Miami for Rolex Miami OCR

Second World Cup event doubles as U.S. Paralympic Team Selection

Event flags fly high above the US Sailing Center in Miami

Miami, Fla., USA (January 21, 2012) –US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) is in Miami in preparation for next week’s US Sailing’s Rolex Miami OCR. Scheduled for Monday, January 23 through Saturday, January 28, 2012, this prestigious event is the second stop on the International Sailing Federation’s (ISAF) Sailing World Cup 2011-2012 circuit and expects over 500 athletes from 50 countries. Competition takes place in the 10 Olympic and three Paralympic sailing classes in advance of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, to be held in Weymouth, U.K. The 13 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team members, selected to date, will compete alongside members of USSTAG who are vying for a spot on the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Sailing Team. The regatta also serves as the selection for the 2012 US Sailing Development team (USSDT) in the Olympic Development classes.

“Now that we have had a rest from Perth and the IFDS Worlds, it is time to get back to business of preparing for the Games,” said USSTAG’s High Performance Director/Head Coach Kenneth Andreasen (Tampa, Fla.), referencing the recent ISAF Sailing World Championships, Dec. 3-18 in Olympic classes, and the IFDS Worlds, Jan. 10-16, which were the first U.S. Paralympic Team selection event. “At the end of this regatta, we will have named our full Paralympic Team for 2012.”

Members of US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics expected to compete:

In the Laser class (Men”s One Person Dinghy), Rob Crane (Darien, Conn.) leads the American charge in the 81-boat fleet after qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Team.

“I got to Miami on the 10th and since then I’ve been cycling and going to the gym, pretty much getting back into it after Perth,” said Crane. “The past three weeks have been hectic scheduling exercise in figuring out the next six months. I had a lot of fun for the past few weeks, but now it’s time to get back to business.”

Full video interview with Rob Crane: http://youtu.be/NWOjPjs4yuk

The Laser is the largest class at the regatta, including USSTAG’s Clay Johnson (Tom, N.J..) and US Sailing Development Team’s Carson Crain (Houston, Texas), Cam Cullman (Rye, N.Y.), Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.), EJ O’Mara (Burton, Mich.), Greg Martinez (Houston, Texas), Dodge Rees (Pensacola, Fla.), Kyle Rogachenko (Collegeville, Penn.) and Frederick Vranizan (Shoreline, Wash.).

USSTAG is represented in the Laser Radial (Women”s One Person Dinghy) by Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), who finished 2011 with a World Championship bronze medal and an overall bronze in the 2010-11 Sailing World Cup. Railey qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team and is focusing full-time with USSTAG Olympic Coach Luther Carpenter (LaPorte, Texas).

Railey will face still competition in the 59-boat fleet against Evi van Acker (BEL) and Marit Bouwmeester (NED), who are ranked internationally #1 and #3 in the ISAF World rankings. 2011 Laser Radial Youth World champion Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) also joins the competitive fleet, and she will sail for a spot on the 2012 USSDT’s Olympic Development Team.

In the Finn class (Men”s One Person Dinghy Heavy) USSTAG’s standout Finn sailor, 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist and U.S. Olympic Team member Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) and will look to improve upon his previous performance and land a podium finish. Talented USSTAG athlete Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.) has continued to climb the ranks and will be one of the ones to watch among the 26-boat fleet.

In both the Men”s and Women”s RS:X (Men”s and Women’s Windsurfing), America’s top windsurfers will compete: Pan American Games Team and U.S. Olympic Team member Bob Willis (Chicago, Ill.) and U.S. Olympic Team member Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.). Hall will continue to build on her experience against international competition in preparation for the 2012 RS:X World Championships, March 26-30, in Spain, where the final country berth qualifier for the Games takes place.

USSTAG’s Stu McNay (Boston, Mass) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.) come to Miami fresh off the Men’2012-01-30 17:43:50′s 470 (Men”s Two Person Dinghy) North Americans where they finished second overall and top North American. They, too, qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team alongside Women’s 470 duo Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.) and Sarah Lihan (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Since the 2011 Rolex Miami OCR, Clark and Lihan have found their new partnership to be a success, winning the 470 North Americans last weekend.

In both the Men’s and Women’s 470 fleets, there are a number of standout young American sailors, including 2011 USSDT duos Marlena Fauer (New York, N.Y.) and Carly Shevitz (Santa Barbara, Calif.); and Anne Haeger (Lake Forest, Oll.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.). Sydney Bolger (Long Beach, Calif.) will sail with a new crew. All are vying for a position on the 2012 USSDT’s Olympic Development Team.

