Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik ZKG

Perth 2011 – a big U.S. team and a watershed for U.S. Olympic sailing

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team on 24 Oct 2011
Paige Railey in action at Kieler Woche 2011 Otto Kasch
Since sailing first joined the Olympic program in 1900, the most successful sailing nation has been the United States of America with 59 medals to Great Britain's 50.

At the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics the U.S. led the field with seven sailing medals, while Great Britain took home just one bronze.


Heading towards the 2012 London Olympics Great Britain is the strongest sailing nation likely to once again take the most Olympic sailing medals, just as it did in Beijing, Athens and Sydney. Rising up the lists is Australia, second at Beijing 2008 and currently with the world number one ranking in three classes looking like they could take second spot again.

By contrast, the sailing super-power USA has on average ranked fifth over the last three Olympics.

However times are changing says Zach Railey, (Clearwater FL) one of the top U.S. sailors competing at Perth 2011. Railey was the Finn Class Olympic Silver medallist at the Beijing Olympics 2008 and second at the 2009 Finn World Championships. His younger sister Paige, is sailing Laser Radials and just missed out on selection for Beijing but will be in Perth seeking selection for London 2012.

At Perth 2011 a total of 33 U.S. sailors will be competing for Olympic selection and Railey believes new selection criteria and better funding for U.S. Sailing will yield better Olympic results in the future.

Traditionally in the USA Olympic sailing selection has been based on a single U.S. Selection regatta, with virtually no funding for international competition.

Over the years U.S. Olympic sailors were sometimes those who sailed just on the domestic scene and had one great regatta, the Olympic Trials. They were not necessarily hardened by international competition and often failed to reproduce that result at the following Olympic Games.

But funding has been improving and last year U.S. SAILING’s Olympic Sailing Committee announced new selection procedures for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, with athletes in nine of the ten events qualifying based on their results at two international events - the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta at the 2012 Olympic venue Weymouth and Portland, England and Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.

Railey said in an interview this week ‘Sailing has changed a lot, certainly in the last 10 years. While the U.S. one off trial system worked for quite a long time, now the sailing scene is so professional and everyone is travelling around the world. If you are very serious about performing at the Olympics you are going to go out and do all these international events.’

‘The change in U.S. selection criteria and better funding has meant that there is now a much bigger group of U.S. sailors competing on the international scene and that in time will yield results.

‘Perth 2011 is a vitally important regatta for everybody. About 75% of the country qualifiers and athlete selection will be based on results at Perth 2011.

‘Most federations put a very strong emphasis on performance at the World Championships and that can determine how much money is coming into the bank for 2012 to help support the campaign, so there is a lot of pressure at every level.’

‘The funding progress that U.S. SAILING has made over the 10 years, I don’t think, has been equalled by any other sailing federation in the world. Ten years ago we used to get $2,500 for the entire year.

‘No, we are currently not getting as much money as the British or the Australian team, but we are making progress.

‘Potential U.S. Olympic sailors are getting more support than before and literally thousands of people have helped make that happen. We have some great team sponsors who are now behind us. A lot of credit goes to US SAILING for what they have done.’

While it could take another cycle, with more competition and more funding expect to see the U.S. SAILING team again climb the rankings. One thing is for certain that the competition between the various U.S. crew for the Olympic place will be fierce.



The USTAG Team for Perth 2011

RS:X MEN: Bob Willis, Ben Barger
RS:X WOMEN: Farrah Hall
LASER: Clay Johnson, Rob Crane, Derick Vranizan (Development Team) and USA sailor Brad Funk (not on USSTAG, but member of Olympic Test Event team)
LASER RADIAL: Paige Railey, Erika Reineke
FINN: Zach Railey, Caleb Paine
470 MEN: Stu McNay/Graham Biehl, Adam Roberts/Nick Martin
470 WOMEN: Erin Maxwell/Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar, Amanda Clark/Sarah Lihan
49ER: Erik Storck/Trevor Moore
STAR: Mark Mendelblatt/Brian Fatih, George Szabo/Mark Strube, Andrew Campbell/Ian Coleman

