by Dana Paxton
Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia - Day six of racing at the Princess Sofia Trophy results in two medals for US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics which were gold and bronze. In the Women’s Match Racing strong finishes in the medal races included a second place in the Finn and the Women’s 470.
Tight racing - Team Tunnicliffe - Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia
Performance highlights from the final day include:
Gold medal to Team Barkow in Women’s Match Racing
In the final match against Silja Lehtinen (FIN), Team Barkow – Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.), Alana O’Reilly (Charleston, S.C.) and Elizabeth Kratzig Burnham (Miami, Fla.) – took the first match, lost the second, then went on to win the third. Team Barkow went into the fourth match gunning for a win. In the 'first-to-three-wins' final match, it was time for Barkow to close the deal.
Barkow explained that their boat speed had been the key to getting ahead off the starting line all week. With the breeze dropping off, Barkow started the race slightly behind and had to catch up and pass. 'Finally, on the last upwind (leg) we got them to tack into waves and that slowed them down,' she said. 'We rolled her on final run, broke the overlap and were clear ahead. She came in from behind, but she sailed up to us on a reach and got a penalty.'
Sally Barkow, Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham, Alana O’Reilly - Princesa Sophia 2011
From there, they sailed clear to the finish and won the match. 'I’m happy with how we sailed the boat,' continued Barkow. 'When conditions were tricky we stayed focused on what we needed to do. It was a day of good team work for us. EK (Elizabeth) did a great job flying the spinnaker and Alana did a great job tactically. We also have to thank our coach Dave Dellenbaugh.'
Team Barkow explains the day in an exclusive video interview here.
Bronze medal, Women’s Match Racing, to Team Tunnicliffe
The first medal of the day was won in Women’s Match Racing by Team Tunnicliffe – Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), Molly Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.). They defeated the French team skippered by Claire Leroy, 2-0 in the petit-final.
'Our goal for today was to keep sailing how we’ve been sailing,' said Tunnicliffe. 'We sailed well all week long; we lost yesterday, but it wasn’t because we didn’t sail well. We focused on the same thing and kept it simple and fast. It’s unfortunate that our only losses of the week were yesterday, in a first-to-three match. Going forward we keep doing what we’re doing and working hard. There are a couple of things to work on here and there, and we’ll keep plugging away.'
Next up for Team Tunnicliffe is a USSTAG training camp in Weymouth, U.K. and some time off. 'We’re psyched the U.S. got two medals and shows that we’re pushing forward and working hard. Our congratulations to Sally and her team,' concluded Tunnicliffe.
Paige Railey - Laser Radial class 42nd Trofeo SAR Princesa
Paige Railey finishes fourth in Laser Radial
It was a tough medal race for Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) in the Laser Radial, who finished just off the podium in fourth overall. After starting off the week with four second-place finishes, a low point in the results came in race five when the time limit expired before she could finish the race. Despite dropping the 'DNC' finish in her scoreline, Railey went on to lead the fleet going into the fifth day of racing and easily qualified for the medal race.
Going into the medal race, Railey relied on her strategy to sail consistently and she did just that. The top three Radials – Sarah Winther (NZL), Gintare Scheidt (LTU) and Railey – worked their way around the course in a tight race which saw Evi van Acker (BEL) work in toward the finish, handing a fourth to Railey.
'I’m pretty happy with the medal race,' said Railey after racing. 'My main concern was staying in the top five. Of course I started week off better than what I finished, and of course I would have been happy to finish in first, but I had some bad luck. I’m happy I managed to get the top five and not finish worse.
This was a good event to push me mentally. Having two bad races in a row was disheartening. But when I went and got the four in the last race I knew I was still in it. Also I learned a lot.'
Zach Railey finishes fifth in the Finn class
2008 Olympic Silver Medalist Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) finished a strong second place in the final medal race to put him into fifth overall for the event.
With a premium put on a successful start and first upwind leg due to a smaller racecourse used in the medal race, Railey described how his pre-race strategy paid off. 'Before the race, we felt the left-hand side was favored, but pin end was relative favored. I wanted to make sure I had a great start off the line and get to the left.'
He executed the plan and halfway up the first beat when the wind shifted, he had to hold onto the left side a little longer than he had hoped, but still rounded the mark in fourth place. 'From there, it was between me and three other boats for fifth overall. One of them, Ed Wright, was in front of me and two were in ninth or 10th, so I know the race was on.'
Railey went on to pass Wright (GBR) downwind and took a chance on the next upwind leg to round ahead and finished the race in second. 'I was up and down all week, and overall we definitely think we improved. The fleet sailing here is a lot deeper than any other events we’ve been in, so to get a top five shows that we’re doing well.'
Second place finish in Women’s 470 medal race
The best day of racing for Erin Maxwell (Wilton, Conn.) and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar (New York, N.Y.) in the Women’s 470 came today with a second-place finish in the medal race, putting them in fifth for the event.
Going into today’s race, they were in seventh overall after stringing together a solid set of results all week, and Maxwell stated that their game plan was to have a fleet race strategy, and 'race the best we can as there are too many boats to keep an eye on and we need to race as best as we can.' They did exactly as planned and got off the line clean, then rounded in second around the first windward mark. They held the second place throughout the short race and finished behind eventual France’s Camille LeCointre and Mathilde Geron, who finished overall in ninth.
'Today’s racing was truly exciting,' said High Performance Director/Head Coach Kenneth Andreasen (Tampa, Fla.). 'We secured the bronze and the gold in women’s match racing, which shows we are the country to beat in right now. In the medal races, we had the 470 women’s coming in second place and our Finn in second, which shows that USA sailors can go out and perform when they have to.'
Olympic Sailing Committee Chairman Dean Brenner described the week as impressive in this exclusive team post here.
Team AlphaGraphics website