Day 7 London 2012 Olympic Test Event

Zach Railey crushes the waves. Photo credit Juerg Kaufmann

The howling 20-plus, building wind continued to challenge the U.S. Team at the Weymouth and Portland International Regatta. With days of racing left in the regatta, U.S. Team holds four top-10 positions and has already advanced to the Semi Final round of Women’s Match Racing. Full results, photos, video and audio interviews of the Team are online: http://olympics.ussailing.org/

Performance highlights include:

Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) turned up the heat on the course and collected a 5th and 8th to move up to 8th overall. Railey was pleased with his overall performance, to date, and described the second race of the day in which he capsized. “There was a relatively large right-hand shift and I ended up losing six boats. It wasn’t anyone that we were really watching in the race. I rounded the next weather mark and then I went swimming again, for the second time this week.” (photo left: Juerg Kaufmann/juergkaufmann.com)

The Finn class raced on Weymouth Bay West course and, as Railey described, along with the 18-22 knot wind, the waves were a challenge. “I got going really fast,” he said. “The waves, it’s hard to steer here. You end up running into the wave in front of you and the wave behind starts breaking. It’s been a really windy event and to sit in 7th overall, there is work to do. For where we are now, we are very happy with the campaign.”

Mark Mendelblatt (Miami, Fla.) and Brian Fatih (Miami, Fla.) solidified their 7th overall standing with an 11th and 7th. Fatih described the conditions as windier than yesterday on Weymouth Bay.

In Women’s RS:X Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) is in 24th overall. “It was a good day for me,” she said of her 22nd, 23rd. I am a bit slow upwind, but I had really good starts. We had some really good shifts and some sea breeze fighting against the front from the Northwest. The wind built for the day and was really shifty.”

On the slalom course: “I’ve been enjoying the slalom. The race committee has been very appropriate about when to run the slalom courses.”

Bob Willis (Chicago, Ill.) is in 24th overall in Men’s RS:X.

The 49er fleet completed three additional races in the series, although Erik Storck (Huntington, N.Y.) and Trevor Moore (North Pomfret, Vt./Naples, Fla.) took the day off as Storck was injured on Sunday. The team, together with US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics’ High Performance Director/Head Coach Kenneth Andreasen will continue to evaluate the situation in advance of the next scheduled 49er class racing on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

Bonus content 1: Listen to “Quick Fire Questions” with Paige Railey http://soundcloud.com/usstag/quickfire-with-paige-railey and with Trevor Moore: http://soundcloud.com/usstag/quickfire-with-trevor-moore

Bonus content 2: Chairman of the Olympic Sailing Committee Dean Brenner (Wallingford, Conn.) talks about the importance of our family of partners and sponsors, and what it means to have their support as we campaign for medals in 2012. Exclusive audio interview: http://soundcloud.com/usstag/dean-brenner-on-our-family-of

The Schedule: On Tuesday, August 9: The Laser, Laser Radial and Men’s and Women’s 470 fleets get back to business while Finn and Star have a rest day.  Sally Barkow, Alana O’Reilly and Elizabeth Kratzig Burnham will face Silja Lehtinen (FIN) in the Women’s Match Racing Semi Final round on the Nothe course. The other semi-final match is between Ekaterina Skudina(RUS) and Claire Leroy (FRA). The winner of each semi-final match is the first to three wins and will advance to the Final Match on Thursday, August 11.

The Team: The U.S. Team is comprised of 16 athletes – nine men, seven women.

Full team roster available on US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics website: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Events/2011/Olympic_Test_Event.htm

Join the Team and Watch Live: The Way to Weymouth

The US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics communications team will host live coverage of the U.S Team competing at the London 2012 Olympic Test Event. Beginning August 3, tune in for live updates, news, photos, videos and interviews with the athletes competing through August 13 at the 2011 Weymouth and Portland International Regatta. Bookmark the direct link for live coverage:  http://olympics.ussailing.org/multimedia/

Follow the Athletes/ Follow the Team:

The Regatta: Designed to test the Olympic sailing venue and its operations in advance of the 2012 Games, the 2011 Weymouth and Portland International Regatta (an official London 2012 Olympic Test Event) takes place August 2-13 and will welcome 460 sailors competing in 10 Olympic classes.

The official event website is hosted at the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) website: http://www.sailing.org/2011-test-event.php

About US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics
The US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. The top athletes in each Olympic and Paralympic class are selected annually to be members of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. US SAILING supports these elite athletes with funding, coaching and training. The title sponsor of the team is AlphaGraphics; other sponsors include Rolex Watch USA, Atlantis WeatherGear, Sperry Top-Sider, LaserPerformance, Harken Team McLube, Trinity Yachts, New England Ropes, Group Experiential Learning and Bow Down Training. http://sailingteams.ussailing.org.

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