2010 Rolex Miami OCR
2010 Rolex Miami OCR
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February 1, 2010
Walter Cooper/US SAILING
|Determination, says Olympic Sailing Committee chair Dean Brenner, is what propelled Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly Vandemoer, and Debbie Capozzi to first place in the Women's Match-Racing division at the 2010 Rolex Miami OCR.|
Olympic Sailing Committee chair Dean Brenner reflects on the OCR and looks forward to the 2012 Olympics.
Most impressive performance of the week by a U.S. Team:
There were a number of strong performances from the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics last week, so there is a lot to choose from 10 medals in eight events. Pretty impressive, and I'm proud of our team. But if I had to choose, it would be a toss-up between Paige Railey's dominating performance in the Radial and Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly Vandemoer, and Debbie Capozzi's comeback in the match-racing final. Paige was so impressive in a tough Radial fleet, and I think she's maturing into a really polished sailor. And Team Tunnicliffe just won't ever quit. They were down 0-2 in the final, and the GBR team had yet to lose a race in the regatta. But Anna, Molly, and Debbie fought back to win 3-2. Paige was impressive in her domination; Anna, Molly, and Debbie were impressive in their determination.
Breakout performance by a younger U.S. Sailor:
No question that the breakout performance was Kyle Rogachenko in the laser. It was a strong fleet last week, and Kyle's bronze medal was more than I was hoping for from him. He just sailed smart and conservatively all week, and avoided too many big mistakes. I was on the Radial course last Wednesday, and in the race I saw, Kyle rounded the first windward mark in 6th, the first leeward mark in 5th, the second windward mark in 4th, and the final leeward mark in 3rd, which is where he finished in that race. That tells me something. He wasn't getting lucky. He was just sailing really well.
Surprise of the week:
I continue to be pleasantly surprised by the growing strength of the Sailing World Cup. It's a great platform for our sailors, and the attendance levels at these SWC events are steadily rising. In 2009, we had the largest ever attendance in the first year of the Olympic quadrennium, and the same was true this year most ever for a second year. I think we may break the all-time attendance record for RMOCR (855 sailors in 2007) in 2011 and could get close to 1000 sailors.
Prognosis for women's match racing:
The level of competition in this event will be fierce. In fact, it already is. The Olympics are still 28 months away, so we are all expecting this event to continue to be very challenging. We think we have three strong teams here, and we believe we will compete for a medal at the games in this event. But there will be plenty of highs and lows between now and then.
Chances of medaling in the Star, the discipline in which U.S. has the most depth:
Depth is nice. It really is. But only one team goes, and we need that one team to be a serious medal contender. We're trying a few things differently this time around more group training with common coaching, more collaboration. I also am encouraged by the performances in 2009 by the Szabo-Peters team and the Campbell-Nichol team. Andy Horton and James Lyne sailed great last week in Miami. Mendelblatt won Kiel in 2009. We have some talent for sure. So we are trying to avoid the "everyone goes off in their own corner and does their own thing" program. If we can get everyone working together more, we think we can win a medal here in 2012.
Future of women's boardsailing:
We're still very far away from being medal contenders in this event. Saying anything otherwise would be disingenuous. But I am hopeful for the future of Olympic board sailing in the USA. We're working with a windsurfing task force (comically referred to as "WTF"!) appointed by US Sailing, and they are doing some good work on getting younger windsurfers organized. If we put some talent into this pipeline, we might be ready to compete in 2016.
Paige Railey's medal chances:
Paige has been on top of the Radial fleet for a long time now, and she wins regattas every year. She is a major talent, and I have great faith in her abilities. Paige will be just fine. In my opinion she has an Olympic medal in her future for sure.
Final Wrap Up: For all the details, find the final press release here.
Women's 470 Division
Erin Maxwell & Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar:Saturday, the day of the medal race, ended up being light -- again. The race was a windward-leeward twice around. Our plan was to win the race, hurt FRA 12 and ISR 311 when we could, and hope that things went our way. Before the start we tailed ISR into the pack of boats at the boat end of the line, forcing them to have a bad start. We had a great start at the pin (see attached photo), played the better pressure on the left, and were 1st at the windward mark. ISR was far behind, but FRA 12 was right on our heels in 2nd place. We maintained 1st place until the second windward mark, but FRA 12 passed us on the last downwind to the finish. We almost caught them right at the end with a beautiful gybe near the finish line, and finished only 8 feet behind them. For more on this team, which won the Women's 470 World Championship in 2008, click here.
