by Dana Paxton
Skandia Sail for Gold 2011 had an abundance of strong, plentiful winds for its second day. US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics has put in time at their training base in Weymouth and that extra time has paid off for American athletes who hold top-10 positions in nine classes and top the women's match racing round robins.
US Sailing athletes at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, in Weymouth and Portland, the 2012 Olympic venue.
There was a shake-up overnight in the Women’s 470 class when Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar ended up in first overall donning the yellow leaders’ pinnies for today’s two races and with a 8-24, they now stand in sixth overall.
Undefeated with seven wins is Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.) with her 'Team Maclaren' crew Molly Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.). They advance to the Women’s Match Racing Gold Round on Wednesday, hoping for another day of big breeze.
Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) relished the big breeze conditions and turned three race finishes into a seventh overall. The highlight for her was the last race, which she won, by 'out hiking' Irish Radial sailor Annelise Murphy.
Star sailors Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih (both Miami, Fla.) moved into fourth overall by putting in two strong finishes, 5-6. They are two places ahead of USSTAG teammates George Szabo (San Diego, Calif.) and Mark Strube (Punta Gorda, Fla.).
Exclusive video with Paige Railey in sixth overall after day two:
Olympic Sailing Committee Chairman Dean Brenner talks about the challenges of sponsorship how US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics has evolved its partnership to support the athletes.
Quotes on Day Two:
Anna Tunnicliffe on being undefeated in Women’s Match Racing: 'We had a great day again today. We had three races and came away with three wins to win our Group C round. Our last race was against the Brits. They controlled us for the first minute or so of the pre-start, but then we managed to get control of them after that. We led them into the start a few seconds late, and matched their tack off the line. We had great speed and were able to pin them to the layline.
Downwind, they closed the gap at the leeward mark, but we pulled ahead again up the next beat and held our lead to the finish. The conditions were windy so boat control and speed were important. Now we advance to the Gold Round. The team did a great job in the bigger breeze making great calls all around the course. The conditions in Weymouth are great. It’s chilly when the wind blows, but the wind is fantastic. The facilities are great and make training and racing very good.'
Sarah Lihan, crew for Amanda Clark, on switching into the 470 and how Yale University prepared her: 'We’re trying to plug away and let other people make mistakes. The 470 has been a whole lot of fun and I’m really glad I made the switch. Amanda is a wonderful person to sail with and I’ve learned more from her than anyone in my 10 years of sailing. We have pretty good chemistry together. We’re in the game and we’re doing what we need to do.' Full interview here.
Bonus audio interview: U.S. Olympic Committee’s Sports Psychologist Dr. Wendy Borlabi discusses how she is helping US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics with performance enhancement, building skills and dealing with the pressure of being an Olympic-caliber athlete. Full interview: here.
Scheduled for June 6-11 across 10 Olympic and three Paralympic classes, the Skandia Sail for Gold is hosting over 1,000 sailors from 62 countries.
For more information on 2012 Olympic Selection Procedures click here.