>Good morning USSTAG fans…
Huge day today from Fremantle, Australia. The Doctor (the local colloquial term for the seabreeze) is expected to make a housecall today… and it may get as high as 20 knots out there today. The Doctor has not been available every day on this trip, much to our collective disappointment. But regardless, he’s making his rounds today, and it should make for some great racing.
We’ll have 470s, Lasers, and 49ers racing today, but the two highlights from a USA perspective will be match racing and Star. In the match racing, we have the gold medal match on the women’s match race course between Team Maclaren (Anna, Molly and Debbie) and Team GBR (the defending world champs.) That match will start at 2pm local time, and will be aired live on ESPN3 (www.watchESPN.com) and it will also be avalable on demand on that site. On the Star course, Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih are in silver position, six points from gold, seven ahead of bronze and 15 ahead of 4th. Mark and Brian are doing great work here, and they have two races today before tomorrow’s medal race.
Here is our team’s report from yesterday’s action.
We’ve started to zero in on the identities of several more members of the 2012 Olympic Sailing Team this week. We’ll be announcing the next group of USA Olympians at the end of this event, but anyone following the scores can quickly figure out who has already qualified. So it should come as no surprise to some that young board sailor Bob Willis has secured his spot on the 2012 Olympic Sailing Team. And this led to one of my favorite moments of this two-week event.
Olympic sailing is full of highly confident, aggressive, goal-oriented athletes. But every once in a while, when one of them lets down the shield and shows you how they really feel, it is real and honest and completely heartening. Head coach Kenneth and I witnessed just such a moment yesterday. When the scores from yesterday’s RS:X sailing hit the official notice board, and we all realized that Bob had secured the Olympic spot, Kenneth and I broke the news to him. He looked over our shoulders at the scores, with a smile slowly spreading across his face as the reality sunk in. He calmly high-fived both of us, and then excused himself into a nearby bathroom where he allowed himself some more emotion. All we heard from the bathroom was a giggle/exhale that was equal parts joy, relief, satisfaction and disbelief. The sound we heard from that room was the audible culmination of two years of hard work. Bob’s a great kid, and he should be proud of his accomplishment.
We’ll have more emotions, to the good and the not-so-good, coming in the next 48 hours. The 470 and Laser trials are far from certain, and the racing in those two events will be hard core.
Thanks again for following along, and as always, sail fast.