Molly Carapiet and Jen Morgan Glass:Jen Glass and I finished up well at the Rolex Miami Olympic Class Regatta. We had only sailed together for a few days before the event started, but continued to improve as the event went on. We saw light air, 5-10 knots, for the entire event. We developed our technique and set up in the light conditions. Our downwind speed was very good; we usually passed boats on the downwind legs. The last day was our best day. We won the pin in both of the races. The second to last race we rounded the windward mark in 3rd place and stayed there for half of the race. Although we lost a few boats at the end, it was a great race.
We were pleased with the progress we made over the event. We finished up the event in 15th place and the 3rd US Team. For complete results, please visit: http://www.ussailing.org/Rolex/2010/470w/470w.html.
Anna Tunnicliffe proved she's as tough to beat in a match race as she was in the Radial. She takes us through the final race against Lucy MacGregor of Great Britain:
Going into the fifth race, we were excited that we had evened up the score, and it was now all on the line, but we still managed to keep the pressure off us. We didn't have a great start, and were getting a bit behind up the first beat. But at the top, Team MacGregor hit some waves and slowed, which put us right back behind them. We had pulled them in some more by the bottom mark, and just had to keep the race close back up to the top so we could try and do something downwind. On the downwind leg, they gybed early, and we extended on port. We gybed shortly after and got some nice waves, which we used to surf down inside of them. From that point on, all we had to do was defend the starboard layline to the boat-end of the finish line, which we did.
We are extremely happy with our result. We learned tons this week, and are looking forward to reviewing it all in the upcoming days, organizing all of our little notes from the event. It is a great way to start our season, but know we have an enormous amount still to learn. We have a couple of weeks off before we start training again for our next regatta. Read the full report at www.annatunnicliffe.com. 49er sailors Erik Storck and Trevor Moore also ended their regatta on a high note:
We hit our stride on day five of the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta, scoring a 4-3-6, which was good enough to win the day. Everything we had been working on throughout the event finally came together. Our downwind speed and decision making has improved dramatically, and on the culminating day of the event we got the chance to put it up against some of the best in the world.
Before Friday's racing we sat in 13th position, 37 points out of the tenth and final Medal Race spot. All we could do was to put forth our best effort and hope for some luck along the way. There were a few boats in the shuffle over the line and scored OCS in the second race of the day. Still, we knew that we would need another good race to have a shot at getting into the big dance. At the end of the day, after scoring fewer points than any other team, we sat in 12th overall, twelve points behind the coveted tenth position. We are nonetheless proud of our accomplishments, especially having fulfilled our specific goal of improving upon our downwind sailing.
More on their campaign can be found here.
January 30, 2010
Dean's Report, Day 5
Here we go
last day of racing is today. It's super early here in Miami, and I'm writing this in my hotel room before sunrise. I'm pretty excited this morning, so the need to sleep wore off a while ago.
Yesterday we wrapped up racing in the three disabled events, and I'm proud to report that Team USA won medals in all three events. It was a great performance by our USSTAG sailors, Coach Betsy Alison, and our staff. Scott Whitman and Julia Dorsett brought home the gold in the SKUD 18 for the second straight year, followed closely by Jen French and JP Creignou. In the 2.4mR, 2009 World Champion John Ruf wrapped up a bronze medal, and in the Sonar, Rick Doerr, Brad Kendall and Hugh Freund closed the event strongly to also end up in Bronze. Nice job all around.
In the able-bodied classes, the medal races are today, and the USA has already secured at least two medals. Paige Railey sailed a masterful regatta, and has already secured gold with a lead of 35 points coming into today. Well done, Paige! And Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi are in the women's match race finals against the Brits, so they are guaranteed at least a silver.
So that's a minimum of five medals for Team USA, with the chance of a whole lot more. In the Star Class, Andy Horton and James Lyne sit in 1st, and Mark Mendelblatt and John Von Schwarz are in 3rd. In the Women's 470, Amanda Clark and Sarah Chin are in a virtual three-way tie for 1st. Zach Railey sits in 3rd place in the Finn. Young gun Kyle Rogachenko has had the break-out performance of this regatta for Team USA, as he sits in 2nd in the Laser. And 2008 Olympians Stu McNay and Graham Biehl are in 6th in Men's 470, but are only 10 points from first, so anything can happen.
