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Olympic Sailing Regatta Day 13: USA Wrap Up

Qingdao, China – The 2008 Olympic Sailing Regatta concluded today with some strong performances from Team USA. Twenty-five-year-old Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.) led the team on the water with a gold medal in the Laser Radial class, the first gold medal for a U.S. female sailor in 20 years. Twenty-four-year-old Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) produced a strong performance in the Finn Class. Railey sailed a solid regatta from beginning to end to bring home the silver medal. This is the USA’s first Finn medal since 1992. Olympic Sailing Committee Chairman and Team Leader Dean Brenner (Wallingford, Conn.) said, “We’re proud of this team. We came here with a young team of fourteen first-time Olympians. We are going home with a gold and a silver and a lot to build on for the future.”

Brenner also highlighted a need to look at the big picture. “We are in year four of a 20-year strategy. I’m proud of the results, but I’m not satisfied. We can do better, and once the dust settles on this event, we’ll get to work planning for 2012 and 2016.” He concluded, “I was happy when we were coming into these Games and I’m still happy.”

High Performance Director and Head Coach for the U.S. Olympic Sailing Program, Gary Bodie (Hampton, Va.) said, “I’m really excited for our program because we won two singlehanded medals. We struggled in singlehanded performance for a few quads, so it’s really rewarding to win some singlehanded medals this time.”

Laser Radial— Women’s Singlehanded Dinghy
Tunnicliffe won the 28-boat Laser Radial event with 37 points– five points over Gintare Volungeviciute of Lithuania and 13 points ahead of bronze medalist Lijia Xu of China. Though the finish was close and down to the last nail-biting race,world #1-ranked Tunnicliffe sailed a consistent series in a variety of wind conditions ranging from calm days to typhoon-influenced days. Tunnicliffe became nervous when she dropped to third halfway through the regatta, but stuck to her conservative plan. Her coach Luther Carpenter (La Porte, Texas) said, “Anna is your dream athlete. She’s a hard worker, in amazing shape, very open to coaching, completely driven and she sees path clearly to winning.” Now that Tunnicliffe has won the gold, she doesn’t have much time to relax, as she said, “I’ve got a triathlon to train for!” A true all-round athlete, her fitness has been a key to her dominant performances in the Laser Radial and she intends to return for a 2012 campaign.

Finn— Men’s Heavyweight Dinghy
Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) sailed a conservative and smart regatta to jump from medal hopeful with a world ranking of 11th to Olympic silver medalist. After receiving his medal, Railey said, “I came here to stand on the podium. My goal was to get a medal. Now it’s a big relief and I’m proud to win a medal for the United States. It feels amazing. All of that hard work was worth that moment and I just wish it had lasted a little longer!” He concluded, “I’ll have to come back in 2012 and do it again.”

49er—Skiff
Tim Wadlow (Beverly, Mass.) and Chris Rast (San Diego, Calif.) found their legs on the third day of 49er racing. They went out and won all three races of the day. By the medal race, they had climbed up to from 13th place to contention for both silver and bronze, but an equipment breakdown pulled them out of the running in the 19-boat class. They finished the regatta in sixth place.

Yngling— Women’s Keelboat
Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.), Carrie Howe (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) battled all week in the Yngling class, but it was not their week. They had flashes of the results that the rest of the Yngling fleet has seen from them for the last four years, but in the end a disappointing medal race performance left them seventh overall. Prior to the Games, they have been consistently strong players, finishing on the podium at more than 80 percent of their regattas over the last four years.

Star— Men’s Keelboat
In the Star class, John Dane III (Gulfport, Miss.) and Austin Sperry (Gulfport, Miss.) finished in 11th of 16 boats, but not without some impressive results. Sailing in a boat designed for light winds, Dane and Sperry were fast in the breezes under eight knots and able to bring in impressive finishes of 2, 4, 4. However, once the wind started to pick up on day three they were unable to keep up with the more versatile designs.

470 Women— Doublehanded Dinghy
Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.) and Sarah Mergenthaler (New York, N.Y.) finished in 12th of the 19 Women’s 470s competing at the 2008 Olympic Games. After a rocky start, they found a groove and finished the event with three top-ten finishes.

