Portsmouth, R.I. (March 16, 2009) -- US SAILING, the national governing body for the sport, is proud to announce the new 2009 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG). Fueled by elite sailing talent and leadership, the Olympic Sailing Program is building momentum towards the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Weymouth/Portland, England. The new team consists of rising sailing stars as well as many top sailors in the world, including 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist and US SAILING's Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Anna Tunnicliffe, 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist Zach Railey, 2008 Paralympic Gold Medalist Maureen McKinnon-Tucker, 2008 Paralympic Bronze Medalist John Ruf and 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist Allison Jolly.
Based on results at US SAILING's 2009 Rolex Miami OCR, US SAILING selected the top three boats in each Olympic and Paralympic class for the 2009 USSTAG. Two boats declined to pursue Olympic/Paralympic campaigns, so the Star and SKUD-18 classes include the top two boats. The 10 Olympic classes chosen to compete at the 2012 Olympic Games are: Laser Radial (women), Laser (men), Finn (men), Men's RS:X, Women's RS:X, 49er (men), Men's 470, Women's 470, Star (men) and Elliott 6m (women). The three Paralympic classes chosen for the 2012 Paralympic Games are: 2.4mR (open), SKUD18 (mixed) and Sonar (open).
The members of the 2009 USSTAG are (listed in order of USSTAG ranking):
Laser (Men's One Person Dinghy):
Brad Funk (Plantation, Fla.)
Clay Johnson (Toms River, N.J.)
Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.)
Laser Radial (Women's One Person Dinghy):
Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.)
Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
Emily Billing (Clearwater, Fla.)
Finn (Heavyweight Dinghy):
Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
Bryan Boyd (Annapolis, Md.)
Men's RS:X (Men's Windsurfer):
Bob Willis (Chicago, Ill.)
Jimi Sobeck (East Quogue, N.Y.)
Women's RS:X (Women's Windsurfer):
Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.)
Lisa Kremer (Worthington, Minn./ Sioux City, Iowa)
Solvig Sayre (Vineyard Haven, Mass.)
Men's 470 (Men's Two Person Dinghy):
Stu McNay (Newton, Mass.) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.)
Adam Roberts (San Diego, Calif.) and Nick Martin (San Diego, Calif.)
Hans Jensen (Duxbury, Mass.)
Women's 470 (Women's Two Person Dinghy):
Erin Maxwell (Stonington, Conn.) and Isabelle Kinsolving (New York, NY)
Molly Carapiet (Belvedere, Calif.) and Molly O'Bryan Vandemoer (Redwood City, Calif.)
Alison Jolly (St. Petersburg. Fla.) and Darby Smith (Marblehead, Mass.)
Erik Storck (Huntington, N.Y.) and Trevor Moore (North Pomfret, Vt.)
Joey Pasquali (Santa Cruz, Calif.)
Jonny Goldsberry (Sausalito, Calif.) and Charlie Smythe (Austin, Texas)
Star (Men's Keelboat):
George Szabo (San Diego, Calif.) and Rick Peters (Barrington, R.I./Venice, Calif.)
Andrew Campbell (San Diego, Calif.) and Brad Nichol (Miami Beach, Fla.)
Elliott 6m (Women's Match Racing):
Genny Tulloch (San Francisco, Calif.), Jen Morgan Glass (Seattle, Wash.) and Jamie Haines (Jamestown, R.I.)
Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.), Jackie Schmitz (Washington, D.C.) and Emily Hill (Miami, Fla./New Haven, Conn.)
Katy Lovell (New Orleans, La.), Alice Manard (Charleston, S.C.) and Dana Riley (San Rafael, Calif.)
2.4mR (Open One Person Keelboat)
Mark LeBlanc (New Orleans, La.)
Scott Danberg (Cooper City, Fla. and Stamford, Conn.)
SKUD-18 (Mixed Two Person Keelboat)
Scott Whitman (Brick, NJ) and Julia Dorsett (Westchester, Pa. and Boca Raton, Fla.)
Karen Mitchell (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) and Bob Jones (Issaquah, Wash.)
Sonar (Open Three Person Keelboat)
Paul Callahan (Cape Coral, Fla. and Newport, R.I.), Roger Cleworth (Lithia, Fla.) and Tom Brown (Castine, Me.)
Rick Doerr (Clifton, NJ), Maureen McKinnon-Tucker (Marblehead, Mass.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Me.)
