Perth, Australia (Dec. 17, 2011 ) — In an exciting finale to the Star class’s world championship, Mark Mendelblatt (Miami, Fla.) and Brian Fatih (Miami, Fla.) won a bronze medal, while Erik Storck (Huntington, N.Y.) and Trevor Moore (Naples, Fla./Pomfret, Vt.) earned a spot in Sunday’s 49er medal race. Racing concluded in three fleet racing classes where top scoring Americans were: Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.) and Sarah Lihan (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in Women’s 470; Bob Willis (Chicago, Ill.) in Men’s RS:X; and Rob Crane (Darine, Conn.) in the Laser. All US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics qualified the USA for a country berth in their respective Olympic classes at the ISAF Sailing World Championships.
“We’ve been working hard and training hard, and it’s all coming together,” said Fatih soon after arriving back at the dock.
The Star duo started ahead of the German and Swedish teams, but at the gate, both teams passed the top Americans when Mendelblatt chose the wrong lane. The Swedish needed to put two boats between them, but Mendelblatt went on to explain that if he could hold them out they would medal. “Plan A was to get the silver and it was going well halfway down the run, but the mistake I made down at the bottom put us into plan b for the bronze,” said Mendelblatt. “Even though we finished last, we made sure they finished second to last.”
To listen to the full audio interview with Mendelblatt and Fatih, click here.
Erik Storck and Trevor Moore went out with a plan to improve on their overall points and qualify for the medal race. They achieved both by scoring 16-11-8 for the day, and find themselves in 6th overall going into Sunday’s double points race.
Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan finished the regatta on 12th overall, in the team’s first world championship together since joining forces in February. The duo won a bronze medal at the 2010 Sail Melbourne.
Having a stellar day was Rob Crane with victory in race 9 and second in race 10 for 14th overall, a big leap from 33rd at the start of the day. “It’s unbelievable,” said Crane. “I’m thrilled to have a day like that in arguably the hardest fleet in the world.
Before racing started, Crane knew that he had to sail two really good races. “I needed a little luck in addition to that and I went out there and tried to focus on the racing and figured out everything I could about the racing,” he said. “I just went for it. I went out and got a shift at the mark and was leading at the mark and didn’t look back.”
Crane finished in 14th overall in the 147-boat fleet.
To listen to the full audio interview with Rob Crane, click here
World Championship racing in the Women’s RS:X, Laser Radial, Men’s 470 and Finn classes were completed on Dec. 11. The Olympic Trials Tracker has been updated showing final points for all American competitors in those classes.
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About ISAF Sailing World Championships: This event serves as the second and final U.S. Olympic Team Selection Event in the nine Olympic fleet racing events. It is also the country qualification regatta where USA will look to secure an Olympic berth in all 10 Olympic events. Full results: http://www.perth2011.com/results
The event: More than 5,000 officials, 1,200 sailors and tens of thousands of spectators are expected to visit Western Australia for the two-week regatta (Dec. 3-18) where world champions in each of the 10 Olympic sailing events will be determined.
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. For more information about the US Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Program and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, please visit: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org.
Editors Notes: All photos credit: Ocean Images/Perth 2011
Press contact: Dana Paxton, US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, email@example.com, mobile: +1 401-369-0490 (in AUS Nov. 27-Dec. 19)