by Dana Paxton
It was another strong day of performance for US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics at US Sailing’s 2012 Rolex Miami OCR.
Stuart McNay and Graham Biehl (USA) in 470-Men - Rolex Miami OCR
Sailed in Miami on Biscayne Bay, USA sailors hold top-10 spots in 11 of the 12 fleet racing classes spread across Olympic and Paralympic events. This event serves as the selection event for the US Paralympic Team as well as the US Sailing Development Team.
USSTAG teams hold top-3 positions in all three Paralympic classes. Jen French (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and JP Creignou (St. Petersburg, Fla.) stand in third overall in the SKUD-18 class. The 2012 World silver medalists capped off a spectacular day of racing with a win in race 6.
It’s a duel in the 2.4mR class between Mark LeBlanc (New Orleans, La.) in second overall with 2008 Paralympic bronze medalist John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wis.), currently in seventh.
In the 26-boat Finn Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) continues to lead, picking up 2-1-2 today. With six races scored the fleet now has a throwout race and Railey discards a second leaving him with 6 points overall, a full 5 points ahead of the second-place Jonas Hogh Christensen (DEN). Another 6 points back is Brendan Casey (AUS) in third with USSTAG’s Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.) in fourth.
Erik Storck (Huntington, N.Y.) and Trevor Moore (Pomfret, Vt./Naples, Fla.) are now in second place overall in the 49er class, one point behind class leaders Delle Karth/Nikolaus (AUT). 'We’ve been successful at putting together some good results,' said Moore after racing. The overall result for us is top fives in every race.
The duo, who christened their new 49er 'Wendy' days before the regatta began, are pleased with the boat’s performance. 'You never know how a new boat is going to feel when you put it in for its first day of sailing, but after nine days it’s turning out to be a good boat for us. There’s nothing we’ve done differently with this new boat, and perhaps we took a little bit more time. We’ve had three builds prior to this so the experience made for a better finish. There are a couple of things we did to it that are different.'
Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) continued her charge in the 12-boat Women’s RS:X windsurfing class, and is now in third overall behind Demita Vega della Ville (MEX) and Carolina Mendelblatt (POR), in first and second, respectively.
Paralympic Team Selection Members of USSTAG who are vying for a spot on the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Sailing Team will compete in the three Paralympic classes.
Scheduled for January 23-28, US Sailing’s Rolex Miami OCR is the second stop on the International Sailing Federation’s (ISAF) Sailing World Cup 2011-2012 circuit and expects over 500 athletes from 50 countries. Competition takes place in the 10 Olympic and three Paralympic sailing classes in advance of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, to be held in Weymouth, U.K.
The 13 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team members, selected to date, will compete. The regatta serves as the selection for the 2012 US Sailing Development team (USSDT) in the Olympic Development classes.
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