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US Sailing Team at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta - Day 5

by Dana Paxton, US Sailing 8 Jun 2012 21:38 BST 4-9 June 2012

With continued high wind conditions over Weymouth and Portland, organizers of Sail for Gold cancelled all racing for the day. As this was the final scheduled day of racing in the Paralympic classes, the results, to date, stand as final. For the Olympic classes, those in the top-10 will advance to Saturday’s medal races. Representing US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider will be Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan in Women’s 470 and Zach Railey in the Finn,with US Sailing Development Team member Charlie Buckingham in the Laser. In Women’s Match Racing, Anna Tunnicliffe with her ‘Team Maclaren’ of Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi will compete face Lehtinen (FIN).

Medal race outlook

Zach Railey goes into the Finn medal race in third place overall. In race 7 a collision occurred, which forced him to retire from the race. He was later awarded average points for his previous races, and sits behind Giles Scott and Ben Ainslie (both GBR), in first and second, respectively. Railey’s last ISAF World Cup event was Princess Sofia Trophy regatta where he won a silver medal.

Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan are currently in 6th overall in the Women’s 470. They have seen their performance improve over the week of racing, and will be gunning for a top-three finish. The duo’s last World Cup competition was at French Olympic Sailing Week, where they won a silver medal. -- US Sailing Development Team member Charlie Buckingham is in 10th overall in the Laser class. His most recent World Cup medal race experience was at Princess Sofia Trophy regatta where he finished 4th overall.

The Sail for Gold organizers will have live tracking for all medal races. The Laser medal race is schedule to begin at 9:55am; the Women’s 470 at 11:55am; and the Finn at 2:55pm. All times are British Summer Time (GMT +1 hour). Women’s Match Racing is schedule to start at 8:00 am. Racing takes place at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, site of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Sailing competition.

Sailing in the Paralympic classes was cancelled as well. All current standings are final. SKUD-18 skipper Jen French, who with crew JP Creignou finished in 4th overall. After racing was cancelled on Thursday, French talked about how this event fits into their training for the 2012 Paralympic Games.

“It’s a good gauge for us against international competition,” said French. “We’ve been training hard in the starts. We’re getting aggressive in our training and have seen improvement. JP is a very busy guy up front in the SKUD. Between all the lines and controlling three sails, we try to use our communication to keep everything going. It’s a very physical position and he does it well. For our training schedule, we trained a week before this event and will stay here a week after. We have a pretty rigorous training schedule before the Games.”

For Paul Callahan, Tom Brown and Brad Johnson, the week ended too soon for their taste, however they’ll stay on and devote time to Sonar training for the Paralympic Games.

“We made some significant changes since the Trials, and we have to utilize a significant strategy,” Said Callahan. “We were here for six weeks last year and we had one day that was similar (to this week’s weather). You prepare for it from your clothing to your training. We are sailing in the U.S. in two open regattas, and we have our training partners, the Norwegians, coming to Newport to train. We have a full schedule.”

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