London 2012 Olympic Games One-Year Out Preview

Sailing

  
2012 Preview
One year before the 2012 Olympic Games, American sailors are continuously proving their talent, speed and skills on the water against the best in the world. Members of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, the national sailing team made up of almost 50 Olympic hopefuls in the 10 classes selected for the 2012 Olympic Games, have won 76 medals at major international events over the past three years. Team members are entrenched in training and competing at the world’s most elite events in order to achieve optimal success in 2012.
 
US Sailing is developing a stronger, more united team focused on performance and winning medals. High Performance Director/Head Coach Kenneth Andreasen has made great strides in unifying the team when it compete overseas, as well as when the sailors train at home on U.S. soil. He has also set the bar high with intense, off-the-water training –physically and mentally – in order to be the most fit sailing team in the world.  
 
The team is more united than ever before, strengthening its identity as a sailing powerhouse focused on performance and on winning medals. Beyond traveling and living together overseas while competing at international events for the majority of the year, team members are training together in a squad-like atmosphere, sharing resources and expertise with the collective goals of improving, staying sharp, and being at the top of their games.  Team members are constantly pushing each other to achieve higher results. Individually, every sailor has customized his or her performance plan in order to peak at the two selection events for the U.S. Olympic Team: the Sail for Gold Regatta, an International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup event and the ISAF Combined World Championships (for Olympic classes).
 
Both veterans and new team members are committed to training and competing around the world on a year-round basis in order to perform at the top of the international fleets, and to ultimately be medal ready for 2012. 

Storylines
  • 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe, the first woman in 20 years to bring home gold in sailing, has proven her sailing talent and versatility by switching boats for her next Olympic campaign. She has transitioned from a singlehanded dinghy, the Laser Radial, to skippering a three-person keelboat in the new women’s match racing event, which makes its debut at the 2012 Games.  Tunnicliffe joined forces with Molly Vandemoer and 2008 Olympian Debbie Capozzi. Since late 2009, the new team has won seven coveted medals at ISAF Sailing World Cup events, including a 2011 season gold, catapulting the team to third place in the world rankings. To claim Team USA’s 2012 berth she will need to defeat the world’s best including a fellow US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics team, headed by 2008 Olympian Sally Barkow. Barkow and her crew, Alana O’Reilly and Elizabeth Kratzig Burnham, won a 2011 World Cup season bronze medal.
  • When Zach Railey won an Olympic silver medal in 2008, he described that moment as “a rush of emotion, satisfaction and pride. I dream about being able to have that moment again in 2012.” This time, Railey is hungry for gold, and he has a calculated plan to achieve his goals in 2012. He has continued to show strength in the deep Finn class, winning silver and bronze medals at 2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup events. He is currently fourth in the world rankings. The 27-year-old has the distinction of being the first US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics athlete to take up residence at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., and has focused this considerable training toward competing internationally and continuing to improve his boat handling, skills and speed. 
  • At age 24, Paige Railey is no stranger to the fierce competition of the international sailing Olympic class circuit, and she is determined to win a medal at the 2012 Games in England. While she had a meteoric rise to the top at a young age – she was the world’s most celebrated female sailor in 2006, winning both the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year and US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year awards – she has proven she has the talent and maturity to evolve as an athlete and stay on top of her game. After taking most of 2008 off to attend college, she jumped back into the Laser Radial, the singlehanded dinghy selected for the 2012 Games. She tried new techniques and took new risks, but also trusted her instincts when to hold back and sail consistently. For the past two years she has dominated the ISAF Sailing World Cup standings, winning a gold medal at US Sailing’s Rolex Miami OCR, followed by a gold medal at Kiel Week and a bronze medal in the ISAF Sailing World Cup standings for the 2010-11 world-cup season.
  • With the transom (back end) of their 470 dinghy labeled “Unfinished Business,” Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar are clear on their goals for a 2012 Olympic Team berth. Farrar, a 2004 Olympian with another teammate, teamed up with Maxwell in 2008 and won the 470 world championship. From that moment until this past spring, the team campaigned part-time while Maxwell focused on her career as a commodities trader and Farrar finished law school at New York University. They took a hiatus in their respective jobs to train and compete full-time during the summer European season. Their hard work paid off. They secured a spot on the Pre-Olympic Regatta Team at an ISAF Sailing World Cup event, then went onto win gold at the final world-cup event, in Kiel, Germany, and secure an overall 2010-11 world cup gold medal.
Key Athletes
Finn (Heavyweight Dinghy)
  • Zach Railey: 2008 Olympic silver medalist – Clearwater, Fla.
Laser Radial (Women’s One Person Dinghy)
  • Paige Railey – Clearwater, Fla.
Laser (Men’s One Person Dinghy) 
Three sailors are in contention for the 2012 berth. Ranking order:
  • Brad Funk – Plantation, Fla.
  • Clay Johnson – Toms River, N.J.
  • Rob Crane – Darien, Conn.
470 Men (Men’s Two Person Dinghy)
  • Stuart McNay: 2008 Olympian – Boston, Mass.
  • Graham Biehl: 2008 Olympian – San Diego, Calif.
470 Women (Women’s Two Person Dinghy)
Two teams are in contention for the 2012 berth. Ranking order: 
  • Erin Maxwell – Wilton, Conn., and
  • Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar: 2004 Olympian – New York, N.Y.;
  • Amanda Clark: 2008 Olympian – Shelter Island, N.Y., and
  • Sarah Lihan – Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
49er (Men’s Two Person Dinghy High Performance)
  • Erik Storck – Huntington, N.Y.
  • Trevor Moore – Pomfret, Vt./Naples, Fla.
RS:X (Men’s Windsurfer)
Two sailors are in contention for the 2012 berth. Ranking order: 
  • Ben Barger: 2008 Olympian – St. Petersburg. Fla.
  • Bob Willis – Chicago, Ill.
RS:X (Women’s Windsurfer)
  • Farrah Hall – Annapolis, Md.
Star (Men’s Keelboat)
Three teams are in contention for the 2012 berth. Ranking order: 
  • Mark Mendelblatt – Miami, Fla., and
  • Brian Fatih – Miami, Fla.;
  • Andrew Campbell: 2008 Olympian – San Diego, Calif., and
  • Ian Coleman – Annapolis, Md.;
  • Andy Horton – So. Burlington, Vt., and
  • James Lyne – Granville, Vt.)
Elliott 6m (Women’s Match Racing)
Three teams are in contention for the 2012 berth. Ranking order: 
  • Anna Tunnicliffe: 2008 Olympic gold medalist – Plantation, Fla.,
    Molly Vandemoer – Stanford, Calif., and 
    Debbie Capozzi: 2008 Olympian – Bayport, N.Y.;
  • Sally Barkow: 2008 Olympian – Nashotah, Wis., 
    Alana O’Reilly – Miami, Fla., and 
    Elizabeth Kratzig Burnham – Miami, Fla.;
  • Genny Tulloch – San Francisco, Calif.,
     Alice Manard Leonard – New Orleans, La./East Haven, Conn., and 
    Jenn Chamberlin – Washington, D.C.
Selection Procedures
There are 10 events selected for the 2012 Olympic Games, set for July 27-Aug. 12 in Weymouth and Portland, England: Finn (Heavyweight Dinghy); Laser Radial (Women’s One Person Dinghy); Laser (Men’s One Person Dinghy); 470 Men (Men’s Two Person Dinghy); 470 Women (Women’s Two Person Dinghy); 49er (Men’s Two Person Dinghy High Performance); RS:X (Men’s Windsurfer); RS:X (Women’s Windsurfer); Star (Men’s Keelboat); and Elliott 6m (Women’s Match Racing).
 
