by Dana Paxton
Day two was a very busy day on Weymouth Bay at the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Regatta. Racing continued in the Star, Finn and Women’s Match Racing, plus it began in the Laser and Radial classes.
Womens Match Racing (USA) - London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition
The U.S. Olympic Sailing Team’s overall results after four races: Zach Railey in 13th (Finn) and Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih in sixth (Star); and after two races Erik Storck and Trevor Moore seventh (49er); Paige Railey fifth (Laser Radial) and Rob Crane 39th (Laser). Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly O’Bryan Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi upped their match racing record to two wins, two losses. Racing continues in all of these events on July 31, plus men’s and women’s windsurfers will begin their series.
The men’s high-performance skiff, the 49er, made its debut on the Nothe course with two races. Erik Storck and Trevor Moore put in a solid first day with finishes of sixth and 10th. They are currently seventh overall in the 20-boat fleet, despite starting early in the day’s first race.
'We had some great moments out there,' said Moore. 'We couldn’t ask for more, especially with seven more days of racing. We were pushing it down by the pin and we thought it was close, so we went back. We clawed our way back to third, and all in all it was a nice day.'
The 49er event is schedule for 15 total races in the series, with the medal race set for August 8.
In her debut at the Olympic Games, Paige Railey turned in a strong first day of racing with finishes of eighth and fifth, and now finds herself in fifth overall. Despite a slight slowdown in the first race, Railey recovered for a single-digit result. 'In the first race I realized my speed wasn’t up to par, because I usually have good acceleration,' she explained. 'So I heeled the boat up and saw I had a huge clump of weeds. I quickly reacted, stopped the boat, got the dagger board up and worked as hard as I could, then thought I had better get up to the top group by slowly picking them off.'
Paige Railey - (Photo of London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition)
Consistency has always been the name of the game for Railey and her coach Luther Carpenter. 'Our goal was not to be top three at the end of the day,' she said. 'It was to get two consistent results. All I can do now is control myself.'
The first day of racing for Rob Crane in the Laser may not have gone the way he planned. 'In the first race I had a pretty good start in the middle,' said Crane. 'The breeze was going left and we hadn’t anticipated that and once you get behind in that fleet it is hard to get back. I was going pretty well in the second race. The wheels kind of came off on the downwind I wasn’t going too well and I lost a lot on the runs.'
For Zach Railey, today’s Finn racing was made even more difficult by the conditions. His two races finishes bring him up to 13th overall.
'I’ll have to try and dig myself out of this hole. There are six more races to go and the medal race. There’s nothing I can do about the races that happened so far. I feel like I’m making sound decisions on the racecourse. Unfortunately they haven’t been the correct choices, but sometimes that’s the way it goes. I’m very mentally resilient about stuff like this.'
Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih had another strong day, adding a fifth and sixth for an overall standing of sixth, tied on points with the Irish team in the Star class.
Star fleet - London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition
In Women’s Match Racing, Team USA’s first match up was against the team from Portugal. Off the line, Tunnicliffe, Vandemoer and Capozzi lead POR off the committee boat end of the starting line. By heading out to the right side of the course, they were able to establish a lead at the first windward mark. From there they continued to control the match, and maintained the lead at the final windward mark, to round and finish with a win.
In the second race, against Australia, it was back and forth on lead changes all the way to the final run downwind. Although it was close, perhaps by a fraction of a boat length, Australia managed to nose out for the win, bringing the score to two wins, two losses to date in the round robin for Tunnicliffe, Vandemoer and Capozzi. 'It was an awesome race with the Australians,' said Tunnicliffe. 'It came down to half a foot. Tricky conditions, but really fun. We knew it was going to be really close racing. There’s still more racing to come.'
Results to Date:
Women’s Match Racing, two wins, two losses, Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), Molly Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.)
Fifth, Laser Radial, Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
39th, Laser, Rob Crane (Darien, Conn.)
Seventh, 49er, Erik Storck (Huntington, N.Y.) and Trevor Moore (Naples, Fla./N. Pomfret, Vt.)
Sixth, Star (Men’s Keelboat), Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih (both Miami, Fla.)
13th, Finn (Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy), Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
US Sailing website