by Dana Paxton
A very busy day of racing in Weymouth and Portland for the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team brought mixed results.
Zach Railey (USA) competing today, 30.07.12, in the Men’s One Person Dinghy - heavy (Finn) event in The London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.
Today was the debut of Women’s 470 team Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan, who are in fourth overall. Star sailors Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih reached the medal race, however it was also the end of the regatta for Finn sailor Zach Railey.
Today was a scheduled reserve day for Men’s and Women’s RS:X Windsurfing and Women’s Match Racing.
With two final races available in the Finn class for Zach Railey to secure a top-10 position in the Men’s Dinghy Heavy (Finn), it was not meant to be for the 2008 Olympic silver medalist. His scores of 12th and 19th put him into 12th overall for the regatta.
'The goal was to compete for a medal,' said Railey after racing. 'After the first couple of races where things hadn’t gone my way, we knew we had to start taking more risk on the racecourse to give myself a chance. Obviously, when you start taking more risk there’s more reward and more downside. This week hasn’t gone the way we planned. We prepared well. We feel good about the preparation going into this. I take a lot of pride in preparing for big events. To not do well here is very upsetting. There are a lot of people who helped me get here and supported me, and I’d like to thank them.'
Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih advanced to the Men’s Keelboat (Star) medal race with an overall standing of sixth in the 10-race series. The first of two races was a strong addition to the score line.
They finished third ahead of the series current leaders from Great Britain, Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson.
'We like conditions of 8-11 knots or really windy,' said Fatih explaining that the lighter wind is more to their liking. 'It’s (the) in between that we don’t really like.'
The second race was held in moderate wind and the team finished in 11th. Aug. 4 is a reserve day and the medal race is scheduled for Aug. 5.
The busiest of days took place in the Men’s Skiff (49er) with three scheduled races. Erik Storck and Trevor Moore turned in 2-17-5 to climb into 10th overall. After a reserve day on Aug. 4, four races remain on Aug. 5-6 in the 15-race series.
Paige Railey finished the day in ninth overall, and has two races left in the 10-race series to secure a top-10 position, and a spot in the medal race in the Women’s One Person Dinghy (Laser Radial).
In the Men’s One Person Dinghy (Laser), Rob Crane is in 26th overall with two races remaining. Crane had his best result of the regatta in race 8 with a score of eighth.
'The way the regatta has gone so far has been a disappointment,' said Crane. 'Yesterday was a rest day and my energy felt better. Tomorrow, I want to have the best day I can and move up in the placings.'
Stuart McNay and Graham Biehl Working to improve their overall ranking in the men’s two person dinghy (Men’s 470), Stuart McNay (Boston, Mass.) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.) scored a 10th in race 3 and third in race 4. Today’s races improved their overall standing to 11th overall.
'We had a much better idea of the wind today than we did yesterday and we were able to execute throughout the race,' said Biehl. 'The fleet is really challenging in the Men’s 470. We had a bit of a rough day yesterday. Just getting back into the swing and making sure our consistency is back up there is the key to getting the medals.'
Stuart McNay and Graham Biehl (USA) competing today, 02.08.12, in the Men’s Two Person Dinghy (470) event in The London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.
The 10-race series continues through Aug. 7, with the medal race scheduled for Aug. 9.
Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan Women’s Two Person Dinghy (Women’s 470) debuted in competition with two races at the Olympic Sailing Regatta. ’08 Olympian Amanda Clark and crew Sarah Lihan collected finishes of seventh and third.
'We had a beneficial forecast, it was advantageous for us,' said Lihan of first day’s conditions. 'It didn’t actually materialize, which was disappointing, but we were happy to go out and get two top 10s. We have done a lot of sailing over the past year and a half. It was great to get the silver medal at Sail for Gold against the Olympic fleet. Our mantra here: to do what we know how to do.'
They are now in fifth overall in the 20-boat fleet, tied on points with the fourth-placed boat from The Netherlands (Lisa Westerhof/Lobke Berkhout), and three points out of first. 'It’s great to start out in the top and we’ll work hard to stay there,' said Clark. The 10-race series continues through Aug. 8 with the medal race scheduled for Aug. 10.
Upcoming on Aug. 4 Aug. 4 will see racing continue in Laser, Laser Radial, Men’s and Women’s 470, while racing will resume in the Men’s and Women’s Windsurfing, and Women’s Match Racing. It is a scheduled reserve day for Finn, 49er and Star.
Overall standings to date:
Women’s Match Racing, 6 wins, 3 losses, Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), Molly Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) – reserve day Aug. 3
10th 49er, Erik Storck (Huntington, N.Y.) and Trevor Moore (Naples, Fla./N. Pomfret, Vt.) 6-10-16-1-7-13--18-2-17-5
11th, Men’s 470, Stuart McNay (Boston, Mass.) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.) 17-22-10-3
4th, Women’s 470, Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.) and Sarah Lihan (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 7-3
12th, Finn (Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy), Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) 10-15-13-17-2-8-11-8-12-19
6th, Star (Men’s Keelboat), Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih (both Miami, Fla.) 5-14-5-3-8-9-5-10-3-1
19th, Laser Radial, Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) 8-5-12-17-4-9--20
26th, Laser, Rob Crane (Darien, Conn.) 35-42-30-28-16-32-19-8
*20th, Women’s RS:X Windsurfing, Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) 22-18-18-18-20-22
*18th, RS:X Windsurfing, Bob Willis (Chicago, Ill.) 7-10-11-25-BFD**-28
*Men’s and Women’s Windsurfing did not race on Aug. 3
**BFD is black flag penalty
U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Sailing Teams here