Preview to Sail for Gold Regatta

First Selection Event for “U.S. Olympic Team – Sailing” Held at Venue of 2012 Games

Weymouth, U.K. (May 31, 2011) – Over 50 members of US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) are in Weymouth, U.K. preparing for Sail for Gold, first of two Selection Events for the U.S. Olympic Team – Sailing. Scheduled for June 6-11, the regatta marks an important milestone for USSTAG athletes in the lead up to the 2012 Olympic Games. In addition to the venue being the same as the one used for the 2012 Games, the top performing American sailors in nine of 10 Olympic classes will qualify for the 2011 Weymouth and Portland International Regatta, which serves as a pre-Olympic test event. Exclusive photos, video interviews and reports from the racecourse will be posted on USSTAG’s Facebook and Twitter channels.

Organizers expect over 1,000 athletes from 62 nations to compete at Sail for Gold. As the final stop on the ISAF (International Sailing Federation) World Cup circuit, ISAF will award medals for the overall season standings.

“This is the event that our athletes have been working toward all year,” said USSTAG’s High Performance Director/Head Coach Kenneth Andreasen (Tampa, Fla.). “We have put countless hours in at the gym and on the water to prepare. Our sailors have spent many days here in Weymouth training in preparation for this regatta. In addition to our entire USSTAG team, we also have 10 members of the US Sailing Development Team competing, along with our full support staff and performance enhancement team.”

“As the first of two Selection Events, Sail for Gold is where U.S. athletes begin to stake their claim on an Olympic berth,” said Olympic Sailing Committee Chairman Dean Brenner (Wallingford, Conn.). “The best combined performance at this and at the second Selection Event, ISAF Sailing World Championship, in December, 2011, will determine our Olympic Team in all classes except Women’s Match Racing. We’re confident that this process will select our best prospect for medals in 2012.”

Racing starts Monday, June 6 in all classes and concludes with the medal race on Saturday, June 11. Women’s Match Racing consist of an opening series, a knockout series, and a sail-off for boats not advancing to the knockout series, with the final matches scheduled on Saturday, June 11.

Sailors accrue points at each of the seven ISAF Sailing World Cup events to earn an overall Series Score. A first place win translates into 20 points, a second place earns 19 points and so on. (Twentieth place earns one point.) The skipper/crew with the highest Series Score at the end of the season wins the ISAF Sailing World Cup Trophy.
For a full list of USSTAG athletes competing at the 2011 Skandia Sail for Gold regatta, please visit:http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Events/2011/SFG.htm

Trials Tracker
Follow the progress of U.S. athletes as they campaign for the U.S. Olympic Team – Sailing. Currently campaigning in the midst of the European season, athletes in nine of 10 Olympic classes qualify for a berth at two Selection events based on combined results at ISAF World Cup events.http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Games/Olympics/Track.htm

For more information on 2012 Olympic Selection Procedures: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/News/2010/Olympic_Selection_Procedures.htm

To read an interview with Dean Brenner that explains the 2012 Olympic Selection Process:http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/News/2010/Selection_Procedures_Interview.htm

About the 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 Sailing Program and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, please visit:http://sailingteams.ussailing.org.

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