2011 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics announced

Powerful Olympic squad chosen by new selection scheme

Monday February 21st 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: United States

US Sailing, the national governing body for the sport, and the Olympic Sailing Committee have announced the members of the new 2011 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, the national US sailing team comprising Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls.

The 2011 USSTAG includes at least the top two boats in each class selected for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Competitions in Weymouth. These athletes have proven to be the top performing sailors in the world: 12 are past Olympians and two are Olympic medallists, five are Paralympians and three are Paralympic medalists, seven are World Champions and ten athletes are ranked top five in the world by ISAF.

Five athletes have been promoted to the USSTAG from the US Sailing Development Team (USSDT), and 15 athletes are brand new to the team this year.

The members of the 2011 USSTAG are (listed in alphabetical order, by class):

Olympic Classes

49er (Men’s Two Person Dinghy High Performance):
Alex Bishop (Baltimore, Md.) and Val Smith (Wilmette, Ill.)
Erik Storck (Huntington, N.Y.) and Trevor Moore (North Pomfret, Vt.)

Men’s 470 (Men’s Two Person Dinghy):
Stu McNay (Newton, Mass.) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.)
Adam Roberts (Miami, Fla.) and Nick Martin (San Diego, Calif.)

Women’s 470 (Women's Two Person Dinghy):
Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.) and Sarah Lihan (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Erin Maxwell (Stonington, Conn.) and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar (New York, N.Y.)

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

Laser (Men’s One Person Dinghy):
Rob Crane (Darien, Conn.)
Clay Johnson (Toms River, N.J.)

Laser Radial (Women’s One Person Dinghy):
Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Men’s RS:X (Men’s Windsurfer):
Ben Barger (St. Petersburg. Fla.)
Robert Willis (Chicago, Ill.)

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

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

Elliott 6m (Women’s Keelboat Match Racing):
Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wisc.), Alana O’Reilly and Elizabeth Kratzig Burnham (Miami, Fla.)
Genny Tulloch (San Francisco, Calif.), Alice Manard Leonard (New Orleans, La.) and Jenn Chamberlin (Washington, D.C.)
Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), Molly Vandemoer (Stanford, Calif.) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.)

Paralympic Classes

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

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

Sonar (Open Three Person Keelboat):
Paul Callahan (Cape Coral, Fla./Newport, R.I.) Brad Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.) and Tom Brown (Castine, Me.)
Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Me.)
Bert Foster (Wayzata, Minn.), Michael Hersey (Hyannis, Mass.) and David Burdette (Lutherville, Md.)

 “As a team, we have seen all of our athletes’ performances improve steadily over the past year,” said Olympic Sailing Chairman Dean Brenner. “This year’s team is deep in talent and highly-motivated to achieve excellence.”

The 2011 team was selected based on top performances at a series of qualifying events, including January’s US Sailing’s 2011 Rolex Miami OCR, where USA won four medals. 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 2010. 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 U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship in December weighted equally.

The 2011 qualification system includes the top performing boats, whether it is two or five in each class. This system, revised in 2010, rewards athletes who performed well internationally and are committed to competing at the top regattas in the world leading up to the 2012 Games.

“Our emphasis continues to be on training,” said USSTAG’s High Performance Director/Head Coach Kenneth Andreasen. “Time in the boat with quality coaching is most important, and it is combined with competing at the ISAF Sailing World Cup events against the best in the world. Our long term goal is success at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and we plan to keep making progress in order for us to achieve our goals.”

Meet the Team: Top Veterans and Newcomers

One of the top sailors on the 2011 team is 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe, who switched campaign gears in 2010 to focus on the Women’s Match Racing event, which is sailed in the Elliott 6m and makes its debut in the 2012 Olympic Games. US Sailing’s three-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year (2010, 2009, 2008) continued her consistent form by winning silver at Rolex Miami OCR. Crewing for Tunnicliffe are Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi, who represented the United States at the 2008 Games in the Yngling. The trio earned an overall ISAF Sailing World Cup silver medal in 2010.

