August 12, London 2012 Olympic Test Event

Summary: Weymouth, U.K. – Day 11 of the series

Paige showing her pride at the dock after winning bronze

It was ladies day at the 2012 London Olympic Test Event for the US Team with entries in two of the day’s medal races. Paige Railey won a bronze medal in Laser Radial, and Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar claimed a 470 Women’s 9th overall. With the day’s wind conditions back into a more suitable 11-15 knots, racing took place as scheduled. The final day for each class is always reserved for the medal race in which the top 10 sailors from the 10-race series advance.

The Finns and Stars were back on the water to complete theirs series, with Zach Railey now standing in 9th overall in the Finn, and in the Star Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih are in 9th. Railey and Star duo Mendelblatt and Fatih advance to their respective medal races on Saturday, which is the last day of competition in the 2011 Weymouth and Portland International Regatta.

Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) went into the Radial medal race with a secure hold on the bronze medal, but wanted to push for the silver. That would mean putting six boats between herself and Evi van Acker (BEL), who was ahead on points going into today. “I was super pumped so my focus was getting silver,” said Railey. “I went out there really relaxed and knowing it was going to be a match race between Evi and me. I talked to the match racing girls, Sally and Alana, they gave me a bunch of tips and it was pretty cool because I was using them out there. It definitely works.”

With a strong start and speed up the first beat, she fought her way through the course and rounded the first mark in 6th. On the downwind, she pulled ahead into 4th and worked hard to keep a close eye on the Belgian. By the second windward mark, she had increased her lead, found herself in 2nd while van Acker trailed her in 4th. By the time they rounded the final mark, it was Railey trailing van Acker. They finished the race 2, 3 behind race winner Xu Lija (CHN).

Video with Paige Railey on the dock after racing: http://bcove.me/n8nw8h4r  

Launching for the 470 Women's medal race

Women’s 470 duo Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar finished the medal race in 7th and with the result completed the Olympic Test Event in 9th overall. As Maxwell described it, the wind was very shifty the entire 36-minute race, which put a premium on boathandling. “We were mid-fleet coming into first weather mark and felt we were laying the mark, but we wound up getting headed,” she said. “Some boats were up on our hip, and we bore off to tack and duck. We didn’t quite make the move and we ended up fouling. After spinning our penalty turn that put us last place. We spent the rest of the race catching up. We were able to pick off three boats and ended up with 7th. It was a good comeback considering but definitely disappointing.”

Full audio interview with Erin Maxwell: http://soundcloud.com/usstag/erin-maxwell
Zach Railey
(Clearwater, Fla.) took at 5th and 9th to hold his 9th overall position in the Finn class. Although the 5th place finish may sound impressive, Railey described it as disappointing due to a penalty. “I had a talk with the judges after racing and they felt I was doing a little too much pumping,” he said. “It’s something I need to readjust and not something I intentionally want to do. I did my 720 and got on with the race, and I finished 5th.” (photo: Railey heads out to the racecourse)

Railey heads out to the racecourse on Friday

From there, he went into race 10 looking to improve. “The second race was a bit of a frustrating race,” continued Railey. “We thought one side of the course was going to pay and I felt very confident in it, but it was wrong. I finished 9th in that race, and it was a pretty big comeback. Unfortunately that is the story of my week. Obviously if you want to finish on the podium it’s not about making a comeback. If I was standing here without a plan to improve I’d be worried. We have a plan of what I need to work on.”

Full results, photos, video and audio interviews of the US Team are online: http://olympics.ussailing.org/

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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