by Dana Paxton
Rolex Miami OCR had spectacular wind and sunny skies as the backdrop for day 5 of racing in Miami, Fla. In the final day of racing for Paralympic courses, US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics’ (USSTAG) Scott Whitman (Brick, N.J.) and Julia Dorsett (Westchester, Pa./Boca Raton, Fla.) collected a silver medal in the SKUD-18 (Mixed Two Person Keelboat).
In the Olympic classes, USSTAG will be represented in Saturday’s final medal race by Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) in Laser Radial; Stuart McNay (Boston, Mass) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.) in 470 Men’s; Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) and Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.) in Finn; Erik Storck (Huntington, N.Y.) and Trevor Moore (North Pomfret, Vt.), US Sailing Development Team’s Alex Bishop (Baltimore, Md.) and Val Smith (Wilmette, Ill.) in the 49er and by four teams in Star: Andrew Campbell (San Diego, Calif.) and Ian Coleman (Annapolis, Md.); Mark Mendelblatt (Miami, Fla.) and Brian Fatih (Miami, Fla.); George Szabo (San Diego, Calif.) and Frithjof Kleen (Berlin, GER); and Andy Horton (S. Burlington, Vt.) and James Lyne (Granville, Vt.).
The Elliott 6m (Women’s Match Racing) will be a first-to-three final match with Team Tunnicliffe – Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), Molly Vandemoer (Redwood City, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) – taking on France.
In the highly-competitive 2.4mR class class, John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wis.) won the first of three races, but was eventually scored OCS (on course side) and added 11, 4 to the balance to finish sixth overall. He finished the week with a score line of top-ten finishes, except for an 11th and another OCS (on course side) earlier in the week, which he dropped. Mark LeBlanc (New Orleans, La.) in 18th and Charles Rosenfield (Woodstock, Conn.) moved up into 19th. All three athletes qualified for the 2011 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics.
Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Me.) were top Americans in the Sonar (Open Three Person Keelboat) class, ending the regatta in fourth overall. Albert Foster (Wayzata, Minn.), Michael Hersey (Hyannis, Mass.) and David Burdette (Lutherville, Md.) ended seventh overall, and Paul Callahan (Cape Coral, Fla./Newport R.I.), Tom Brown (Castine, Me.) and Bradley Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.) finished in eighth. All three teams qualified for the 2011 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics.
With a great day and scores of 3-2-1, Scott Whitman and Julia Dorsett clinched a silver medal in the SKUD-18. Jen French (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Jean-Paul Creignou (St. Petersburg, Fla.) finished in fourth overall, and in sixth place was Sarah Everhart Skeels (Tiverton, R.I.) and Bob Jones (Issaquah, Wash.). All three teams qualified for the 2011 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics.
Paige Railey continued to solidify her lead in the Laser Radial (Women's One Person Dinghy) class, moving into first place overall and tomorrow’s medal race with a comfortable lead on points. 'I just went out trying for consistent results,' said Railey of her 4-2-4 results today. 'Luther said to me, ‘Go out and get some races.’ I was three points behind; all I wanted was a close medal race with Evi (Van Acker) and Marit (Bouwmeester). They are both really good sailors and I wasn’t excepting to win. All I tried to do is get in wind and if wind died Luther told me to get my head out of the boat and think 10 steps ahead to find where the next big breeze was coming from. It definitely worked out. Tomorrow I’ll go out and do the same thing again. And I’ll definitely cheer on my brother.'
Sarah Lihan (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) finished in 18th overall; Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) ended up 20th; and Claire Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.) in 22nd.
In Laser gold fleet, Clay Johnson (Toms River, N.J.) ended the day in ninth, while Rob Crane (Darien, Conn.) was in 10th. Both advance to the medal round. Kyle Rogachenko (Collegeville, Pa.) finished in 16th.
USSDT’s Alex Bishop (Baltimore, Md.) and Val Smith (Wilmette, Ill.) won the day’s final 49er (High Performance Dinghy) race of the day and finished in seventh. This marks their best result in World Cup competition, which was previously 24th (Princess Sofia, Palma, ESP), and with it are the second scoring American team to qualify for 2011 USSTAG. They join Erik Storck (Huntington, N.Y.) and Trevor Moore (North Pomfret, Vt.), who finished in seventh, for the medal race.