Paige Railey, who dominated the Laser Radial fleet at last month’s Rolex Miami OCR, secured the gold medal on points going into the final medal race. She is currently fifth overall, after competing in one event, in the ISAF Sailing World Cup standings for the 2010-2011 season and holds a world ranking of sixth. US Sailing's 2010 SportsWoman of the Year, 2006 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year and US Sailing’s 2006 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year won two gold medals at ISAF Sailing World Cup events last year (Kiel Week in Kiel, Germany and US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR) and a bronze medal at Laser Radial World Championship in Largs, Scotland. Last weekend, she won the Laser Radial North American Championship.

Moving up from the US Sailing Development Team is Erika Reineke, who finished an impressive 20th out of 54 in the Laser Radial among a strong international Rolex Miami OCR fleet. A high school senior and member of her school’s sailing team, she won the 2010 Laser Radial Youth Worlds in Largs, Scotland and a bronze medal at the 2010 ISAF Youth Worlds in Turkey.

Zach Railey, the 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist, continued his success in the Finn class with a fourth place finish at Rolex Miami OCR, to earn him a world ranking of third. US Sailing's 2010 Sportsman of the Year also won the 2010 U.S. Finn National Championship, in Fairhope, Ala. Bryan Boyd also returns to the team, as the second-ranked Finn sailor at Rolex Miami OCR, where he finished in 12th.

49er sailors Erik Storck and Trevor Moore continued their upward rise at international competition with a bronze medal and a first-time podium at Sail Melbourne, in December, and a fifth overall at Rolex Miami OCR to take the lead in ISAF Sailing World Cup standings. Joining them are Alex Bishop and Val Smith, members of the 2011 USSDT who made the team after finishing in eighth overall at Rolex Miami OCR. Bishop and Smith won the final race of the series. This marks their best result in World Cup competition, which was previously 24th (Princess Sofia, Palma, ESP).

2008 Olympians Stu McNay and Graham Biehl started the ISAF Sailing World Cup 2010-2011 season winning a silver medal at Sail Melbourne, in December, and finishing sixth at Rolex Miami OCR to secure their #2 world ISAF standing. Adam Roberts and Nick Martin, members of the 2010 USSDT, qualified for USSTAG with their 20th at Rolex Miami OCR.

Women’s 470 veterans Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar, a 2004 Olympian, are joined by the new team of 2008 Olympian Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan. Lihan previously campaigned in the Laser Radial class as a member of the USSDT. She joined Clark after Rolex Miami OCR when Clark’s former crew, Sarah Chin (Hoboken, N.J.), retired from Olympic competition.

A total of six Star boats made the 20101 USSTAG this year, thanks to consistent performances in 2010 and early 2011. The Star teams have been training together with common coaches, and the results at Rolex Miami OCR proved their collaboration is working: Three USSTAG teams made it to the Medal Race, with Andrew Campbell and Ian Coleman finishing fifth for 6th overall in the regatta. Rounding out the top ten were George Szabo with substitute crew Frithjof Kleen (Berlin, GER) in 7th and Andy Horton and James Lyne in 10th.

Notable Paralympic sailors on the 2011 USSTAG include Scott Whitman and Julia Dorsett, who won a silver medal in Rolex Miami OCR’s SKUD-18 fleet. Returning to the SKUD-18 is Jennifer French with new crew CP Creignou. In the 2.4mR, all three athletes return: 2008 Paralympic Bronze Medalist and 2009 World Champion John Ruf; U.S. National Champion Mark LeBlanc and Charlie Rosenfield.

Paralympian skipper Rick Doerr returns in the Sonar with Hugh Freund and crew Brad Kendell. They are joined by two new teams: 2000 Paralympian Paul Callahan, Brad Johnson and Tom Brown, and Albert Foster, Michael Hersey and David Burdette.

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