It's going to be an exciting day for the Americans and I hope you'll follow along closely. We'll be tweeting results from the race course, and updating results and news frequently, so make sure to follow along on Facebook and Twitter and at www.RolexMiamiOCR.org.
January 29, 2010
Slowly, Steadily, Anna Tunnicliffe and her team are progressing through the Women's Match Racing tournament: Racing was tight today at the 2010 Rolex Miami OCR. We finished up the Gold fleet races and went 1-1. With this added to yesterday's 2-0, we finished the round in second with a 3-2 record. Then, it was on to the Quarter finals round, against Lucinda Whitty from Australia. At the end of the day, we were up 2-0 in a first-to-three-point series.
For more click here
The same could be said about the 49er of Erik Storck and Trevor Moore: Once again we have moved up in the standings. We are now sitting in 13th position in the deep fleet here in Miami. We also put everything together in the second race of the day, finishing with a 4th. It was rewarding to get back to how we know we can sail around the racecourse.
The breeze has shifted to the ENE. It remains shifty, puffy, and generally difficult to anticipate. This week has been one of those instances when local knowledge does not necessarily matter, because the wind direction and system driven breeze we have had has been out of the ordinary. Miami will usually bring much more stable, straightforward sailing than the past few days has offered. That is the great thing about this sport; every sailor has his day. We are doing everything we can to make it our day when it counts!
There is one more day of racing before the Medal Race on Saturday. We plan to have fun, keep it simple, and let the cards fall where they may.
Dean's Report, Day 4
The weather gods cooperated again yesterday and we had good wind, some cloud cover that created tricky conditions, and great racing. Team USA is at the top or near the top of the leaderboard in 8 of the 13 events and today is a HUGE day for us. I'll cover all of our team's performances in my post tomorrow. In the meantime, make sure to follow the results at www.RolexMiamiOCR.org, and keep up to date on the U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics on Facebook and Twitter.
Today, I'd like to take a few minutes of your time and quickly talk about the challenges of building a complete program, and the joy and benefits that are available when you get it right.
We have a really strong national sailing program in the United States now, and it's due to one simple reality the U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics has a long list of powerful, committed, and generous partners. We work with our corporate sponsors, our private donors, a long list of yacht clubs, a great network of coaches, youth development programs and groups and wonderful volunteers all across the country. Without a strong network like this, we would feel like Sisyphus pushing the boulder up hill, all alone, every day, recreating the metaphorical wheel over and over and over.
But that's not our reality. Our reality is that we have great partners, from our title team sponsor AlphaGraphics, to the title event sponsor Rolex, to Atlantis WeatherGear, Sperry Top-Sider, Harken, Team McLube, New England Ropes, Bow Down Training, and the University of Miami Hospital during the event. They're all great partners.
We also work with a network of yacht clubs nationwide who support us in a variety of ways. Our Miami partner clubs (Coral Reef Yacht Club, Key Biscayne Yacht Club, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Shake-a-Leg Miami, Miami Rowing Club and the US Sailing Center) make this regatta possible. St. Francis Yacht Club just signed on as a Gold Medal Partner Club. New York Yacht Club continues to help us raise significant amounts of support for our sailors. The list goes on and on and on. And we're enjoying the generosity of a long list of Medalist Donors who contribute significant funds to our athletes.
The point of this piece is not, however, to simply list people and groups who help us out. I want to do more than that here, I'll add some comments about what can happen when you get it right. Aligning a list of organizations, from around the United States, is no easy task. Every group has its own goals, its own issues, and getting and keeping all these groups aligned is really, really hard. But it is not only worth it, it's required if we are going to be successful. So what's the key to such broad alignment? I don't think it is all that complicated, actually. I think it starts with a clear mission for your organization. In our case, the goal is easy: We want to have the strongest national sailing program in the world, and we want to win medals at the Games a lot of them.
