Zach Railey offered no apologies and no excuses for his performance in the 2012 Olympics. “It was just a bad week,” he said, shortly after closing out his participation in the regatta. With a 12th and a 19th, Railey finished in 12th overall in the Finn and won’t be participating in Sunday’s medal race. While he never seemed to have particularly great speed, certainly not the top-end pace displayed by Jonas Högh-Christensen and Ben Ainslie, Railey maintained that the primary issue was some bad decisions early in the regatta. Decisions he wouldn’t necessarily make differently if he saw the same situation shaping up, but decisions that just didn’t play out for him. After four double-digit races, he started taking more chances and that only let to more tough-to-swallow scores. He finished 10th or better in just four of 10 races. In his closing comments, Railey was somewhat cryptic about his future, speaking vaguely about his next adventure. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take some time off from Olympic class sailing—there’s a certain America’s Cup team that will be in need of some strong, athletic sailors, preferably with an American passport—I also wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years time he picks the Finn back up and makes a charge for Rio.
The U.S. Star team of Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih will compete in the medal race, but with only the slimmest of chances of winning a medal. They’d need the Swedish team of Freddie Lööf and Max Salminen to not finish the race (DNF, DSQ, OCS) and then win the race while the Norweigian and Polish teams also have bad races. Mendelblatt and Fatih will be fighting for the fictitious “leather medal,” aka fourth place.
There was some good news for the U.S. team. On the** 470 course**, both U.S. teams has a strong day. Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan opened the regatta with a seventh and a third, and are just three points off the lead. Stu McNay and Graham Biehl rebounded from a difficult first day to score a 10th and a third, which moves them up to 11th in the regatta.
Paige Railey’s medal hopes all but vanished today with a 20th and 21st. She’s still in the top 10 in the Laser Radial fleet, ninth to be precise, but she’s 49 points off third, which she won’t likely make up in two races.
Rob Crane had his best race of the regatta, an 8th. He was 18th in the other race, for by far his best day as well. But that still leaves him in the bottom half of the fleet, 26th. The medal race is out of reach, but a top half finish isn’t, provided he can uncork some of the magic that landed him the U.S. berth in the first place (when he scored a first and a second on the final day of gold fleet racing at the 2011 ISAF Worlds in Fremantle, Australia.