Racing

Depth of Field: U.S. Olympic Trials Update

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By David Schmidt

No racing sailor ever wants to see a regatta determined in the protest room. But when the regatta in question is the final race in the U.S. Olympic Trials, neither the skipper nor the Olympic committee wants this to happen. But happen it did, in the hotly contested Laser class, as the two top U.S. Laser sailors, Andrew Campbell and Brad Funk, duked it out absolutely evenly, flip-flopping the number-one and number-two positions on the leader board almost every day. Then an ugly situation occurred between Funk, Campbell, and a photographer’s boat, leading to a lengthy protest-room situation, and everyone’s least-desired outcome—a protest-room settlement.

What happened was simple enough to figure out. As the two approached the weather mark, a photographer’s boat was in the way, obstructing both sailors' courses. Campbell called for room. It remains unclear whether the two Lasers made contact, but it is known that Campbell hit the photographer’s boat. A protest was made, and Funk and Campbell soon found themselves involved in a lengthy protest, with Campbell ultimately emerging as the victor and as the sole U.S. competitor in the Laser class in the 2008 Olympic Games.

While it seems unsporting that such an important decision can be made in the protest room, but this can happen when a country picks its Olympic athletes from a single regatta, as is the case with the selection process for the U.S. Sailing Team. Trials for five Olympic and Paralympic classes were held off Aquidneck Island in Newport/Middletown, Rhode Island, and eight classes competed on California racecourses in Marina del Rey, Long Beach, Newport Beach, and San Diego.

The Laser Radial class also saw nail-biting drama and excellent sailing as Paige Railey and Anna Tunnicliffe battled for the chance to travel to China next summer on an Olympic ticket. Throughout the series, these two phenomenal sailors were in hot competition, with Tunnicliffe ahead, but not by much. Ultimately, Tunnicliffe prevailed over Railey, the 2006 Rolex Yachtswoman of the year. Later, the two met on the beach and hugged. Says Tunnicliffe, “If Paige wasn't as good as she is, I would not be where I am now." Luckily, all hope for the Railey family in the 2008 Olympic Games wasn't dashed; brother Zach won the right to represent the U.S. in the Finn class by a slightly wider margin (6 points) than his sister’s defeat (5 points). In fact, the only athletes to have dominated their class in this qualifier series were Paralympic sailors Nick Scandone and Maureen Mckinnon-Tucker, who dominated the Skud 18 class throughout the Trials.

While the Trials left some hearts broken and dreams unrealized, such tight finishes bode well for the depth of talent in the U.S. Olympic Team, both in 2008 and in the next several “quads” (competitor parlance for the 4-year Olympic cycle). For more information, check out www.ussailing.org/olympics/OlympicTrials/

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Results:

Olympic Trials West – Final Results

Star (19 entrants; after sixteen races) 1. John Dane III/Austin Sperry, 1-10-6-2-8-1-5-4-(12)-2-3-4-3-3-6-1, 59 2. George Szabo/Andrew Scott, 2-1-(11)-7-3-4-9-6-2-1-1-8-6-4-3-6, 63 3. Mark Mendelblatt/Magnus Liljedahl,3-3-1-8-1-3-6-2-5-10-4-(12)-2-9-5-7, 69

49er (13 entrants; after twenty-four races) 1. Tim Wadlow/Chris Rast, 1-2-1-1-3-1-4-3-3-1-1-1-1-1-3-3-3-2-3-2-2-(14/OCS)-2-(14/DNC), 44 2. Dalton Bergan/Zack Maxam, 2-(4)-3-4-1-2-2-2-(14/OCS)-3-4-3-4-3-2-2-2-3-2-3-1-1-3-1, 53 3. Morgan Larson/Pete Spaulding, (14/OCS)-1-2-2-9-(14/OCS)-1-1-1-2-2-2-5-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-4-14/OCS-1-3, 58

Tornado (6 entrants; after sixteen races) 1. John Lovell/Charlie Ogletree, 2-1-1-2-2-1-1-2-(4)-3-1-2-1-1-1-1, 22 2. Robbie Daniel/Hunter Stunzi, 1-(2)-2-1-1-2-2-1-1-1-2-1-2-2-2-2, 23 3. Norman Chu/ Gary Chu, 5-(6)-4-6-3-3-6-5-6-2-3-3-3-4-3-4, 60

Finn (42 entrants; after sixteen races) 1. Zachary Railey, 1-2-12-1-1-1-1-1-1-3-8-3-1-2-2-(43/DNC), 40 2. Geoffrey Ewenson, 2-3-(10)-4-3-2-2-4-3-1-3-7-4-1-4-3, 46 3. Darrell Peck, 4-4-1-3-2-3-4-3-4-(6)-5-1-5-6-3-4, 52