But having a clear mission is not enough. You also need to make your goals relevant to others, so that they see benefit for their own organizations in your success. And then, and this may be the hardest part, you need to meet these potential partners where they are, and look for ways that make sense for them to contribute. It makes no sense to ask someone to do something they can't really do, or don't want to do. Instead, you need to constantly look for ways to put your partners into their "sweet spot," where they can look good and feel good about their contribution.
And then finally, you say "Thank you" a lot. You make people feel good about their contribution. I'll risk sound a little jingoistic here and say that Americans are incredibly generous people. Americans love to help. They love to be part of a team. We are a collaborative people. And usually a hearty, heartfelt, and public "thank you" goes a long way.
So that's what I have for you today A powerful network of friends makes it all easier, and in our case, our national sailing program is made better every day because of our friends. Tomorrow I'll write again about our performance on the water. But as I walked over here this morning, I was struck, and humbled even, by the vast network of committed partners we now have.
For any of you reading this who are helping us in some way, I'm writing about you, and I'm eternally grateful. On behalf of our sailors, I say "thank you."
January 28, 2010
Press Release: Today was a critical day for sailors competing in US SAILING's 2010 Rolex Miami OCR. Highlighted by both lead changes and consolidations, it raised the heat for tomorrow's final stretch, where medal winners in three Paralympic sailors will be named and top-ten sailors in ten Olympic classes will be determined for entry into Saturday's medal races... Read the full report from US SAILING's Marni Lane.
Dean's Report, Day 3 The racing today started off in light air really light. But eventually the breeze filled in nicely from the northeast and we had a great day of racing on Biscayne Bay.
I spent the day on the Laser and Radial course and, as always, the racing there was among the best you'll find. The simpler the boat, the more the success is dependent on the performance of the sailor. And I can't think of many boats that are simple as the laser. It's just pure racing, and it was a great sight yesterday.
Paige Railey continues to put on a clinic on the Radial course and is leading her fleet by a comfortable margin. Young Kyle Rogachenko was impressive in a very difficult Laser fleet and rolled a 9-3 yesterday to put himself into the top 10. Nice job, Kyle!
Walter Cooper/US SAILING
|Scott Whitman and Julia Dorsett lead the SKUD 18 class with wins in 4 of 5 races. For more of Walter Cooper's photos from Day 3 of the Rolex Miami OCR, click here.
Team USA sailors are doing well across the bay. Amanda Clark and Sarah Chin rolled a 1-3-1 yesterday and have taken the lead in the Women's 470. Andy Horton and James Lyne continue to lead the Star fleet, and Scott Whitman and Julia Dorsett still sit on top in the SKUD 18. John Ruf also continues to lead the 2.4 mR, and on the women's match race course, Team Tunnicliffe and Team Barkow both won 2 of their 3 races in the gold fleet round robin. Team Tulloch had a good day in the repechage round and still is in control of her own destiny to join her American teammates in the gold fleet.
We orchestrated a number of significant changes to our program in 2009, and we are continuing to push the progress along in 2010. Head coach Kenneth Andreasen and his staff are hard at work on all seven circles, and there are coach debriefs every evening for our entire team. We are quickly becoming a true squad, and nothing makes me prouder than seeing our athletes on and off the water wearing the team kit and carrying our team brand. It's great for our sponsors and it's great for our athletes. Everyone wins.
More great weather is on tap today in Miami, and some fleets will split into gold and silver today, so the racing will get tighter and tougher.
Stay tuned, and make sure to follow the event at www.RolexMiamiOCR.org, and the team on Facebook and Twitter.
January 27, 2010
Athlete Blogs It wasn't all wine and roses on Day 2 for Anna Tunnicliffe's team in the Women's Match Racing: Our first race today was against Jen Provan from Canada. We controlled her in the pre-start and led her around the course from there. The next race was against Lotte Meldgaard, from Denmark. We had a great pre-start, but were caught slightly slower at the gun. We tried to keep the race close upwind, but ended up rounding just behind her at the top mark. She managed to hold on to the lead downwind, although we closed the distance downwind to round just behind her at the bottom mark. We tried to engage her again upwind, but she sailed a very tactically smart race and gained her lead back. From there despite our efforts, she held onto the lead and won the race. We were a bit bummed at this point, but knew we had to refocus for our next race.
