Media Alert – Day 6, Final, Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Daily summary: Palma de Mallorca, Spain (April 7, 2012) – The final day of racing at Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta brought gold and silver to US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics’ (USSTAG). In the Laser medal race, US Sailing Development Team member Charlie Buckingham captured the 4th place overall. Anna Tunnicliffe’s “Team Maclaren” of Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi won the final match against Claire Leroy (FRA) to win the gold medal in women’s match racing. After a very light-wind week of racing, today’s 20-knot wind and huge seas put a premium on conditioning for the all out sprint style of medal race formats.
“We are very happy,” said Tunnicliffe. “It’s been a great week. Molly and Debbie did a fabulous job getting the boat going fast and pointing us in the right direction, and Dell giving us all the information we needed between the races. Claire is a great component. We really enjoy sailing against her. We’re psyched where we are in our training. We have a long way to go until our Trials and hopefully the Olympics.”
With an easy win in race 1 that saw Tunnicliffe lead Leroy around the course, the next match would get slightly tricky. Leroy earned a penalty in the prestart for not giving room to Tunnicliffe to keep clear and causing contact. Although Leroy lead to t the first mark, the French team faltered in setting the spinnaker, giving Tunnicliffe an advantage to pass. Leroy gained her edge back and by mark 3 was leading again. She tried to spin her penalty turn, but it was enough for Tunnicliffe to pass and take the second win.
“We had left over swell from the last week,” said Tunnicliffe of the heavy seas and wind. “The wind built really quickly and we got this chop on top of it. It was quite challenging upwind and epic wave riding downwind. On top of all of that there were shifts. It was all about catching the shift at the right time.”
In the third race, Leroy won the start, and both boats headed to the right side of the course. Tunnicliffe trailed around the first windward mark, but gained on the downwind leg. It wasn’t enough to gain on Leroy, who sailed to a win.
With the fourth race a potential decider, Tunnicliffe chose to start to windward of Leroy. She tacked first and headed right. By the first cross, Leroy was slightly ahead to the first mark. After a very quick downwind leg, Leroy had trouble dropping the spinnaker, which gave Tunnicliffe a lead. She held the lead and went on to win the race. This is the first World Cup gold medal to the team for the 2012 season.
Going into the Finn medal race, Zach Railey was in silver medal position. All he had to do is hold his position to secure it, while keeping an eye of the fleet. With a gold medal at US Sailing’s 2012 Rolex Miami OCR, this is clearly a direction Railey has been working toward.
“Today’s medal race was really good,” said Railey. “It was very difficult conditions with 18-22 knots and really big waves. We were right up against the beach. I had to be very careful on the line, and keep my eye on Chris Cook, the Canadian sailor. I rounded the first weather mark in first, and the plan was if I got ahead of him to then follow wherever he went. He split out to the right and the other boats went left, and I had to protect second. Knowing that if finished anywhere in top 7 or kept less than 5 boats between me and the Canadian we’d be good to go.
“The start, 50% of the fleet was over the line and nobody went back. We had five OCSs. The pin end was really favored. There were five guys were in the race to finish in third place. They were all over. I made the decision not to push the line, which would have put me in jeopardy to lose the podium and second place.
“I went out and executed the plan that Kenneth had for us. There was a lot to do. We have four months until the Olympics start and we’re going to keep getting better and better.”
US Sailing Development Team’s Charlie Buckingham went into the Laser medal race in 4th overall. After a spectacular week of sailing, including a win in race 1, he would aim for a podium position.
He started at boat end of the starting line, went right and led the fleet , stayed in top three up first beat to round in 4th, then lost a bit on downwind to round leeward mark in 7th. The rest of the quick race – lasting 30 minutes – was a fight among the 10 Lasers with Buckingham showing consistent speed. An 8th place finish put him into 4th overall.
“The medal race didn’t go great, but it wasn’t bad,” said Buckingham after racing. “I’m feeling good about the final results. The conditions were 18-20 knots with big waves; really fun sailing conditions. It was good to stretch the legs out and hike a bit.
“I wanted to start at the boat and it was going to be a really nice hole for me. Simon (Simon Grotelueschen, GER) and Paul (Paul Goodison, GBR) were playing cat and mouse because Simon was trying to hold the lead. Paul tacked out and stole my spot. I think I could have had a better mark rounding, but I decided to duck and ended up rounding in 6th place. I lost a little on the first downwind, more on the second upwind.”
Overall USSTAG results:
49er – 14th Erik Storck (Huntington, N.Y.) and Trevor Moore (N. Pomfret, Vt./Naples, Fla.)
Men’s 470 – 21st Stuart McNay (Boston, Mass.) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.)
Women’s 470 – 22nd Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.) and Sarah Lihan (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Finn – 2nd Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), 12th Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.)
Laser – 38th Rob Crane (Darien, Conn.)
Laser Radial – 11th Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
2.4mR – 4th Mark LeBlanc (New Orleans, La.)
Women’s Match Racing
1st “Team Maclaren”Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), Molly Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.)
8th “Team 7 Match Race” Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.), Alana O’Reilly (Charleston, S.C.) and Elizabeth Kratzig Burnham (Miami, Fla.)
13th Genny Tulloch (San Francisco, Calif.), Jenn Chamberlin (Washington, D.C.) and Alice Manard Leonard (New Orleans, La./East Haven, Conn.)
US Sailing Development Team results:
Laser – 4th Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.)
Laser – 106th Greg Martinez (Houston, Texas)
49er – 50th Fred Strammer (Nokomis, Fla.) and Zach Brown (San Diego, Calif.)
Full results online: http://www.trofeoprincesasofia.org/result.php?miclase=FINN
The next event on the schedule is French Olympic Sailing Week, April 21-27, in Hyeres, France. It is the fourth stop on the ISAF Sailing World Cup series.
About the regatta: Racing took place April 2-7 in 10 Olympic classes and one Paralympic class. The event is a marker in the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics’ “Way to Weymouth,” a series of regattas in the lead up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The event is the third stop on the ISAF Sailing World Cup event series.
The event cancelled competition in Men’s and Women’s RS:X, Sonar and SKUD-18 classes. USSTAG was not represented in the Star class at this event.
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, Bow Down Training, New England Ropes, Group Experiential Learning and Trinity Yachts.
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.
Notes to editors:
US Sailing Team photo gallery for download: http://usstag.photoshelter.com/gallery/Princess-Sofia-2012/G0000_ZSZAjyNuU8
Credit: US Sailing
Contact: Dana Paxton, US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics Press Officer, +1 401-683-0800, x615, firstname.lastname@example.org; mobile +1 401-369-0490