USA's Railey takes Olympic Finn lead

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. Zach Railey (USA).
Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) came in second in both races today and now leads the Finn Class at the 2008 Olympic Regatta. With a scoreline of 2,5,2,2 in a venue that has seen finishes all over the board, his consistency has brought him to the top.

He has even gained a little more extension over Great Britain’s Ben Ainslie, who now sits five points behind in second place. Railey knows five points is not far, and is cautious and modest in his analysis of the situation. 'My goal was to come here and sail a conservative regatta. I’m not going to take too many chances. I took one yesterday and it went well, so I have a pretty good record on my risks so far, but I don’t plan to take many.'

Now that he is in the lead, he does not plan to do anything differently. 'It’s too early in the event to be looking at one person.' He said, 'You can’t think, ‘I’m in the lead so I’m going to do something special.’ I’ll just keep executing things the same way, because that’s how I got here.'

After a windward mark altercation with Ainslie, Railey said they talked it over and Ainslie did his penalty turns. Railey was quick to compliment the whole fleet, saying everyone has been obeying the rules and dong their turns.

Railey admitted the fleet is very close, and said the keys will be basics and consistency. Rounding out the top three is Chris Cook from Canada, who has 28 points and is 17 points behind Railey.

1USA
Zach Railey
252211
2GBR
Ben Ainslie
1014116
3CAN
Chris Cook
8371028
4SLO
Gasper Vincec
9116531
5ESP
Rafa Trujillo 
12431433
6CRO
Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic
71010835
7POL
Rafal Szukiel
32191236
8FRA
Guillaume Florent
5820336
9SWE
Daniel Birgmark
14171638
10FIN
Tapio Nirkko
1899945
11DEN
Jonas Hoegh-Christensen
166121650
12BRA
Eduardo Couto
61627756
DNF
13AUS
Anthony Nossiter
112281758
14ITA
Giorgio Poggi
177142159
15GRE
Emilios Papathanasiou
12752760
DNFDNE
16NZL
Dan Slater
211918462
17CYP
Haris Papadopoulos
1318211163
18IRL
Timothy Goodbody
2213151565
19TUR
Ali Kemal Tufekci
2021131872
20NED
Pieter Jan Postma
1915162272
21RUS
Eduard Skornyakov
2420171374
22IND
Nachhatar Singh Johal
424232475
23CZE
Michael Maier
1514222576
24NOR
Peer Moberg
2327111980
DSQ
25VEN
Johnny Bilbao
2612252386
26CHN
Peng Zhang
2523242092


In the Yngling class, Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.), Carrie Howe (Grosse Pointe, Mich.), and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) sailed to an eighth and a fifth today, launching them from ninth to fourth. They are currently four points away from The Dutch team of Mulder, Bes and Witteveen, and 13 points from the British Ayton, Webb and Wilson, who currently sit in first. Middle position Carrie Howe was happy to have moved up, but kept her eyes on the prize when she said, 'It’s important not to let people get too far ahead.'

2008 Olympic Regatta - Day 2 - Yngling - Race 3


Though the USA Yngling girls showed more consistency today, Howe said it’s not getting any easier. 'It’s very subtle. It’s important to recognize that and not give up.' Everyone knows this is just the beginning of a long event and having a positive attitude is the key to moving up no matter where they stand. Howe’s most enthusiastic comment of the day was, 'Go Zach!'

The Yngling and Finn classes got to sail farther from shore on Course Area E and benefited from stronger breezes and weaker currents than yesterday. They saw an average of eight knots today. Meanwhile on course A, the 49ers raced in five knots all day and rarely used their trapezes.

Tim Wadlow (Beverly, Mass.) and Chris Rast (San Diego, Calif.) had their first three races today in the 49er class. They had a great first race finishing in fifth place, but followed with a 14 and a 15. They sit in 13th place overall, but the points all the way up to 7th place are very close and show room to make gains tomorrow.

Over breakfast, Rast and Head Coach Gary Bodie discussed the previous day’s conditions, and pretty much concluded it was very difficult to read. Unfazed, Rast just said, 'That’s okay because it confirms what we thought: Every day is different in Qingdao.' As Rast and Wadlow have a collective three Olympic Regattas under their belts, they have the potential to bring a different type of day tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s forecast calls for morning squalls, clearing to more typical light Qingdao breezes by race time. The 470 Men and Women and the RS:X Men and Women start tomorrow, with two races scheduled for each class.

Racing for the USA in those classes are Stu McNay (Lincoln, Mass.) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.) in the Men’s 470 and Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.) and Sarah Mergenthaler (New York, N.Y.) in the Women’s 470. Ben Barger (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Nancy Rios (Miami, Fla.) compete in the Men’s and Women’s RS:X classes respectively.

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. Criss cross Finns.
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