Summary: Weymouth, U.K. – Day 9 of the series
With the wind howling and gusting up to 25 knots on Weymouth Bay, the US Team turned in a variety of impressive results including two wins in the Laser Radial class by Paige Railey. As the London 2012 Olympic Test Event reaches its final stretch over the next three days, US athletes who have already advanced to a medal race include Railey, plus Zach Railey (Finn), and Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar (Women’s 470). Racing in the Star class was abandoned today and Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih will resume their series on Thursday.
(photo: Paige Railey gets a hand at the boat ramp from High Performance Director/Head Coach Kenneth Andreasen)
Full results, photos, video and audio interviews of the Team are online: http://olympics.ussailing.org/
With two race wins added to her overall Laser Radial series score Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) continued to close the gap on the second place sailor, Evi van Acker (BEL) and guaranteed her spot in the medal race, scheduled for Friday, Aug. 12. “I’m so excited right now I can’t even speak,” said Railey moments after arriving at the venue’s slipway. “Weymouth is a really difficult place to sail. If I take what I learned here before and put it together. Luther and I are really pumped right now.” Tomorrow is a rest day for the Radial fleet and she said that she would be spending the day supporting her brother Zach in the Finn racing.
Exclusive video interview with Paige: http://bcove.me/lae85dnp
“I was just keeping it simple and focusing on one leg at a time, and focused on keeping points on me and the other girls.
I don’t think the left was extremely favored. I tried to play the shifts up the left. I was going with my gut instinct. I learned these past days I should not to do the fleet percentages and go with what I think is tactically correct.
I took all the lessons I learned this week and put it into practice today and it all worked out.”
Exclusive audio interview with Paige before racing: On the course: “I think I know what’s going on over there. Hopefully I can take what I have learned and use it. I have to be conservative and not get any more DSQs. I have to watch FIN, IRL and BEL and make sure they don’t get too far away from me.”
Erin Maxwell (Wilton, Con.) and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar (New York/Fishers Island, N.Y.) were pleased to add an 11th and 8th to their scoreline, secure the 9th overall, and book a spot in the Women’s 470 medal race, also scheduled for Friday, Aug. 12.
Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) may have had a challenging day with two races sailed on two separate courses and 25 knots of wind, but his 16th and 11th secured his 9th overall and a spot in the Finn medal race, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 13.
“It wasn’t a good day, results-wise. It’s disappointing to have this big a breeze come in during a regatta. Given the lack of speed I had in the upwinds, it is clear I don’t weigh enough. I made a conscious effort to lose weight properly and take off a lot of body fat. Now, instead of packing on the fat, I am going to put the weight on correctly for the Games.”
The conditions challenged Men’s 470 team Stuart McNay (Boston, Mass.) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.) and they could not maintain their top-10 spot despite a very good try. They finished the regatta in 12th overall.
Brad Funk (Plantation, Fla.), who explained that his performance really came together in the details this week, turned in a 12th and 20th to end his Laser series in 14th overall. “I’m happy about what I’ve accomplished,” he said.
US 49er team Erik Storck (Huntington, N.Y.) and Trevor Moore (North Pomfret, Vt./Naples, Fla.) have decided not to continue the regatta after Storck sustained an injury earlier in the week. “We’ve made the difficult decision to end our Test Event with three days racing to go,” said Storck in a Team blog post. “I am healing extraordinarily well, and our primary goal is to be ready to train stateside in less than a month with our sights on Perth for the ISAF Worlds in December. Of course, we would have preferred a different outcome to this event, but we will not dwell on this misfortune.” Read more: http://usstag.blogspot.com/2011/08/rehab-report-and-looking-ahead-erik.html
The U.S. Team members in the Women’s RS:X and Men’s RS:X completed their regatta on August 9.
Bonus content: Sally Barkow reflects on the bronze medal racing http://soundcloud.com/usstag/sally-barkow-reflects-on
“Today we woke up thinking ‘cool, we walked away with a medal.’ Yesterday was a neutral day for us. We had a tough morning and a better afternoon.”
On the defeat by Finland: “It was really shifty conditions we haven’t seen before. We made a few mistakes s and caught a few unlucky breaks. She came in with some good solid momentum and once she was 2-0 it was tough to come back from. We didn’t feel confident in our decision making. She sailed really well and was really fast. The chances where we were ahead, we sailed back to her and when she was ahead she did a great job extending and not giving us a chance to get back.”
The Team: The U.S. Team is comprised of 16 athletes – nine men, seven women. Full team roster available on US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics website: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Events/2011/Olympic_Test_Event.htm
Join the Team and Watch Live: The Way to Weymouth
The US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics communications team will host live coverage of the U.S Team competing at the London 2012 Olympic Test Event. Beginning August 3, tune in for live updates, news, photos, videos and interviews with the athletes competing through August 13 at the 2011 Weymouth and Portland International Regatta. Bookmark the direct link for live coverage: http://olympics.ussailing.org/multimedia/
Follow the Athletes/ Follow the Team:
• Major daily highlights on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/USSTAG
• Live breaking news and results updated throughout the day on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/USSTAG
• Exclusive video interviews with sailors before / after racing http://olympics.ussailing.org/multimedia/video/
• Photo gallery http://olympics.ussailing.org/multimedia/photo-gallery/photos-olympic-test-event/
• Behind-the-scenes views from athletes, coaches and our support team http://www.usstag.blogspot.com
The Regatta: Designed to test the Olympic sailing venue and its operations in advance of the 2012 Games, the 2011 Weymouth and Portland International Regatta (an official London 2012 Olympic Test Event) takes place August 2-13 and will welcome 460 sailors competing in 10 Olympic classes.
The official event website is hosted at the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) website: http://www.sailing.org/2011-test-event.php
About 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 athletes 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. http://sailingteams.ussailing.org.