Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Ker 40+ 728x90

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]



Southern Spars - 100Ancasta Ker 33 660x82Zhik Dinghy 660x82

Related Articles

The Great Dane dies at 88 + Video
One of the heroes of sailing, Paul Elvstrøm (DEN) has died at the age of 88 years. One of the heroes of sailing, Paul Elvstrøm (DEN) has died at the age of 88 years. Known as the Great Dane, and winner of four Olympic Gold Medals, and many world championships in multiple classes from dinghies to keelboats, Elvstrøm put a footprint on the sport like no other.
Posted on 7 Dec
A Q&A with Olympic champ Malcolm Page about his new job at US Sailing
I recently talked with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s newly hired Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job. Malcolm Page (AUS; 44) is a hyper-talented Men’s 470 sailor who won two Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012) sailing with two different skippers, as well as seven World Championship titles, and who has long studied under the legendary Ukrainian coach Victor Kovalenko. I recently talked with Page, who was just hired as US Sailing’s new Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 5 Dec
America's Cup - Kiwi lodges Appeal against Jury in San Francisco Cup
Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case taken against the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco. On October 28, 2016, US District Judge Vince Chhabria dismissed Mitchell's claim against the five-person International Jury on the basis that it was lodged too late.
Posted on 2 Dec
A Q&A with Nick Bice about the recent changes for the 2017/2018 VOR
I caught up with Nick Bice, the VOR’s director of boats and maintenance, to learn more about the VOR’s new directions. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Nick Bice, the Volvo Ocean Race’s director of boats and maintenance, deliver a keynote speech to an audience of marine-industry professionals and official Volvo Ocean Race suppliers at the 2016 METS trade show in Amsterdam. I caught up with Bice after his presentation to learn more about the new directions that the race is taking for its thirteenth edition.
Posted on 28 Nov
A Q&A with Sharon Green about the prep work that ensures great images
I talked with ace photographer Sharon Green to learn more about the prep work that goes into each image that she snaps. I caught up with ace photographer Sharon Green at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn more about the behind-the-scenes preparation work that goes into each image that she snaps. While some of Green’s tips are specific to professional shooters (e.g., helicopter time or juggling multiple camera bodies), plenty of amateur lensmen will be well served to consider Green’s racecourse-proven tips.
Posted on 23 Nov
Dockside with CQS - radical, revamped supermaxi up close
The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday - the White Island Race which will double as Rolex Sydney Hobart Qualifier. Originally the 90ft Nicorette designed by South African Alex Simonis, the new project to upgrade to a 100ft supermaxi has been led by Brett Bakewell-White (NZ) and Bakewell-White Yacht Design.
Posted on 22 Nov
Gladwell's Line - President Croce caught at helm in Perfect Storm
No real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way an eight-year term After a year or more punctuated with issues that should not have happened, it is no real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way through what should have been an eight-year term. Also gone is one of his lieutenants, Chris Atkins (GBR) as Vice President, who remarkably polled 13th out of the 15 candidates.
Posted on 15 Nov
Gladwell's Line -The America's Cup settlement deal
The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the Arbitration Panel is not news The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the America's Cup Arbitration Panel is not new - Sail-World reported the same story in the first and second weeks of September. The Hearing on the amount of compensation to be paid is yet to be held. So far we have been unable to discover a date if indeed one has been set. Maybe next year?
Posted on 11 Oct
Debriefing the 2016 J/70 Worlds with Winning Skipper Joel Ronning
I talked with Joel Ronning after the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn about his team’s win at this high-level regatta. Since its inception in 2012, the J/70 has become the most popular One Design boat in decades, with 1,100+ boats sailing in myriad countries. Some 68 boats from 15 countries arrived on San Francisco Bay last week to determine bragging rights at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds. I caught up with Joel Ronning to learn more about the Catapult team’s road to becoming the 2016 J/70 World Champions.
Posted on 5 Oct
Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep