Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Perth 2011 – a big U.S. team and a watershed for U.S. Olympic sailing

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team on 24 Oct 2011
Paige Railey in action at Kieler Woche 2011 Otto Kasch
Since sailing first joined the Olympic program in 1900, the most successful sailing nation has been the United States of America with 59 medals to Great Britain's 50.

At the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics the U.S. led the field with seven sailing medals, while Great Britain took home just one bronze.


Heading towards the 2012 London Olympics Great Britain is the strongest sailing nation likely to once again take the most Olympic sailing medals, just as it did in Beijing, Athens and Sydney. Rising up the lists is Australia, second at Beijing 2008 and currently with the world number one ranking in three classes looking like they could take second spot again.

By contrast, the sailing super-power USA has on average ranked fifth over the last three Olympics.

However times are changing says Zach Railey, (Clearwater FL) one of the top U.S. sailors competing at Perth 2011. Railey was the Finn Class Olympic Silver medallist at the Beijing Olympics 2008 and second at the 2009 Finn World Championships. His younger sister Paige, is sailing Laser Radials and just missed out on selection for Beijing but will be in Perth seeking selection for London 2012.

At Perth 2011 a total of 33 U.S. sailors will be competing for Olympic selection and Railey believes new selection criteria and better funding for U.S. Sailing will yield better Olympic results in the future.

Traditionally in the USA Olympic sailing selection has been based on a single U.S. Selection regatta, with virtually no funding for international competition.

Over the years U.S. Olympic sailors were sometimes those who sailed just on the domestic scene and had one great regatta, the Olympic Trials. They were not necessarily hardened by international competition and often failed to reproduce that result at the following Olympic Games.

But funding has been improving and last year U.S. SAILING’s Olympic Sailing Committee announced new selection procedures for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, with athletes in nine of the ten events qualifying based on their results at two international events - the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta at the 2012 Olympic venue Weymouth and Portland, England and Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships.

Railey said in an interview this week ‘Sailing has changed a lot, certainly in the last 10 years. While the U.S. one off trial system worked for quite a long time, now the sailing scene is so professional and everyone is travelling around the world. If you are very serious about performing at the Olympics you are going to go out and do all these international events.’

‘The change in U.S. selection criteria and better funding has meant that there is now a much bigger group of U.S. sailors competing on the international scene and that in time will yield results.

‘Perth 2011 is a vitally important regatta for everybody. About 75% of the country qualifiers and athlete selection will be based on results at Perth 2011.

‘Most federations put a very strong emphasis on performance at the World Championships and that can determine how much money is coming into the bank for 2012 to help support the campaign, so there is a lot of pressure at every level.’

‘The funding progress that U.S. SAILING has made over the 10 years, I don’t think, has been equalled by any other sailing federation in the world. Ten years ago we used to get $2,500 for the entire year.

‘No, we are currently not getting as much money as the British or the Australian team, but we are making progress.

‘Potential U.S. Olympic sailors are getting more support than before and literally thousands of people have helped make that happen. We have some great team sponsors who are now behind us. A lot of credit goes to US SAILING for what they have done.’

While it could take another cycle, with more competition and more funding expect to see the U.S. SAILING team again climb the rankings. One thing is for certain that the competition between the various U.S. crew for the Olympic place will be fierce.



The USTAG Team for Perth 2011

RS:X MEN: Bob Willis, Ben Barger
RS:X WOMEN: Farrah Hall
LASER: Clay Johnson, Rob Crane, Derick Vranizan (Development Team) and USA sailor Brad Funk (not on USSTAG, but member of Olympic Test Event team)
LASER RADIAL: Paige Railey, Erika Reineke
FINN: Zach Railey, Caleb Paine
470 MEN: Stu McNay/Graham Biehl, Adam Roberts/Nick Martin
470 WOMEN: Erin Maxwell/Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar, Amanda Clark/Sarah Lihan
49ER: Erik Storck/Trevor Moore
STAR: Mark Mendelblatt/Brian Fatih, George Szabo/Mark Strube, Andrew Campbell/Ian Coleman

WOMEN'S MATCH RACING: To be decided at 2011 Womens Match Racing Qualifying Regatta, October 26-30. It is likely that two teams; Sally Barkow, Alana O'Reilly and Elizabeth Kratzig Burnham and Anna Tunnicliffe, Deb Capozzi and Molly Vandemoer will represent the USA in Perth.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]



Zhik ZKG 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignInSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images from the Mens RS:X Medal Race
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class won before the race by Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) without needing points from the Medal Race. Nick Dempsey (GBR) was second on a similar basis.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Sailors talk of Life at the Extreme on the Atlantic Ocean
Certainly the Volvo Ocean Race catchcry of Life at the Extreme is not a phrase associated with the Sailing Olympics. The 470 crews were suffering the mixed emotions of survival of an extreme test by nature, the cold, and for some elation at their placings, after Thursday's battle for survival. In conditions that looked more out of the Volvo Ocean Race, than an Olympic sailing regatta, crews battled 20kt plus winds and Atlantic Ocean rollers that towered up to four metres.
Posted on 13 Aug
Rio Olympics - Fourth gallery of images the fearsome Niteroi course
Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds. believe it or not the sea conditions were worse inshore as the fleet encountered the backwashed Atlantic rollers
Posted on 12 Aug
Rio 2016 - Third image gallery of 470's braving the Atlantic Ocean
Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds
Posted on 12 Aug
Gladwell's Line - The challenges of Guanbara Bay
The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer course, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest of the 2016 Sailing Olympics. Over shadowed by a 1300ft tall granite and quartz mountain in the shape of a sugarloaf, the bay suffers from dramatic windshifts, and huge variance in wind pressure.
Posted on 11 Aug
Rio 2016 - Fresher breezes expected inside and outside on Day 3
Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Two of the fleet scheduled to race outside on the Atlantic Ocean course off Copacabana Beach, while the 470 Men and Women will race inside on Guananara Bay.
Posted on 10 Aug
Rio 2016 - Day 2 brings more tumult for some, salvation for others
The course area may have changed, but Brit, Nick Dempsey's performance early on stayed the same. The course area may have changed, but Brit, Nick Dempsey's performance early on stayed the same. He picked up where he left off on Day 1 in Race 4 of the Men's RS:X class on the Escola Naval race area to record his third win in four races. Poland's Piotr Myszka finished second with Brazil's Ricardo Santos third.
Posted on 10 Aug
Gladwell's Line - First impressions of Rio
An Olympic travelogue as the Sail-World NZ Editor makes his way though South America en route to Rio An Olympic travelogue as the Sail-World NZ Editor makes his way though South America en route to Rio, plus initial thoughts on the city, the Olympic organisation, the venue and its much-vaunted pollution and some initial thoughts after just one day on the water of how the racing could pan out.
Posted on 9 Aug