470 Men— Doublehanded Dinghy
Stu McNay (Lincoln, Mass.) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.) finished in 13th of their 29-boat fleet. Like the Women’s 470 team, McNay and Biehl saw a slow start, but managed to string together a 1, 4, 1, 6.

Tornado— Multihull
John Lovell (New Orleans, La.) and Charlie Ogletree (Kemah, Texas) sailed in their fourth Olympics at the 2008 Games. Having won silver in 2004 in Athens, the pair decided to gamble on a sail designed for light winds. Without the conditions they needed to make their sail work properly, the pair was held back by their boatspeed and could not put forth a competitive performance in the class and finished 15th.

Laser— Men’s Singlehanded Dinghy
Andrew Campbell (San Diego, Calif.) is highly decorated with wins in many national and world championship events. Two major penalties took him out of a competitive position in these Games, but Campbell was able to win the third race of the series. He finished in 25th of the 43-boat class.

Women’s RS:X— Windsurfer
Nancy Rios (Miami, Fla.) entered this 27-boat event ranked 77th in the world. She struggled to keep up with her competitors but maintained a positive attitude. She finished 26th in the class.

Men’s RS:X—Windsurfer
Ben Barger (St. Petersburg, Fla.) also competed in his first Olympic Games in 2008. Barger finished 26th out of 35 boards.

Team USA
The U.S. Olympic Sailing team is proud of the medals earned by Anna Tunnicliffe and Zach Railey. Brenner said, “We are proud of this team, both on and off the water. They were prepared, they sailed hard, and they represented the USA with class and grace.” The regatta was challenging and Bodie was impressed with the team’s ability to handle the conditions. He said, “This is a tough place to sail and it was a tough regatta. We had light wind, plenty of current and some ocean lump. It’s not an easy place to excel.”

Brenner offered his thoughts on the future of the Olympic Sailing Program. “The team’s gold and silver medals are promising steps in the right direction, but there is more work to be done to raise the competitive level of the team.” The team and its management are already working on the plan for a strong performance in 2012.

Paralympic Games September 6-17
The United States has qualified for all three Paralympic sailing events. For more details on the team and reports from the regatta, please visit http://olympics.ussailing.org/Olympics.htm.

Final Results (for full results please visit http://www.sailing.org/olympics/racing/olympicresults.php)

Laser Radial: 28 boats
1. Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), 4, 5, 6, 5, 6, 3, (15), 2, 2, 4; 37
2. Volungeviciute (LTU), 3, 13, 8, 1, 1, 4, (21), 6, 4, 2; 42
3. Lijia Ku (CHN), (24), 3, 10, 6, 5, 2, 1, 11, 6, 6; 50

Finn: 26 boats
1. Ainslie (GBR), (10), 1, 4, 1, 1, 10, 2, 2, 2; 23
2. Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), 2, 5, 2, 2, 7, 8, 7, (19), 12; 45
3. Florent (FRA), 5, 8, 20, 3, 4, 6, 4, (21), 8; 58

49er: 19 boats
1. Warrer and Ibsen (DEN), 2, 4, (10), 4, 2, 3, 4, 2, 9, 2, 7, 8, 14; 61
2. Martinez and Fernandez (ESP), 1, 10, 17, 2, (20/OCS), 5, 7, 10, 3, 4, 1, 2, 2; 64
3. Peckolt and Peckolt (GER), (15), 6, 11, 6, 3, 2, 2, 12, 4, 5, 4, 7, 4; 66
6. Tim Wadlow (Beverly, Mass.) and Chris Rast (San Diego, Calif.), 5, 14, 15, (16), 5, 10, 1, 1, 1, 3, 8, 4, 22/DNF; 89

Yngling: 15 boats
1. Ayton, Webb and Wilson (GBR), 2, 3, 4, (7), 4, 2, 2, 5, 2; 24
2. Mulder, Bes, Witteveen (NED), 9, 1, 2, (13), 1, 5, 4, 1, 8; 31
3. Bekatorou, Papadopoulou, Kravarioti (GRE), 10, 12, 9, 3, 2, (16/OCS), 3, 3, 6; 48
7. Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.), Carrie Howe (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.), (14), 2, 8, 5, 6, 11, 1, 10, 18 ; 61