Going into tomorrow’s Finn (Men's One Person Dinghy Heavy) medal race are two Americans: Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), who finished the day with a 7-8 and sixth overall, and Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.), a member of US Sailing Development Team (USSDT), who will make his first showing in a World Cup medal race.
'All I was thinking about is keeping Tillander (SWE) behind me,' said Paine of the day’s final race. 'I didn’t know I made the medal race until Kenneth (Andreasen) came over afterward and told me.' Paine is part of a core group of USA Finn sailors who train together with Andreasen, USSTAG’s High Performance Director/Head Coach. 'I love training together. It builds a lot of team spirit and everybody compliments each other.'
Bryan Boyd (Annapolis, Md.) took an eighth and a 23, which he dropped, for an overall 12th. USSDT athlete Luke Lawrence (Palm City, Fla.) finished 14th overall.
Stuart McNay and Graham Biehl moved up another notch overall to fifth with three races in the Men's 470 (Men's Two Person Dinghy), 4--6. Keith Davids (Coronado, Calif.) and David Hughes (San Diego, Calif.) finished 28th overall.
In the Women's 470 (Women's Two Person Dinghy) and Erin Maxwell (Stonington, Conn.) and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar (New York, N.Y.) finished in 13th overall, while Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.) and Sarah Chin (Hoboken, N.J.) finished in 15th. USSDT’s Anne Haeger (Lake Forest, Oll.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) were the top scoring American team with a 12th overall. USSDT’s Sydney Bolger (Long Beach, Calif.) and Leah Volk (Lexington, Ky.) ended in 20th overall, while their teammates Marlena Fauer (New York, N.Y.) and Carly Shevitz (Santa Barbara, Calif.) finished in 21st.
Andrew Campbell (San Diego, Calif.) and Ian Coleman (Annapolis, Md.) won the 56-boat Star (Men's Keelboat) class’ last race to finish in seventh and will advance to the medal race. Joining them are three USSTAG Star teams: Mark Mendelblatt (Miami, Fla.) and Brian Fatih (Miami, Fla.), sixth for the week; and George Szabo (San Diego, Calif.) and substitute crew Frithjof Kleen (Berlin, GER), eighth; and Andy Horton (S. Burlington, Vt.) and James Lyne (Granville, Vt.) in 10th.
Andrew MacDonald (Laguna Beach, Calif.) and Brad Nichol (North Miami Beach, Fla.) ended the week in 21st.
Despite a week’s personal best race result of ninth in today’s final race, Ben Barger (St. Petersburg, Fla.) finished in 17th overall for the week. Jimi Sobeck (East Quogue, N.Y.) finished in 23nd.
'It was pretty epic,' said Olympian Barger, who didn’t make the medal race round. 'I'm disappointed in my planing speed, but I left my high-wind gear in Europe thinking it wouldn't blow like this year.'
In the Women's RS:X (Women’s Windsurfing), Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) retained her 12th overall for the week, just two spots out of the medal race. Solvig Sayre (Vineyard Haven, Mass.) was 22nd.
In an exciting morning of quarter-final round of Elliott 6m (women’s match racing), Team Tunnicliffe defeated Lihtinen (FIN) 3-1, while Team Barkow -- Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.), Alana O’Reilly (Charleston, S.C.) and Elizabeth Kratzig (Miami, Fla.) -- defeated Skudina (RUS) 3-1. Both Team Tunnicliffe and Team Barkow advanced to the seminfinals.
In the semi-final match between Team Tunnicliffe and GBR’s Team MacGregor, Team Tunnicliffe won 3-0. In the second USA semi-final match up, Team Barkow was defeated by France’s Claire Leroy, 3-0.
'We’re very excited by our results today,' said Tunnicliffe, who will match-up against Leroy in the finals tomorrow. Tunnicliffe knows the team quite well having trained with them prior to this event. 'She is a very fast sailor and very smart,' she said. 'For us, we have to take it one race at a time and not think about any end results. We are excited for tomorrow’s race and looking forward to it.'
Tomorrow is the final day of racing in 10 Olympic classes with the medal race.
Competition took place this week 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. Over 700 of the world’s top athletes from 53 countries are competing.
Following the Rolex Miami OCR, the 2011 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics will officially be named.