The US perspective - day 8

No medals in the Europe and Laser classes in Athens, but Ogletree and Lovell lead Tornados

Sunday August 22nd 2004, Author: Jan Harley, Location: Mediterranean
Medal rounds in the Europe and Laser classes were sailed today at the Olympic Regatta, but without the U.S. in contention for gold, silver or bronze.

Laser sailor Mark Mendelblatt (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Europe sailor Meg Gaillard (Pelham, N.Y./Jamestown, R.I.) finished eighth and 14th overall in their respective 11 race series and reflected on their performance and Olympic experience in Athens.

"I sailed alright but it takes more than that at the Olympics," said Mendelblatt, who finished his series with a ninth place finish in today’s single final race. "My highlight came in the first race of the series when I finished second. You have to make decisions based on what you see and be fast while you’re at it.

"I didn’t think I would enjoy the Olympic experience so much, because I usually don’t have fun at a regatta until it’s over. At the Trials you have everything to lose, but here you have everything to gain. I could feel the pressure but it was good pressure to perform and do well for your country."

For Gaillard, a 19th in today’s race dropped her one position from 13th overall yesterday. She made no bones about being disappointed with her series. "My first four races I made mistakes and found myself way back in the standings, which didn’t please me. The fleet was surprisingly close. We all knew the seabreeze wasn’t steady, and I made horrible lane choices and have had a bad sense of shifts. I also think I over trained, but it’s the only regatta you can not do well at and still say “at least I’m here!"

After topping the scoreboard in their first day of competition yesterday, Star sailors Paul Cayard (Kentfield, Calif.) and Phil Trinter (Lorain, Ohio/Port Washington, N.Y.) turned in finish positions of 15-10 today to fall to seventh overall.

"The short story is that we should have been more “heads up," said Cayard, explaining that two 720-degree penalty turns he took in the first race were more for safety’s sake than anything else. "It was a little bit of bad luck," he said about possibly tacking too close to the Irish. "I think we were probably clear but they started screaming and yelling. Then Great Britain started screaming that we had interfered with them while doing our turns." In the second race, Cayard and Trinter were over early at the gun and had to restart. "We’ve had one good day, one bad day. I’m not too worried about it. Tomorrow we have to have a good day."

Tornado sailors John Lovell (New Orleans, La.) and Charlie Ogletree (Houston, Texas/Columbia, N.C.) edged out the Austrians on the scoreboard to take the gold-medal position today. The duo had been in second overall going into today’s two races, the first of which they won and the second in which they finished sixth. They have seven races to go in their 11-race series.

"The good news is we haven’t sailed a throwout," said Ogletree. "That’s the way we look at it. In the second race, we got to fourth place and made a mistake and dropped to sixth. The two points would’ve been nice. Speed is not an issue; we’re as quick or quicker than anybody out there. It’s just shifty and mentally draining, but we might get to see the Meltemi tomorrow."

The 49er class resumed sailing today, but managed to complete only two out of a scheduled three races. U.S. sailors Tim Wadlow (San Diego, Calif.) and Pete Spaulding (Miami, Fla.) fell to sixth from third yesterday after sailing their second throwout race - a thirteenth - and following it up with an eighth in the second race.

Tomorrow, Monday, August 23, the Mistral class resumes racing while Star and Tornado classes continue their series and 49ers use their reserve day to make up today’s missed third race. On Tuesday, August. 24, only the 49ers will sail while all remaining classes observe a reserve day.

Current Standings of U.S. Sailors:

Europe (FInal--after 11 races)
14. Meg Gaillard (Jamestown, R.I./Pelham, N.Y.), 9-11-13-9-3-13-11-16-9-(19)-19; 113

Finn (Final--after eleven races)
11. Kevin Hall (Bowie, Md./Ventura, Calif.), 11-6-13-(17)-16-14-13-9-9-17-7; 115

470 Men (Final--after eleven races)
1. Paul Foerster (Rockwall, Texas) and Kevin Burnham (Miami, Fla.), 1-8-2-15-9-4-3-7-18-4-(22); 71

470 Women (Final--after eleven races)
5. Katie McDowell (Barrington, R.I.) and Isabelle Kinsolving (New York, N.Y.), 12-16-3-12-9-2-(18)-17-8-1-4; 84

49er (after 11 races)
6. Tim Wadlow (San Diego, Calif.) and Pete Spaulding (Miami, Fla.), 7-8-5-(OCS/20)-9-9-8-3-1-13-8; 71

Laser (Final--after 11 races)
8. Mark Mendelblatt (St. Petersburg, Fla.), 2-14-20-6-6-10-(29)-22-16-6-9; 111

Mistral Men (after eight races)
25. Peter Wells (Newport Beach/La Canada, Calif.), 22-20-23-16-22-(29)-28-24; 155

Mistral Women (after eight races)
16. Lanee Butler Beashel (Aliso Viejo, Calif.), 13-16-9-(18)-17-14-6-14; 88

Star (after four races)
7. Paul Cayard (Kentfield, Calif.) and Phil Trinter (Lorain, Ohio/Port Washington, N.Y.), 1-6-15-10; 32

Tornado (after four races)
1. John Lovell (New Orleans, La.) and Charlie Ogletree (Houston, Texas/Columbia, N.C.), 2-2-1-6; 11

Yngling (Final--after 11 races)
10. Carol Cronin (Jamestown, R.I.), Liz Filter (Stevensville, Md.) and Nancy Haberland (Annapolis, Md.), 2-10-16-9-15-10-1-15-7-1-(OCS/17); 86

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