49er (Men”s Two Person Dinghy High Performance) team Erik Storck (Huntington, N.Y.) and Trevor Moore (North Pomfret, Vt.) look to build upon their standout performance at the Worlds last month where they were selected for the U.S. Olympic Team. They were having a stellar medal race on the final day when their boat experienced equipment failure, catapulting them into the water as well as off the podium. They will debut their newly-built 49er “Wendy” named after Moore’s mother.

In the 23-boat 49er fleet is 2011 USSDT duo Ryan Pesch (Chicago, Ill.) and Trevor Burd (Marblehead, Mass.), looking to climb into the USSDT Olympic Development Team.

In the deeply-talented Star (Men”s Keelboat) class, World bronze medalists and U.S. Olympic Team members Mark Mendelblatt (Annapolis, Md.) and Brian Fatih (Miami, Fla.) will compete in 31-boat class.

In the Elliott 6m (Women”s Match Racing) there are 24 of the world’s top teams competing this week. World champion and world #1 “Team Maclaren” Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), Molly Vandemoer (Redwood City, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.); Genny Tulloch (San Francisco, Calif.), Alice Manard (Charleston S.C.) and Jennifer Chamberlin (Washington, D.C.); and 2008 Olympian Sally Barkow’s (Nashotah, Wis.) Team 7 Match Race of Alanna O’Reilly (Charleston, S.C.) and Elizabeth Kratzig (Miami, Fla.).

In order to qualify for the Women’s Match Racing berths at the Rolex Miami OCR, teams competed at the U.S. Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta, Oct. 26-30, at Key Biscayne Yacht Club. All three USSTAG teams qualified for the World Cup event, along with Stephanie Roble, Maggie Shea and Darby Smith (all Chicago, Ill..

Paralympic Classes

US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) members Jen French (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and JP Creignou (St. Petersburg, Fla.) scored a silver medal in the 8-boat SKUD-18 fleet at the 2012 IFDS World Championship. The regatta, which took place Jan. 10-15 in Port Charlotte, Fla., served as the first of two U.S. Selection events for the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team.

American athletes will combine their overall score from this regatta with their result from US Sailing’s 2012 Rolex Miami OCR. The top-performing eligible athlete(s) in each Paralympic class will be selected to join the U.S. Paralympic Team to compete at the 2012 Paralympic Games, scheduled for set for August 29 – September 9, 2012 in Weymouth/Portland, England.

Three USSTAG athletes will compete in the 2.4mR (Open One Person Keelboat):  2008 Paralympic bronze medalist John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wis.); 2010 U.S. National Champion Mark LeBlanc (New Orleans, La.); and Charles Rosenfield (Woodstock, Conn.).

SKUD-18 (Mixed Two Person Keelboat): Scott Whitman (Brick, N.J.) and Julia Dorsett (Westchester, Pa./Boca Raton, Fla.), and Jen French (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Jean-Paul Creignou, who won silver at the 2012 Worlds.

Sonar (Open Three Person Keelboat): Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Me.); Paul Callahan (Cape Coral, Fla./Newport R.I.), Tom Brown (Castine, Me.) and Bradley Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.); and Michael Hersey (Hyannis, Mass.) with Andrew Fisher (Greenwich, Conn.) and 2008 Paralympic Gold Medalist Maureen McKinnon-Tucker (Marblehead, Mass.).

Track American athletes as they qualify for the 2012 Games in the US Olympic and Paralympic Trials Tracker http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Games/Olympics/Track.htm

Stay Connected with US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics

Fans of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics can learn more about the athletes and their upcoming schedule on the team’s website http://sailingteams.usssailing.org. For updates from Rolex Miami OCR, follow USSTAG on Twitter – the news microblog service – by adding @USSTAG to your news stream. Links to daily reports, photos and results will be posted to the USSTAG Facebook fan page.

About US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR
Established in 1990 by US SAILING, the Rolex Miami OCR annually draws elite sailors, including Olympic and Paralympic medalists and hopefuls from around the world. Find out more about the ISAF Sailing World Cup, overall standings, the scoring system and the Notice of Series at www.sailing.org/isafsailingworldcup.

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 boats 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.

Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country. For more information about US SAILING, please visit: www.ussailing.org. For more information about the US Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Program and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, please visit: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org.

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 CONTACT: Dana Paxton, US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, danapaxton@ussailing.org, 401-369-0490 (in Miami Jan. 19-30)

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