Jen French (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Michael Hersey (Hyannis, Mass.) and Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.)
"We're excited about the new team because we've never had this many Olympic and Paralympic sailors return this early in the quad, which is a sign we're delivering more support to the sailors," said Olympic Sailing Chairman Dean Brenner (Wallingford, Conn.). "We're also excited to see a new generation of talented sailors dedicated to Olympic excellence."
US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics members are consistently ranked the top sailors in the world by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). Anna Tunnicliffe has been ranked number one in the world in the Laser Radial class since April, 2008. She is also number one in the ISAF Sailing World Cup standings, after winning gold medals at US SAILING's 2009 Rolex Miami OCR in January and Sail Melbourne in December 2008. USSTAG members Stu McNay and Graham Biehl are also ranked first in the Men's 470, thanks to a gold medal at Rolex Miami OCR and a silver at Sail Melbourne; Scott Whitman and Julia Dorsett are first in the SKUD-18 class after setting an event record by winning every race in Miami.
In addition to these athletes ranked number one in the ISAF Sailing World Cup standings, 12 other USSTAG boats are ranked among the top five in the world in their respective classes, based on their top performances at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR, the second of seven ISAF Sailing World Cup events. In the Star class, George Szabo and Rick Peters are second, while Andrew Campbell and Brad Nichol are fourth in the world. In the Women's 470, Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving are third and Molly Carapiet and Molly O'Bryan Vandemoer are in fifth place. Paige Railey is fourth in the Laser Radial, while her brother Zach Railey is fifth in the Finn class. Genny Tulloch, Jen Morgan and Jamie Haines stand in fourth place, while Debbie Capozzi, Jackie Schmitz and Emily Hill are fifth in the new Women's Match Racing event. In addition to Whitman and Dorsett's first-place standing in the SKUD-18 class, Karen Mitchell and Bob Jones are ranked fourth in the class. In the Sonar class, Paul Callahan, Roger Cleworth and Tom Brown are ranked second, Rick Doerr, Maureen McKinnon-Tucker and Hugh Freund are third and Jen French, Mike Hersey and Brad Kendell are fifth. The U.S. dominated US SAILING's 2009 Rolex Miami OCR in January by winning 12 medals, which was the most medals of any country competing.
The Olympic Sailing Program is focused on developing a strong, cohesive team and training culture to ensure high performance for the next four years leading up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Weymouth/Portland, England. Goals for 2009 include continuing to support team members and instituting a more collaborative culture of knowledge sharing and joint training. The program also wants to give team members every opportunity to become the very best in their classes and compete at the top international regattas, including the ISAF Sailing World Cup events and Olympic and Paralympic class world championships.
"We want to start this year off with a high level of activity and build momentum for the rest of the quad," said High Performance Director/ Head Coach Kenneth Andreasen (Tampa, Fla.). "We have a strong group of talented sailors who are showing great promise. Most importantly, they are working extremely hard, and I am sure the results will follow."
US SAILING provides these top athletes with financial, fundraising, logistical, performance (including coaching and on-and-off-the-water fitness training) and marketing and communication support. The USSTAG is led by Olympic Sailing Program Chairman Dean Brenner (Wallingford, Conn.), Olympic Director Katie Kelly (Barrington, R.I.), High Performance Director/Head Coach Kenneth Andreasen (Tampa, Fla.), Commercial Director Dan Cooney (Marion, Mass.), Communications Director Marni Lane (Norwalk, Conn.), Olympic Coordinator Sarah Hawkins (Newport, R.I.) and coached by Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.), Luther Carpenter (Laporte, Texas) and Leandro Spina (Miami, Fla.). Team members must be eligible to represent the U.S. in the next Olympic and Paralympic Games, remain a member of US SAILING and commit to weight requirements as appropriate in the nominated class.
The USSTAG is proud to be supported by several outstanding sponsors, including the team's first-ever title partner, AlphaGraphics, as well as Gold level partners Rolex Watch USA and Atlantis WeatherGear. The team is also sponsored by Silver partner Sperry Top-Sider and Bronze partners LaserPerformance, Harken and Team McLube.
For more information about the 2009 USSTAG, please visit the new team web site, http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/, and click on "Teams."
About the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics and US SAILING
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. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING provides leadership for the sport of sailing in the United States. 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: ussailing.org. For more information about the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, please visit: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/