Athletes have the opportunity to qualify for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team based on their combined performance at two international events: Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth and Portland, England, which took place from June 5-11, 2011, and the ISF Sailing World Championship, which takes place in Perth, Australia, from Dec. 3-18, 2011.
 
The exception is the women’s match racing event, which will have two separate qualifying regattas, available to U.S. athletes only: Oct. 26-30, 2011, in Miami, Florida; and May 4-7, 2012, in Weymouth, England.
US Sailing will send a maximum of one boat per event, pending country qualification, to the 2012 Olympic Games for a maximum team size of 16. Upon approval from the U.S. Olympic Committee, the qualifying athletes will be named to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team.
 
For additional details about the selection procedures for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Team, click here. 
 
The Olympic Regatta will be held July 27-Aug. 12, 2012, in the towns of Weymouth and Portland, which are located on the southern coast of England, approximately 120 miles southwest of London.
 
Olympic Sailing Committee Chairman Dean Brenner explains the evolution in the selection procedures here. 
 
Key Dates
  • Aug 2-13, 2011: 2011 Weymouth and Portland International Regatta – Weymouth, England
  • Oct 26-30, 2011: Women’s Match Racing, Part 1 - US Sailing Elliott 6m Regatta – Key Biscayne, Fla.
  • Dec. 3-18, 2011: Olympic Team Selection, Part 2 - ISAF World Championship – Perth, Australia
  • December 2011: 2012 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team announcement (except for women’s match racing)
  • May 4-7, 2012: Women’s Match Racing, Part 2 - US Sailing Elliott 6m Regatta – Weymouth, England
  • May 2012: 2012 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team announcement (women’s match racing)
Athlete Twitter Handles or Facebook Fan Pages
  • Erik Storck and Trevor Moore - facebook.com and @storckmooresail
  • Paige Railey - facebook.com and @PaigeSailor
  • Zach Railey - @zachsail
  • Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar - facebook.com/470TeamUSA
  • Stuart McNay and Graham Biehl - facebook.com and @TeamMB
  • Sally Barkow, Alana O'Reilly and Elizabeth Kratzig Burnham - facebook.com and @Team7MatchRace
  • Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzie - facebook.com/teammaclarenUSA and @TeamMaclaren
  • Alex Bishop - facebook.com
  • Andrew Campbell - @campbellsailing
  • Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar - @izsailing
  • Farrah Hall - facebook.com and @FarrahHall
  • Clayton Johnson - @ClaytonEJohnson
  • Alice Leonard, Genny Tulloch and Jenn Chamberlain - facebook.com
  • Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan - facebook.com and @teamgosail
  • Nick Martin and Adam Roberts - facebook.com and @470usa1770
  • Brad Nichol - @02jbn
  • Solvig Sayre - facebook.com
  • Mark Strube - @MarkStrube1
  • Genny Tulloch - @gennytulloch
  • Anna Tunnicliffe - @atunnicliffe
  • Robert Willis - facebook.com and @bobsails2012
Communications Contact
Dana Paxton
401-683-0800 x615