Women's match racing at the Rolex Miami OCR
Dan Nerney /Rolex
Women's match racing at the Rolex Miami OCR

2010 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics announced

New Team of Olympic/Paralympic hopefuls frpom US Sailing

Wednesday February 17th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: United States

US Sailing has announced the members of the new 2010 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. The 2010 USSTAG includes at least the top two boats in each class selected for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Competitions to be held in Weymouth. These athletes have proven to be the top performing sailors in the world: Nine are Olympians and two are Olympic medalists, two are Paralympians and Paralympic medalists, five are World Champions and three are ISAF Sailing World Cup champions. Three athletes have been promoted to the USSTAG from the US Sailing Development Team (USSDT), and 10 athletes are brand new to the team this year. Four athletes are currently leading the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup standings in their respective classes, and three are ranked top five in the world by ISAF.

The members of the 2010 USSTAG are (listed in order of USSTAG ranking):

Olympic Classes
Laser (Men’s One Person Dinghy):
Kyle Rogachenko (Collegeville, Pa.)
Rob Crane (Darien, Conn.)

Laser Radial (Women’s One Person Dinghy):
Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
Claire Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.)

Finn (Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy):
Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
Bryan Boyd (Annapolis, Md.)

Men’s RS:X (Men’s Windsurfer):
Ben Barger (St. Petersburg. Fla.)
James Sobeck (East Quogue, N.Y.)

Women’s RS:X (Women’s Windsurfer):
Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.)
Solvig Sayre (Vineyard Haven, Mass.)

Men’s 470 (Men’s Two Person Dinghy):
Stu McNay (Newton, Mass.) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.)
Mikee Anderson-Mitterling (Newport Beach, Calif.) and David Hughes (San Diego, Calif.)

Women’s 470 (Women's Two Person Dinghy):
Erin Maxwell (Stonington, Conn.) and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar (New York, N.Y.)
Molly Carapiet (Belvedere, Calif.)
Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.) and Sarah Chin (Hoboken, N.J.)

49er (Men’s Two Person Dinghy High Performance):
Erik Storck (Huntington, N.Y.) and Trevor Moore (North Pomfret, Vt.)
Peeter Must (Toms River, N.J.) and Carl Horrocks (Point Pleasant, N.J.)

Star (Men’s Keelboat):
George Szabo (San Diego, Calif.)
Andrew Campbell (San Diego, Calif.) and Brad Nichol (Miami Beach, Fla.)
Mark Mendelblatt (St. Petersburg, Fla.)and John von Schwarz (Annapolis, Md.)
Andy Horton (So. Burlington, Vt.) and James Lyne(Granville, Vt.)
Andy MacDonald (Laguna Beach, Calif.) and Brian Fatih (Miami, Fla.)

Elliott 6m (Women’s Keelboat Match Racing):
Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), Molly Vandemoer (Redwood City, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.)
Genny Tulloch (San Francisco, Calif.), Alice Manard (Charleston, S.C.) and Karina Vogen Shelton (Watsonville, Calif.)

Paralympic Classes
2.4mR (Open One Person Keelboat)
John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wis.)
Mark LeBlanc (New Orleans, La.)
Charles Rosenfield (Woodstock, Conn.)

SKUD-18 (Mixed Two Person Keelboat)
Scott Whitman (Brick, N.J.) and Julia Dorsett (Westchester, Pa. and Boca Raton, Fla.)
Jen French (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Sarah Skeels (Tiverton, R.I.) and Bob Jones (Issaquah, Wash.)

Sonar (Open Three Person Keelboat)
Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Me.)
Paul Callahan (Cape Coral, Fla. and Newport, R.I.) and Michael Hersey (Hyannis, Mass.)
Chris Murphy (Annapolis, Md.), James Leatherman (Baltimore, Md.) and Alex Cogburn (Bath, Me.)

“Our team put up some great performances in 2009, and we believe this year’s team is stronger, deeper and more experienced,” said Olympic Sailing Chairman Dean Brenner. “We’re excited to see what they can do.”