Our next race was against ISAF World #1 ranked, Claire Leroy. As we entered the race, my head wasn't cleared from the previous race. Claire did a great job of capitalizing on this, and we ended up more down speed than her. We also received a penalty for tacking too close. We ended up being led off the line, and in the dying breeze, we couldn't quite get anything back on her. For more on her day, click here Meanwhile, 49er sailors Erik Storck and Trevor Moore continue to work on their downwind sailing: One step at a time, we are making vast improvements. As suggested in the last few blog entries, we need work on our downwind sailing. Well, today we found ourselves passing boats and feeling fast off the wind! While our results from the day were fair, we can confidently say that we felt better downwind than we ever have.
The breeze was from the North at about 6-12 knots, leading to some tricky racing. Our racecourse is tucked right up against Key Biscayne and Rickenbacker Causeway on the extreme Northeast portion of Biscayne Bay. We made some great comebacks after a mediocre start and another start in which we were forced to take a penalty turn after the gun. At the end of the day, with six total races and a drop figured in, we find ourselves in 14th position. As our coach says, the most important thing at this stage is to make incremental improvements with confidence. With that as our goal, today was a success.
Photo Gallery: To see Walter Cooper's images from Day 2, click here.
Dean's Report, Day 2
Every once in a while a day comes along where the conditions are just perfect, and you say to yourself, "Thank god I'm a sailor." That was today in Miami. I'm not racing this week I'm just spending time watching some of the best sailors in the world ply their craft. And today was a pleasure.
I'm mostly focused on our U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics this week, while the rest of our staff runs the regatta. And after several races it's obvious to me that our sailors showed up ready to race. If you are interested in some great story lines from Team USA, then I'd keep an eye on a few places:
1. Paige Railey is off to a great start in the Radial, with a 1, 1, 4 in three races. What a talent this young woman is!
Walter Cooper/US SAILING
|Erin Maxwell (right) and Isabelle Kinsolving are in second in the Women's 470 Division. For more of Cooper's photos, click here.
2. In the women's 470, 2008 World Champions Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving-Farrar are in second place, with 2008 Olympians Amanda Clark and Sarah Chin right nearby in 4th. Erin and Isabelle spent a respectable amount of time in the boat this year, and Amanda and Sarah are back after a hiatus in 2009.
3. Zach Railey is in second place in the Finn, after a 4, 5, 4 today. Zach continues to put together the model Olympic campaign, and is professional in all aspects of his effort. And his training partner and U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics teammate Bryan Boyd is sitting in 12th after a good but inconsistent (in his words) day. Keep it up Bryan. You'll be fine!
4. The women's match racing was tight. I actually watched a lot of their racing today and it's a spectacle. There are three groups of 8 boats each, and we have American teams in each group. Sally Barkow, Katie Pettibone, and Nicole Breault finished in the top 2 in their group which gives them a bye into the quarter finals. Nice job! US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics member Genny Tulloch, Karina Shelton and Alice Manard just missed the automatic berth into the quarters, but still control their own destiny in the repechage round. And U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics members Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly Vandemoer, and Debbie Capozzi are not quite finished with their first round so we'll be watching that this morning. We have some real talent in this event.
5. Andy Horton and James Lyne are putting on quite a display in the (admittedly small) Star fleet. Most of our top Americans came straight back from the Worlds in Rio last week and are sailing here. Americans dominate the Star results right now (four U.S. teams are in the top five after three races), with Andy and James on top of the leaderboard.
6. 2.4mR World Champ John Ruf is winning his class here after a great first day of racing.
7. In the SKUD 18, Scott Whitman and Julia Dorsett are once again showing us that they love this event. They won their class last year, winning every race a first in the history of this event!
There are other things brewing from our USA group, but we'll cover those later. Wednesday's Forecast is for another day of 8 to 12 knots (maybe a little more,) sunny skies, and low 70s weather. Other than the fact that I'm missing my wife Emily and my young son Zach, there is nowhere I would rather be right now than watching our Team strut their stuff on Biscayne Bay.
January 26, 2010
Photo Gallery: Day 1 was interrupted by storms, but the women's match racing and 49er divisions managed to get in some racing. Check out Walter Cooper's photos here.
