by Dana Paxton
After three days of racing at US Sailing’s Rolex Miami OCR, the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) continued its streak through the regatta. Light wind postponed sailors onshore this morning and by the time racing began, schedules were shortened in almost all classes.
Stuart McNay, Graham Biehl, 470-Men, USA 1713, USA - Miami OCR
Racing continues through Saturday at the second stop on the ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit. Top team results include: Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) held his third in the Finn; Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) moved into third in the Laser Radial; Jen French (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Jean-Paul Creignou (St. Petersburg, Fla.) are second in the SKUD18; and Albert Foster (Wayzata, Minn.), Michael Hersey (Hyannis, Mass.) and David Burdette (Lutherville, Md.) are second in Sonar.
Top USSTAG race results in the Laser class was earned by Kyle Rogachenko (Collegeville, Pa.), who took a fourth in race 6, and combined that with a 17 for 25th overall. After leading the 105-boat Laser class (Men's One Person Dinghy) for the past two days, Clay Johnson (Toms River, N.J.) scored a 4-14 to move down to fourth overall. Rob Crane (Darien, Conn.) moved up another slot to sit in eighth.
'Today was a lot better,' said Rogachenko. 'The last two days I was really fast and losing on tactical decisions. The first race was just a really tough race between the shifts and balancing where I wanted to go on the course. Because the forecast was to go right, most guys paraded out to the right. My game plan was to go right and have the wind follow me the whole way and it didn’t go as far. I went really far, almost to the layline. It was too far and tough to get across the boats that had split off.' He finished that race in 16th and drops it as his throwout.
Rogachenko’s fourth place was his best of the regatta, to date. 'It felt really good to get back into the top five,' he said. 'It was good to get a good one before moving into gold fleet tomorrow, because it’s tougher racing.' Rogachenko went on to explain that the top half of the fleet advances to sail gold fleet, scheduled for an afternoon start tomorrow.
With a six-race series, so far, Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) was able to drop her lowest score and is now in third overall in the 58-boat Laser Radial (Women's One Person Dinghy) class. Sarah Lihan (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) is in 17th overall; Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) is in 20th; and Claire Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.) is in 21st.
Only one race was held in the 40-boat Finn class (Men's One Person Dinghy Heavy) and Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) remains in third overall. Bryan Boyd (Annapolis, Md.) scored a ninth to move up into 18th overall, while US Sailing Development Team (USSDT) athlete Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.) finished in ninth, and USSDT athlete Luke Lawrence (Palm City, Fla.) moved up to 12th overall after scoring a second in the race.
Stuart McNay (Boston, Mass) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.) dropped today’s 12th finish for seventh overall in the Men's 470 (Men's Two Person Dinghy) where only one race was held today. Keith Davids (Coronado, Calif.) and David Hughes (San Diego, Calif.) are in 26th overall in the 41-boat fleet.
Only one race was held in the Women's 470 (Women's Two Person Dinghy) and Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.) and Sarah Chin (Hoboken, N.J.) scored an eighth, their best this regatta, and are now tied on points with teammates Erin Maxwwell (Stonington, Conn.) and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar (New York, N.Y.), who scored a 15th, then dropped it (as a throwout). US Sailing Development Team’s Anne Haeger (Lake Forest, Oll.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) hold at 12th overall, with a 10th place finish in race 5.
Erin Maxwell, Isabelle Farrar, 470-Women, USA 1757,USA - Rolex Miami OCR
No changes for USSDT’s Marlena Fauer (New York, N.Y.) and Carly Shevitz (Santa Barbara, Calif.), in 20th, or for Sydney Bolger (Long Beach, Calif.) and Leah Volk (Lexington, Ky.), who remain in 22nd overall.
USSTAG holds four of the top-10 spots in the 56-boat Star (Men's Keelboat) class. Mark Mendelblatt (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Brian Fatih (Miami, Fla.) were scored with a black-flag penalty in the lone race. They dropped it as their lowest score and remain in sixth overall. Andy Horton (S. Burlington, Vt.) and James Lyne (Granville, Vt.) are in eighth. George Szabo (San Diego, Calif.) and substitute crew Frithjof Kleen (Berlin, GER) are ninth overall. Andrew MacDonald (Laguna Beach, Calif.) and Brad Nichol (North Miami Beach, Fla.) are now in 25th. Andrew Campbell (San Diego, Calif.) and new crew Ian Coleman (Annapolis, Md.) dropped yesterday’s black flag penalty and climbed up the scoreboard to 10th overall by winning the day’s final race.
