Rolex Women's Regatta Concludes
Friday ended up as the last day of
racing for the International
The stars of the racing as on day 1 were Pat Connerny and team. In a repeat of Day 1 they again won both races sailed. This put them on top with day 2 double winner Elaine Parshall 2nd. Finishing 3rd was the Massachusetts team of Karen Lynch. In 4th was the top international team skippered by Christine Briand of France.
Laurie Poppen's team ended the regatta in 12th place. In order their finishes were: 17th,16th,15th,9th,10th and 9th. Discarding the 17th they ended with 59 points. This line shows they were improving and may have cracked the Top 10 had races been sailed on Saturday. They were 5 points out of the top 10.
Sydney Olympic Test Regatta
The 9th and final day of competition took place on Sunday. When all scores were tallied the Australian team had the best performance with 3 gold medals and 2 bronze. The United States team also totaled 5 medals, 3 silver and 2 bronze.
3 of the USA's medals came in the 2 person dinghy classes. Tracy Hayley and Louise Van Voohris were 2nd in the 470 women's class. They were 11 points from 1st and won 2 races. The Italian team was the winner.
Another Silver medal performance was posted by the men's 470 team of Paul Foerester and Bob Merrick. They won 4 races, but still ended up 16 points from 1st won by the Portuguese team.
In the 49er fleet the brother team of Jonathan and Charlie Mckee ended up 3rd. They were 11 points from 2nd and the 1st place Italians.
The Italian team with 2 gold medals was the top team in the dinghy classes.
The singlehanded classes were not so strong for the US team. Top performance was posted by Laser sailor Mark Mendenblatt who ended up 7th. Great Britain won the Laser Class. He showed improvement winning 1 race. The Finn class saw Darrel Peck finish 19th. On top of the Finn class was Great Britain. In the women's Europe class Meg Galiard placed 16th finishing strong with 2 top 10 finishes in the last 3 races. Winner of the Europe class was the Netherlands.
Great Britain managed 2 1sts and a 3rd to be top team in the singlehanded classes.
The USA's two board sailors garnered no medals, but were in the top 10. Mike Gebhardt finished 8th only 2 points from 7th. The Mistral Men's fleet provided another Gold for the Australians. Women's Mistral rep Lenee Butler also was 8th a scant 1 point from 7th. New Zealand took the Gold medal.
Australia won the Men's Mistral and was 3rd in the women's the strongest showing by a team in the two board sailing classes.
The Tornado catamaran class was another Australian victory. American's Ogletree and Lovell were 5th, 6 points from 3rd.
The two keelboat classes were where the American's gained their other medals. In the Star fleet Mark Reynolds and Phil Trinter were 3rd with 3 wins during the regatta. The USA's Soling team of Jeff Madrigal, Craig Healey and Hartwell Jordan made it to the finals. In the finals they lost 3-0 to Sweden in a match racing format.
The USA was the only team to have medallists in both keelboat fleets.
With one year to go to the 2000 Olympics based on this regatta the USA has an outlook that shows both strengths and weaknesses. With a major improvement in the singlehanded classes and a slight uptick in board sailing the team could be a threat to medal in all classes.