Star: 16 boats
1. Percy and Simpson (GBR), 7, (13), 3, 5, 8, 2, 1, 1, 2, 6, 10; 45
2. Scheidt and Prada (BRA), 10, (11), 6, 1, 9, 10, 2, 3, 3, 3, 6; 53
3. Loof and Ekstrom (SWE), 1, 4, (15), 3, 6, 1, 8, 2, 1, 7, 20; 53
11. John Dane (Gulfport, Miss.) and Austin Sperry (Gulfport, Miss.), 8, 2, 4, 12, 15, 15, (16), 16, 10, 4; 86

Women’s 470: 19 boats
1. Rechichi and Parkinson (AUS), 2, 2, 4, 1, (9), 4, 2, 5, 3, 2, 18; 43
2. De Koning and Berkhout (NED), 3, 1, 9, 5, 2, 2, 10, 7, 4, (16), 10; 53
3. Oliveira and Swan (BRA), 11, (16), 5, 10, 7, 6, 6, 2, 7, 4, 2; 60
12. Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.) and Sarah Mergenthaler (New York, N.Y.), 12, 12, 10, 14, 4, (17), 7, 6, 17, 7; 89

Men’s 470: 29 boats
1. Wilmot and Page (AUS), 4, (7), 3, 3, 3, 4, 5, (16), 3, 10, 2; 44
2. Rogers and Glanfield (GBR), 19, 5, 1, 4, 9, 6, 20, (30/OCS), 2, 3, 6; 75
3 Charbonnier and Bausset (FRA), 6, 3, 8, 1, 6, 18, 3, 14, 7, (20), 12; 78
13. Stu McNay (Lincoln, Mass.) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.), 26, 12, (30/OCS), 17, 15, 1, 4, 1, 6, 23; 105

Tornado: 15 boats
1. Echavarri and Blanco (ESP), 1, 6, 1, 4, 7, (13), 1, 7, 1, 8, 8; 44
2. Bundock and Ashby (AUS), 5, 4, 3, 1, 5, (9), 2, 8, 7, 4, 10; 49
3. Lange and Espinola (ARG), (13), 1, 1, 12, 4, 6, 9, 1, 9, 1, 12; 56
15. John Lovell (New Orleans, La.) and Charlie Ogletree (Kemah, Texas), 14, 12, 7, 11, 12, 14, (15), 15, 14, 15; 114

Laser: 43 boats
1. Goodison (GBR), (15), 2, 15, 1, 9, 7, 1, 4, 6, 18; 63
2. Zbogar (SLO), (24), 4, 14, 6, 2, 11, 18, 1, 11, 4; 71
3. Romero (ITA), 6, 3, 5, (36), 10, 15, 11, 9, 10, 6; 75
25. Andrew Campbell (San Diego, Calif.), 14, 18, 1, 26, 32, (44/BFD), 8, (44/DSQ), 31; 174

Men’s RS:X: 35 boards
1. Ashley (NZL), 4, 7, 7, 1, 5, 5, 3, 6, 8, (32), 6; 52
2. Bontemps (FRA), (13), 1, 5, 4, 10, 8, 2, 10, 2, 3, 8; 53
3. Zubari (ISR), 1, 3, 1, 3, 17, 6, (19), 18, 1, 4, 4; 58
26. Ben Barger (St. Petersburg, Fla.), 21, 22, 24, 26, 26; (32), 25, 17, 25, 31; 217

Women’s RS:X: 27 boards
1. Yin (CHN), 1, 1, 1, 3, 3, (13), 7, 8, 8, 1, 6; 39
1. Sensini (ITA), 6, 2, 9, 1, (28/DSQ), 3, 2, 2, 5, 8, 2; 40
3. Shaw (GBR), 4, 3, 11, 6, (28/OCS), 6, 5, 3, 1, 2, 4; 45
26. Nancy Rios (Miami, Fla.), 25, 24, 22, 26, 24, 27, (28/DNF), 28/DNF, 26, 22; 224

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