'It’s good to go out and do what we need to do,' said Campbell. 'It was the second day in a row that we’ve had a tough first race and then redeemed ourselves in the second. We’re always happy to end on a good note. Of course, it would be good to start on a good note and end on a good note tomorrow. It’s a real confidence builder to know we can go out and do that. It makes us want to work all the more the harder.
In the Elliott 6m (Women's Match Racing), three flights were run in the gold group, and Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), Molly Vandemoer (Redwood City, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) finished the day with a 2-1 win loss record.
'We had three good races,' said Olympic gold medalist Anna Tunnicliffe. 'We won against Claire (Leroy from France). She had a penalty in the pre-start and trailed us around race course. Going downwind to the finish line, we had to slow ourselves down and to stay behind her' That maneuver forced Leroy – sailing with Elodie Bertrand and Marie Riou – to try her penalty turn at the finish, but she didn’t recover in time. Tunnicliffe won the match.
The team’s second race was a loss to Silja Lehtinen, Silja Kanerva and Mikaela Wulff (FIN). In Tunnicliffe’s third race against Ekaterina Skudina, Elena Syuzeva and Irina Lotsmanova (RUS), they won easily as the Russian team incurred two penalties and never recovered. 'The team sailed really well,' continued Tunnicliffe. 'It was different all day and tricky conditions; the puffs were up and down.'
Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.), Alana O’Reilly (Charleston, S.C.) and Elizabeth Kratzig (Miami, Fla.) won two of their three matches held today. Genny Tulloch (San Francisco, Calif.), Alice Manard Leonard (New Orleans, La.) and Jennifer Chamberlin (Washington, D.C.) are scheduled to sail tomorrow.
Tomorrow, the gold and silver fleets are scheduled to complete the round robin with two more flights to sail.
Although they scored a 2-3 in the first two races (of three), Erik Storck (Huntington, N.Y.) and Trevor Moore (North Pomfret, Vt.) were called 'on course side' (over the starting line before the start) in the third race. The top-ranked USSTAG 49er (Men's Two Person Dinghy High Performance) team remains in sixth overall.
In the Men's RS:X (Men's Windsurfing), Ben Barger (St. Petersburg, Fla.) moved up to 18th overall, while Jimi Sobeck (East Quogue, N.Y.) remains in 22nd. On the Women's RS:X (Women’s Windsurfing) course Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) is in 12th and Solvig Sayre (Vineyard Haven, Mass.) is in 20th.
No races were held in the 2.4mR class today, while one race was held in the Sonar (Open Three Person Keelboat) and SKUD-18 (Mixed Two Person Keelboat) classes. 'By the time the PRO did a A/P over H (flags for postponement) for the SKUDS and Sonars, it appeared it would take too long to get everyone out there and get them sailing,' explained US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics Paralympic Coach. 'The confidence in tomorrow’s weather and forecast is high, and they’ll have good racing. No doubt the 2.4s will catch up.'
In the only Sonar race held today, Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Me.) started about one minute late and were able to recover into third place.
'They sailed a really smart first windward leg, and were methodical about pecking away at the boats in front of them,' explained US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics Paralympic Coach Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.). 'They went clear right and were still in the back of the fleet, but sailed into a persistent shift. They sailed a hotter angle into the gate, and sailed around the fleet. Down the last run, instead of jibing right away, they extended out. That tactical error cost Rick the lead. Just goes to show that Sonar racing is so close anything can happen.
Doerr, Kendell and Freund are in fourth overall, while Albert Foster (Wayzata, Minn.), Michael Hersey (Hyannis, Mass.) and David Burdette (Lutherville, Md.) held their second overall with a fifth place finish. Paul Callahan (Cape Coral, Fla./Newport R.I.), Tom Brown (Castine, Me.) and Bradley Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.) are in eighth.
With only one race on the line today, Jen French (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Jean-Paul Creignou (St. Petersburg, Fla.) continued their consistent ways in the SKUD-18 (Mixed Two Person Keelboat) with a second in race 5.They are in second place, one point out of first.
Day two results stand for USSTAG 2.4mR sailors: John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wis.) in fifth; Mark LeBlanc (New Orleans, La.) in 14th and Charles Rosenfield (Woodstock, Conn.) in 24th.
Racing in 10 Olympic and three Paralympic classes continues tomorrow, Wednesday, January 26. Competition is scheduled 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.
Erik Storck, Trevor Moore, 49er, USA 1105, USA - Rolex Miami OCR
Full results: here