeted by sunny skies this morning for most classes’ 11 a.m. starts, as the weather shifted 180 degrees.
“We work hard to be a completely prepared team each and every day, and today was one of those days where we got the kind of results that this team is capable of, and what we expect,” said Olympic Sailing Chairman Dean Brenner (Wallingford, Conn.).
Today was a standout day for 49er sailors Erik Storck (Huntington, N.Y.) and Trevor Moore (Naples, Fla.), who finished eighth in the first race and then grabbed a bullet in the second, thanks to stellar speed and boat handling.
“We had a game plan that we were confident in, and we followed it to the T,” said Storck. “We started at the pin, which seems risky, but it was relatively easy given that the current was pushing us up so much. We managed to time our approach to the start perfectly, and from there we were able to put our awesome upwind boat speed to work.”
Throughout the week, they have sailed smartly and rounded most of the first upwind marks in the top ten. “The next thing is to iron out the little details and stay near the front all the way around the racecourse,” said Storck.
He and Moore have made remarkable improvements in the last year, moving up from the silver fleet to gold at major events, and breaking into the top-ten medal race for the first time at Kiel Week in June. Storck was sidelined with an ankle injury earlier this year, but their intense training schedule this summer has paid off.
In the Men’s 470, 2008 Olympians Stu McNay (Boston, Mass.) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.) topped the day with a bullet in the second race of the day, qualifying them for the gold fleet. This was the second bullet McNay and Biehl scored this week so far. In today’s second race, the 470s saw typical Weymouth conditions, with the breeze swinging slightly to the left. After a strong start in the middle of the line, McNay/Biehl hung left, played a few good shifts on the first beat to round second. Their first downwind was trickier, and they dropped back a few boats. In the next upwind, they made a strong play left, “because we knew it would pay,” said Biehl.
“The furthest boat left defended on the left and crossed ahead,” recounted Biehl. “From that point on, it was a pretty tough battle. Our Swedish training partners were behind us on the reach, pushing us hard. On the downwind, we had to fight off the Australians the whole way.”
It was a battle to the end, but Biehl said their good decision-making, boat speed and “fighting spirit the whole race” helped them win. “It’s easy in some situations to get relaxed and put it in cruise control,” said Biehl. “The whole race, we knew we’d be fighting for the top five, so we pushed really hard.”
USSTAG’s Laser sailors were at the front of the split fleets today: Rob Crane (Darien, Conn.) finished the day with a 6, 3 in the yellow fleet, pushing him to 13th overall. Clay Johnson (Toms River, N.J.) scored a second in the first race and Kyle Rogachenko (Collegeville, Pa.) finished fourth in the second race today in the blue fleet.
Both Women’s Match Racing teams – Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.)/Molly Vandemoer (Redwood City, Calif.)/Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) and Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis./Alana O’Reilly (Charleston, S.C.)/Genny Tulloch (Tiburon, Calif.) – have advanced to the gold round, which sets the seeding for the quarterfinals. The course is set close to the outer harbor breakwater, where sailors saw a medium, somewhat shifty Southwesterly breeze.
“We are here to learn about the venue, and we definitely have to study the trends on our course,” said Tunnicliffe. “We are learning from the small errors we made for the upcoming quarterfinals.”
2008 Olympian Ben Barger (St. Petersburg, Fla.) scored his first top-ten finish this week, finishing seventh in the last Men’s RS:X race today. 2008 Paralympic skipper Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.) and his crew, Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Me.), finished with a 5, 4 in the 10-boat Sonar fleet. 2010 2.4 mR World Champion John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wis.) finished today with a pair of fives in the 22-boat fleet.
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.
For complete results, please visit Sail for Gold web site:
To view Fried Elliott’s photos from Sail for Gold, please visit: http://photos.friedbits.com/2010skandiasailforgold
To see all of the team members competing at Sail for Gold, as well as video interviews with team members, please visit the USSTAG microsite at http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Events/World_Cup/SFG2010.htm
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Thursday, August 12 - Racing day 4 schedule:
Friday, August 13 - Racing day 5, Medals decided in Paralympic classes
Saturday, August 14 – Racing day 6, Medals decided in Olympic classes (no warning signal after 1530)
USSTAG Reports and Blogs:
Team Tunnicliffe: www.teamtunnicliffe.com
Zach Railey: http://www.zach2012.com/
Erik Storck/Trevor Moore: http://storckmooresailing.com/
Peet Must/Carl Horrocks: http://www.barnegatbay49er.com/
Rob Crane: http://robcraneracing.com/Blog/Blog.html
Clay Johnson: http://www.claysails.com/
Andrew Campbell/Brad Nichol: http://campbellnichol2012.blogspot.com/
Stu McNay/Graham Biehl: http://www.teammb.org/
Amanda Clark/Sarah Chin: http://www.teamgosail.org/
Erin Maxwell/Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar: http://www.470teamusa.com/wordpresstesting/
Rick Doerr/Brad Kendell/Hugh Freund: http://teamusa674.com/
Ben Barger: http://www.benbarger.com/
Farrah Hall: http://www.farrahhall.com/