470 Men (8 entrants, after sixteen races)** 1. Stuart McNay/Graham Biehl, 2-2-2-2-1-2-4-1-(6)-4-2-1-6-1-14*-14*, 50 2. Mikee Anderson-Mitterling/D Hughes,5-1-6-3-4-4-1-5-5-(7)-5-4-5-3-3-14*,62 3. Adam Roberts/Nick Martin, 6-6-(9)-4-8-5-6-6-4-1-3-9-1-7-4-4, 74 * DNC ** 470 Men and Women race and get scored together

470 Women (5 entrants; after sixteen races)* 1. Amanda Clark/Sarah Mergenthaler,4-3-1-6-3-3-2-4-1-5-1-6-3-4-1-(14/DNC),47 2. Erin Maxwell/I. Kinsolving, (9)-7-5-5-2-1-5-3-3-2-8-3-4-(14/OCS)-2-2, 61 3. Molly Carapiet/Molly O'Bryan, 7-8-4-7-7-8-7-(9)-9-8-9-7-7-5-6-14/DNF, 108 * 470 Men and Women race and get scored together

RS:X Men (7 entrants; after sixteen races) 1. Benjamin Barger, (8/RAF)-1-2-1-2-1-3-2-2-1-2-2-1-1-1-1, 23 2. Michael Gebhardt, 2-(3)-1-2-1-2-1-3-1-2-3-3-2-2-3-3, 31 3. Robert Willis, 1-2-5-3-(6)-3-2-1-4-4-1-1-6-3-2-2, 40

RS:X Women (6 entrants; after sixteen races) 1. Nancy Rios, 2-(4)-1-3-2-2-4-4-1-1-1-1-1-1-2-2, 28 2. Farrah Hall, (4)-1-4-1-3-3-1-1-2-2-2-2-3-2-1-1, 29 3. Monica Wilson, 3-3-3-2-1-4-3-3-3-3-4-4-2-3-4-(5), 45

Olympic Trials East – Final Results

Laser (33 entrants; after sixteen races) 1. Andrew Campbell, 4-4-1-(20)-1-1-2-5-1-2-5-1-3-5-7-2, 44 2. Brad Funk, 3-2-2-(9)-4-2-1-1-2-1-2-9-5-6-1-3, 44 3. Clay Johnson, 1-1-4-15-2-8-7-25-(34/OCS)-3-3-3-4-1-8-1, 86

Laser Radial (22 entrants; after sixteen races) 1. Anna Tunnicliffe, 1-1-1-(3)-1-1-2-1-3-1-2-2-1-3-1-23/DNC, 24 2. Paige Railey, 2-2-2-1-2-2-(3)-2-1-3-1-1-3-2-2-23/DNC, 29 3. Sarah Lihan, 3-3-3-4-4-6-1-(11)-2-2-3-9-11-1-9-1, 62 Paralympic Trials - preliminary results 2.4mR (4 entrants; after sixteen races) 1. John Ruf, (3)-3-3-2-1-2-3-3-2-1-1-1-1-3-2-2, 30 2. Mark LeBlanc, (4)-2-1-1-3-3-1-2-1-3-2-2-2-1-3-3, 30 3. Mark Bryant, 2-1-2-3-2-1-2-1-4-2-(5/OCS)-4-3-2-1-1, 31

SKUD 18 (5 entrants; after sixteen races) 1. Nick Scandone/ M. Mckinnon-Tucker, 3-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2-1-1-1-3-1-(6*)-6*,25 2. Scott Whitman/ Julia Dorsett, 2-2-3-3-3-3-4-2-1-2-3-2-2-(6/DSQ)-1-1, 34 3. Karen Mitchell/ JP Creignou, 1-4-2-2-2-2-2-3-3-3-2-3-1-(6/DSQ)-2-4, 36 * DNC

Sonar (6 entrants; after sixteen races) 1. Rick Doerr/T. Angle/B. Donohue, 1-3-1-1-(7*)-3-2-4-4-2-1-3-4-4-4-3-1, 37 2. Paul Callahan/R.Cleworth/T.Brown,4-(7*)-2-3-1-1-4-3-3-1-3-5-1-1-1-7*-2,41 3. Albert Foster/D. Burdett/J. Thweatt,(5)-1-3-4-2-5-1-1-1-5-5-2-2-3-4-4, 43

* DSQ

Posted: October 17, 2007

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