The 2010 team was selected based on top performances at a series of qualifying events, including last month’s Rolex Miami OCR, where the USA won the most medals of any country competing. Approximately half the team (in the Olympic classes) qualified for the team prior to Rolex Miami OCR, based on their top performances at international events in 2009. In the classes where athletes had yet to qualify, Rolex Miami OCR was the final opportunity to make the team. In the Paralympic classes, results at Rolex Miami OCR and America’s Regatta in December weighted equally.

This year’s qualification system was adapted to include the top performing boats, whether it be two or five in each class. This new system rewards athletes who performed well internationally in 2009 and are committed to competing at the top regattas in the world leading up to the 2012 Games.

The Olympic Sailing Program continues to build a cohesive and collaborative team within a structure of elite training and competition, in order to ensure high performance leading up to, and during, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Competitions. The program provides team members opportunities to become medalists and fleet leaders at competitive international regattas, including the ISAF Sailing World Cup events and Olympic and Paralympic class world championships. For the athletes already performing at the top of their games, the goal is for them to stay at the top and continue to improve so they will be medal contenders in 2012. For the sailors who are on an upward track, the USSTAG coaches will continue to develop their skills so they can make the necessary improvements to put themselves at the top of their fleets.

“We will continue to place a big emphasis on training,” said USSTAG’s High Performance Director and Head Coach, Kenneth Andreasen. “Time on the water is most important, combined with competing at the ISAF Sailing World Cup events against the best in the world. We will continue to perfect our game plan and kick it up a few notches.

“Our long term goal is the 2012 Games, and we’re going to keep making progress in order for our goals to come to fruition,” he added.

One of the top sailors on the 2010 team is 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe, who has switched campaign gears to focus on the new Women’s Match Racing event, which is sailed in the Elliott 6m and makes its debut in the 2012 Olympic Games. The 2009 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year and US SAILING’s 2009 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year continues to prove she has the talent and versatility to dominate both fleet racing and match racing, attaining the 2009 ISAF Sailing World Cup Trophy in the Laser Radial and winning a gold medal in the Elliott 6m at US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR. She has consistently led the ISAF world rankings in the Laser Radial since April 2008, and she is now creeping up the world rankings in Women’s Match Racing as well. (As of February 10, she moved from 15th to eighth in the world after only four months.) Crewing for Tunnicliffe are Molly Vandemoer, who sailed the Women’s 470 last quad, and Debbie Capozzi, who represented the United States at the 2008 Games in the Yngling.

Another bright star on the team is Paige Railey, who dominated the Laser Radial fleets at both Sail Melbourne in December and last month’s Rolex Miami OCR, securing her current number one position in the ISAF Sailing World Cup standings for the 2009-2010 season and world ranking of third. The 2006 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year and US SAILING’s 2006 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year also won two gold medals at ISAF Sailing World Cup events last year (Princess Sofia in Palma, Spain and Kiel Week in Kiel, Germany) and a gold medal at Laser Radial Women’s European Championship in Charlottenlund, Denmark. The senior at University of South Florida will continue to juggle college credits and a tight international competition schedule this spring, with her eyes firmly set on the 2012 Games.

Railey’s brother Zach Railey, the 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist, continued his success in the Finn class in 2009, winning a silver medal among a talented fleet of 87 boats at the Finn Gold Cup in Vallensbaek, Denmark and two bronze medals at 2009 ISAF Sailing World Cup events, US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR and Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, The Netherlands. Bryan Boyd also returns to the team, after racing his best regatta of his career at Rolex Miami OCR, where he made the top-ten Medal Race for the first time – and won the race.