Dean's Report, Day 1
[Ed's note, US SAILING's Olympic Sailing Committee Chairman Dean Brenner will be filing daily reports for SailingWorld.com during the OCR.] I'm sitting here late in the evening after the first day of racing at the 2010 Rolex Miami OCR, and we didn't have much racing to report on or write about today. The forecast for the rest of the week looks good, but today was a disappointment. So I'll spend a few minutes this evening sharing some thoughts on how this event has evolved in the last several years and what it really means for our athletes.
US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR has been an important event for a long time now, and even way back in 1996, the event attracted approximately 700 of the world's best Olympic sailing athletes. But that was partially due to the fact that the Games were in the USA later that year, and as happens every Olympic cycle, there is high attendance at events in the host country in the year of the Games. In other years, at times, the OCR was a smaller event, and attendance would rise and fall fairly substantially.
But over the course of the last ten years, as Olympic (and now Paralympic as well) sailing has become much more organized and professional, we see more and more athletes training year-round and in all four years of the Olympic cycle. Very few athletes will take a year or two "off" anymore, and training for the Games truly requires a four-year plan and effort if not longer! Starting 5 or 6 years ago, attendance at all the major "all classes" Olympic events started to really rise.
In addition, we are now in year 2 of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, which is a series of seven annual events in Melbourne, Miami, Palma, Hyeres, Medemblik, Kiel, and Weymouth. These seven events are connected in the Cup series, with overall standings and year-end awards given to the best combined performances at these events. And whenever you come up with a new way to keep score on how elite athletes are performing, you know what happens, they start to care how they fare. Their competitive nature kicks in, and everyone wants to see their names at the top of the leaderboard. If you build it, they will come! And now, many national teams (like our U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics) build their annual training plans around these seven events.
This is the intersection of some major variables: a more professional approach to sailing with year-round training, an international series score, and the national programs tying funding to these events. It's the perfect storm for attendance from the best of the best, and the numbers tell the story. We have nearly 650 sailors from 45 countries here this week, and three of the four highest attendance levels we have seen at this event have occurred in the last four years. In 2009 we had the highest attendance ever for the first year of the Olympic cycle, and this year, we have the highest second-year attendance. It's a who's who of Olympic and Paralympic sailing, racing on seven circles in Biscayne Bay.
For our team, this is more than just a funding event. It's also the only time so many of the best international Olympic-class sailors come to sail here on our home waters in Miami. So, this is a home game for the U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, and we're out in force this week.
I'll be back tomorrow with some thoughts on the racing. In the meantime, make sure to follow the event at www.rolexmiamiocr.org, and keep up with our USA athletes at http://sailingteams.ussailing.org, or on Facebook and Twitter.
From Women's Match Racer Anna Tunnicliffe:We had one exciting pre-start with the Israeli team. We were trailing them back towards the start line with too much time left for them to start cleanly if they kept going. With about 40 seconds left, we hooked them to leeward and forced them to tack. This was a bit of a mistake on our part because we did it too close to the committee boat so that if we wanted to tack with them, we would get ourselves pinned between them and the committee boat, resulting in us not being able to start. We didn't tack because we realized this, and instead gybed around at them, to try and catch them before they got a gybe in. Well, they managed to get their gybe in to starboard, and although we were trying to avoid them, I chose the wrong direction to avoid them, thus putting ourselves across their path. This was a big mistake by me, and resulted in us getting a penalty. But, we cleared our heads, gybed around behind them and hooked them to leeward and drew a penalty right back on them 10 seconds after the start to even the penalties out. We engaged them in a tacking dual upwind, and managed to get control of the righthand side of the course and passed them about half way up the beat. From there, we just had to sail smart and stay out of trouble, which we did and went on to win the race.
From 49er sailors Erik Storck and Trevor Moore:In the first race we had a great start and rounded the windward mark in second place. Downwind was going well until the first gybe. The hype for the event seemed to have gotten to us, and our boathandling needing some ironing out. In the end we finished that race in 11th. The next race was going well until we met a troublesome wave on our final gybe toward the finish. We finished that race with a drop. In the final race we fought hard and finished with a 10th.
One of our biggest goals for this regatta is to figure out the downwind leg. Today we worked on finding the right angle, and we are confident we are on to something. One step at a time!
January 25, 2010
For a Practice Day Photo Gallery from Walter Cooper, click here.
