The absence of wind for the majority of the day made life difficult for competitors and regatta officials alike on day four of the Olympic Test Event in Rio de Janeiro. Only four fleets completed any races, including the 49erFX, Men’s RS:X, Men’s Laser and Women’s Laser Radial. US Sailing Team Sperry athletes Paige Railey took third in the only Laser Radial race, and maintained 2nd place overall. In the Laser, Charlie Buckingham finished 12th, and moved into the top ten overall.
A black flag disqualification penalty incurred earlier in the week forced Railey to account for it in her strategy, but so far it has not slowed down the 2012 Olympian. “I’m just staying calm and focusing on the ‘here and now.’ Obviously the OCS has put a lot of pressure on me, and I’m not taking any risks,” said Railey. “Rather than going for the race win, I’m being more conservative, and rounding with the top group.”
Despite the challenges of racing at the highest level, Railey maintains that she is fully enjoying her latest Rio experience. For the two-time Pan American Champion, her love affair with the city started at the Pan Am Games in 2007. “Rio has always been my favorite place in the world to travel to, to visit, and to sail. Ever since 2007 I’ve always claimed this place to be the best,” said Railey. “Seeing it develop, and seeing the [Olympic] venue being built just makes me more motivated to get here next year.” When asked if being the sole sailor in her fleet representing the United States added to the mental burden, Railey said that was not the case. “I don’t feel extra pressure. Just pride.”