2008 Olympians Stu McNay and Graham Biehl are set to succeed this year in the Men’s 470, after finishing second in the 2008-2009 ISAF Sailing World Cup standings last year and winning a silver medal at Sail Melbourne, the first Sailing World Cup event of the 2009-2010 series. Thanks to winning a gold medal in the Women’s 470 at Rolex Miami OCR, fellow 2008 Olympians Amanda Clark and Sarah Chin qualified for the 2010 team after taking the last year-and-a-half off. (They needed to medal in order to make the team.) They join 470 veterans Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar and Molly Carapiet.

Five Star boats made the 2010 USSTAG this year, thanks to impressive performances overseas in 2009, including the ISAF Sailing World Cup events (Mark Mendelblatt won Kiel Week) and Star World Championship (George Szabo and Rick Peters were crowned world champions and are ranked fourth in the world). By naming all five boats to the 2010 USSTAG, program leadership believes the U.S. will have a better chance of medaling in the 2012 Games. The Star teams have been training together with common coaches, and the results at Rolex Miami OCR proved their collaboration is working: Four USSTAG teams made it to the Medal Race, after two of them had flown straight to Miami from the Star World Championship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In the Laser and Laser Radial classes, three athletes were promoted from the USSDT based on their performances at Rolex Miami OCR: Claire Dennis, Kyle Rogachenko and Rob Crane. The top two American finishers in the Laser fleet sailed onto the team. Rogachenko claimed the breakout performance of the regatta when he won a bronze medal in a deep, 104-boat fleet. In the Laser Radial class, Claire Dennis’ sixth-place finish at Rolex Miami OCR also upgraded her standing from the USSDT to the USSTAG for the first time. A Freshman at Yale University, Dennis also won a bronze medal at the 2009 Laser Radial Youth European Championship in Charlottenlund, Denmark.

49er sailors Peeter Must and Carl Horrocks also made the team for the first time, after finishing as the second highest boat at Rolex Miami OCR, behind Erik Storck and Trevor Moore, who had already made the 2010 team. Storck and Moore have made huge progress over the last year, improving from mid-silver fleet at the 2009 World Championship to mid-gold fleet at the 2010 World Championship.

Notable Paralympic sailors on the 2010 USSTAG include Scott Whitman and Julia Dorsett, who dominated the SKUD-18 fleet and won the ISAF Sailing World Cup trophy in 2009. They continued their winning streak by adding another gold medal to their belts at Rolex Miami OCR in January. USSTAG added two new SKUD skippers to the team: Jennifer French, who, after switching from the Sonar, won a silver medal in Miami, and Sarah Everhart Skeels, who joined the team for the first time with returning team member Bob Jones. 2008 Paralympic Bronze Medalist and 2009 World Champion John Ruf joins the 2010 team after a triumphant year in the 2.4mR. Paralympian skipper Rick Doerr also returns in the Sonar with Hugh Freund and new crew Brad Kendell. Team newcomers include Chris Murphy, Jim Leatherman and Alex Cogburn in the Sonar.

US SAILING provides the members of the 2010 USSTAG with financial, fundraising, logistical, performance (including coaching and on-and-off-the-water fitness training) and marketing and communication support. The USSTAG is led by Olympic Sailing Program Chairman Dean Brenner (Wallingford, Conn.), Olympic Director Katie Kelly (Barrington, R.I.), High Performance Director/Head Coach Kenneth Andreasen (Tampa, Fla.), Commercial Director Dan Cooney (Marion, Mass.), Communications Director Marni Lane (Norwalk, Conn.) and Olympic Coordinator Dave Johnson (Pawtucket, R.I.). In addition to Andreasen, the team is coached by Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.), Luther Carpenter (La Porte, Texas) and Leandro Spina (Miami, Fla.).

The USSTAG is proud to be supported by several generous sponsors, including the team’s title sponsor, AlphaGraphics, as well as Gold level partners Rolex Watch USA and Atlantis WeatherGear. The team is also sponsored by Silver partner Sperry Top-Sider and Bronze partners LaserPerformance, Harken, Team McLube, New England Ropes, Group Experiential Learning, Bow Down Training and Trinity Yachts.

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