by Dana Paxton
On the final day of racing at US Sailing’s Rolex Miami OCR, US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) collected three medals. Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) won gold in Laser Radial, and in Women’s Match Racing, Team Tunnicliffe – Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), Molly Vandemoer (Redwood City, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) and Team Barkow – Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.), Alana O’Reilly (Charleston, S.C.) and Elizabeth Kratzig-Burnham (Miami, Fla.) – won silver and bronze, respectively.
470 Men’s Fleet racing in front of the Miami skyline - Rolex Miami OCR
This event is the second stop on the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup circuit.
Wrapping up the gold medal going into today’s Laser Radial medal race, Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) only had to sail the race and finish. 'My main goal was not to get any OCS (a penalty for starting early) or yellow flags,' she explained. 'I definitely sailed my boat conservatively. The tactics still come through. I was able to sail some good upwind legs especially the second one, and that’s where I made some big gains. Still, it was pretty cool seeing everyone else. It was intense and great to see everyone else going at it really hard.'
In the Elliott 6m (Women’s Match Racing) first-to-three final match for gold and silver medals, Team Tunnicliffe – Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) – was defeated by France’s Claire Leroy, Elodie Bertrand and Marie Riou, 3-1. Team Tunnicliffe took home the silver medal.
In the petit-final, Team Barkow -- Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.), Alana O’Reilly (Charleston, S.C.) and Elizabeth Kratzig (Miami, Fla.) – defeated GBR’s Team Macgregor – Lucy Macgregor, Mary Rook and Kate Macgregor, 2-1. Team Barkow won a bronze medal for their win.
The final 49er (High Performance Dinghy) medal race was full of excitement for Erik Storck (Huntington, N.Y.) and Trevor Moore (North Pomfret, Vt.), who took charge of the race from the start and finished in second. That result moved them up into fifth place overall for the event. Up-and-coming 49er sailors Alex Bishop (Baltimore, Md.) and Val Smith (Wilmette, Ill.), members of the US Sailing Development Team, did a good job and finished in sixth overall. With this week’s result, they qualified for the 2011 USSTAG.
The medal race in the Finn (Men's One Person Dinghy Heavy) was a close race for Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), who went into today aiming for a top-five result. It wasn’t to be as he finished the medal race in sixth for sixth place overall this week.
Stuart McNay (Boston, Mass) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.) ended their run in the Men’s 470 in sixth place overall.
Although Brian Fatih (Miami, Fla.) sat out today’s medal race due to an injury sustained yesterday, Star skipper Mark Mendelblatt (Miami, Fla.) recruited USSTAG Star crew Brad Nichol (Miami Beach, Fla.) as a substitute crew, and the duo finished second to move up into fifth overall for the regatta. Fatih will return to competition soon.
Andrew Campbell (San Diego, Calif.) and Ian Coleman (Annapolis, Md.) had a great medal race, finishing fifth for sixth overall in the regatta. Rounding out the top ten were George Szabo (San Diego, Calif.) and Frithjof Kleen (Berlin, GER) in seventh and Andy Horton (S. Burlington, Vt.) and James Lyne (Granville, Vt.) in 10th.
Two USSTAG athletes competed in the Laser medal race: Clay Johnson (Toms River, N.J.) and Rob Crane (Darien, Conn.), who finished ninth and 10th, respectively.
US Sailing’s Golden Torch Trophy, awarded to the U.S. sailor with the best overall performance at US Sailing’s Rolex Miami OCR, this year went to Laser Radial Gold Medalist Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.). The torch, from the 1980 Moscow Olympics, was presented by the Russian Olympic Committee to Andrew Kostanecki, chairman of the United States Olympic Sailing Committee from 1985 to 1988. Kostanecki gave the torch to US SAILING as an award for aspiring Olympians and Paralympians. Railey also received the award last year.
Competition in the three Paralympic classes concluded on Friday, January 28.
Top American in the 2.4mR class was John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wis.), finished sixth overall. Mark LeBlanc (New Orleans, La.) was in 18th and Charles Rosenfield (Woodstock, Conn.) 19th.
Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Me.) were the top Americans in the Sonar (Open Three Person Keelboat) class, finished in fourth overall. Albert Foster (Wayzata, Minn.), Michael Hersey (Hyannis, Mass.) and David Burdette (Lutherville, Md.) in seventh overall, and Paul Callahan (Cape Coral, Fla./Newport R.I.), Tom Brown (Castine, Me.) and Bradley Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.) finished in eighth..
Scott Whitman and Julia Dorsett won a silver medal in the SKUD-18; Jen French (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Jean-Paul Creignou (St. Petersburg, Fla.) finished fourth overall; and Sarah Everhart Skeels (Tiverton, R.I.) and Bob Jones (Issaquah, Wash.) were sixth.
This evening is the Rolex prizegiving at Coral Reef Yacht Club where medals will be presented in 10 Olympic and three Paralympic sailing classes. Over 700 of the world’s top athletes from 53 countries competed.
Full results here