Olympics 2012: USA Faces Challenges

The 2012 Olympic regatta is now underway with a total of 380 sailors from around the world—237 men and 143 women—competing for gold in 10 events.

Racing started in the Finn, Star and women’s Elliott 6m match-racing classes on Sunday, with the Laser, Laser Radial and 49er classes joining in on Monday.

The first medal races will take place this Sunday, Aug. 5, in the Star and Finn classes. The regatta will conclude with the women’s match-racing finals on Saturday, Aug. 11.

Thus far, the regatta has been as tough as expected, with none of the U.S. Sailing Team higher than fifth place overall after two days of racing. The squad has also had its share of bad luck, with the women’s match-racing team of Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi snagging a mark anchor line on Day 2, and Paige Railey having to clear a clump of weeds from her daggerboard shortly after the start of the first Laser Radial race. 

Zach and Paige Railey

The United States has qualified 16 sailors in all 10 events. In addition to Railey and the women’s match racing team, standouts include Paige’s brother, Zach, in the Finn class, Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih in the Star class, and Erik Storck and Trevor Moore in the 49er class.

For complete results and the latest on the U.S. team, click here

The 2012 Olympic regatta is being held at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy center, located about 120 miles west-southwest of London. Racing will take place on five different courses, all sheltered from the area’s prevailing southwesterlies by low-lying Chesil Beach and Portland Isle. These include three larger courses out on Weymouth Harbor, an inshore course within the breakwaters protecting Portland Harbor (which will be used primarily for RS:X sailboard and 49er skiff racing) and a medal course off the city of Weymouth’s Nothe peninsula.

For access to live video coverage of the Olympic sailing, as well as all other Olympic events, visit coverage provider NBC at nbcolympics.com. For information on the athletes, click here. For more on the competition, click here and see our guide to watching from Weymouth.

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