Athlete Blogs A sampling of a few of the reports coming in from members of the U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics:
Zach Railey has posted a video log entry here. This will be Railey's first event since the Weymouth Sail For Gold in September. While he's enjoyed some time off, he's used much of this time to improve his game. How much will be determined during the regatta and later this spring.
In our Jan/Feb issue of Sailing World, we posted a interview with 470 skipper Molly Carapiet, who found herself with a top 15 world ranking, but without a crew. You can listen to the full interview here. She's back at it, now teamed with Jen Morgan Glass, who sailed in the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials with Erin Maxwell, who's also back on the campaign trail, now with 2004 Olympian Isabelle Kinsolving (They won the worlds in 2008 in Australia).
After a break from 470 sailing this fall, I'm ready to get back into Olympic class racing. I will be competing at the Rolex Miami OCR with Jen Morgan Glass. Jen and I have match raced and sailed 29ers together but this will be our first time sailing a 470 together. Jen campaigned in the 470 for the 2004 Olympics with Erin Maxwell, placing 3rd at the US Olympic Trials. She is a very experienced sailor and currently races 29ers, 29erXXs, 505's and many other boats. Jen and I have been practicing for the past couple of days and are excited to begin racing together tomorrow.
Anna Tunnicliffe leads her match-racing team into the OCR. While the women's Olympic match-racing circuit has struggled a bit to get off the ground, there's a stacked fleet in Miami, including two other strong American teams, led by Genny Tulloch and Sally Barkow. Before the racing started, however, Tunnicliffe scored a win, of sorts:
On Friday, we had a USSTAG team fitness test as a check up to see where we all are physically. Our big fitness camp is coming up in March, so we all now have a bench mark as to where we are at. After the camp, we had about an hour to get showered and dressed up for the first annual USSTAG awards banquet. It was the first time that the whole US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics had been together in the same place, and all dressed up as well! There were six award categories, and I was awarded Best Individual Performance. It was an honor to receive this award, but I made a point of thanking all my team mates for helping me along during the year. The list of thank you's is quite long and includes my Radial teammate, Paige Railey, my match racing team mates, Molly and Debbie, my other USSTAG team mates, and my coaches throughout the year. And also my sponsors, who have allowed me to do my job on the water.
For more, click here
Finally, we have an update from Erik Storck and Trevor Moore, the reigning North American Champs in the 49er class:
In the past few days we have, as a team, had five total interviews and multiple meetings with coaches and other higher-ups from the USSTAG. We have rigged both of our boats; our old boat has been chartered by two younger sailors from California. We attended the first annual USSTAG Awards Banquet, a great event honoring some of our teammates accomplishments over the past year. If we needed any more motivation for the present and future, we got it!
Racing this week will be a blast! Thirty-six 49ers from seventeen nations are registered. This is the best fleet we have seen assembled on our home-turf, and we are keen to perform in front of the home crowd. Having sailed in Biscayne Bay countless times since we were young will certainly help as well.
Their full update can be found here.
January 24, 2010
Big Regatta, Big Guns Ready for Opening Day If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. That's what 630 of the world's best sailors are counting on as they prepare for tomorrow's opening day at US SAILING's 2010 Rolex Miami OCR <http://rmocr.ussailing.org/> , the second of seven stops of the International (ISAF) Sailing World Cup 2009-2010 <http://www.sailing.org/worldcup> and one of the most competitive regattas in the U.S., if not the world, for elite Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls. For six days, Miami's Biscayne Bay will populate with the spectacle of 440 boats representing 45 nations and competing in the 13 classes selected for the 2012 Olympic/Paralympic Games in Weymouth, England.
For the complete release, click here.
January 20, 2010
US SAILING Press Release: National Pride at Stake for World's Best Olympic and Paralympic Sailors
Portsmouth, R.I. - The world's best Olympic and Paralympic sailors are counting down the days to US SAILING's 2010 Rolex Miami OCR, the second of seven stops of the 2009-2010 International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup and this year's first showcase for the major talents looking to represent their countries at the 2012 Olympic/Paralympic Games in Weymouth, England. The event kicks off Sunday, January 24, with six days of racing beginning on Monday. This event annually draws elite sailors from around the world, and this year is no different: Approximately 640 registered sailors from 44 nations are ready to battle for medals on Miami's Biscayne Bay.
For the complete release, click here.