WOMEN'S MATCH RACING: To be decided at 2011 Womens Match Racing Qualifying Regatta, October 26-30. It is likely that two teams; Sally Barkow, Alana O'Reilly and Elizabeth Kratzig Burnham and Anna Tunnicliffe, Deb Capozzi and Molly Vandemoer will represent the USA in Perth.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]



Sail Exchange 660x82 New SailsHarken AUS HL Snatch Block 660x82Mondo Travel - Americas Cup Tour - 4885

Related Articles

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - More merriment on the airwaves
Here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and Hobart Race Control So on December 29, 2016, after the River Derwent had let just three boats home (Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag, all inside the old race record, she went to sleep for a lot of the day. This made it frustrating for the sailors, some of whom saw the lighter side. So after seeing some of those in Dark & Stormy, here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and HRC
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Sydney Hobart Race-Dark and stormy, well because it is Dark and Stormy
Proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart Well it is now dark and the rain 'storms' have passed, but proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart, the custom Murray 37, Dark & Stormy had a wonderful exchange on the radio. Quite possibly it was co-owner and Navigator Terry Courts on the VHF in the super-frank exchange with Hobart Race Control at around 1928hrs on 29/12/16.
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Wicked
ather and Son outfit, Wicked, are Matt and Mark Welsh from Melbourne. Matt is at home on the couch after knee surgery Father and Son outfit, Wicked, are Matt and Mark Welsh from Melbourne. Matt is at home on the couch after knee surgery, but Mark is out on the water, approaching Hobart. From on board he said, 'Amazing race. Barely any windward work. Just does not get better than this. Bit of gear damage cost us early, and we had to sail a little conservatively.'
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Accepting the Challenge
When you buy a boat like the late Lou Abrahma's Sydney 38, Challenge, you're almost obliged to keep taking her South When you buy a boat like the late Lou Abrahma's Sydney 38, Challenge, you're almost obliged to keep taking her South at Christmas time. Luckily this has not been a problem for Chris Mrakas and his new crew, which includes Bruce Reidy
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – 67 out of 70
It's a pretty awesome score in anybody’s language. When it is the number of hours you spend under kite It's a pretty awesome score in anybody’s language. When it is the number of hours you spend under kite in the 72nd Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race so far, then it is more than A+++. Anto Sweetapple from on board the Jones 40, Quetzalcoatl, reports in from at sea for us.
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2016 - The 60 Hour report card
60 hours into the 72nd Rolex Sydney Hobart race. 16 boats finished,five boats retired and 67 boats at sea. The state of play 60 hours into the 72nd running of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. At 0100hrs Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time this morning, 16 boats had finished the 2016 race. Five boats had retired, and 67 boats were still on the water.
Posted on 28 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – the second step for CQS and 2017
It was a frustrating end to a frustrating race for the newest supermaxi in the 2016 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race It was a frustrating end to a frustrating race for the newest supermaxi to compete in the 2016 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race. It was just her second ever race, with her first, the White Island Race in New Zealand, producing a line honours win. While Ludde Ingvall’s radical new 98-footer CQS had a very slow passage across an almost windless Storm Bay and River Derwent.
Posted on 28 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – Derwent sleeping it off?
We spoke about how anyone with an interest in ensuring Perpetual Loyal got Line Honours, also a new record in the race In the article Right-turn-means-record-in-mortal-danger, we spoke about how anyone with an interest in ensuring Perpetual Loyal got Line Honours and also a new record in the race should go down and pour a rum into the River Derwent from Constitution Dock. Looks like they did. However, they may have poured the entire barrel in, because now the River is sleeping it off.
Posted on 27 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – Race record smashed
On Day Three (just) of the 72nd Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race Perpetual Loyal smashed the race record On Day Three (just) of the 72nd Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, in the strongest downwind conditions in recent times, certainly as good as the 1999 iteration of the blue water classic, Anthony Bell’s supermaxi, Perpetual Loyal, the former Speedboat and then Rambler 100, smashed the race record for the famous 628-nautical mile event.
Posted on 27 Dec 2016