"We're excited about the new team because we've never had this many Olympic and Paralympic sailors return this early in the quad, which is a sign we're delivering more support to the sailors," said Olympic Sailing Chairman Dean BRENNER. "We're also excited to see a new generation of talented sailors dedicated to Olympic excellence."
US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics members are consistently ranked amongst the top sailors in the world in the world and have made a strong start to the ISAF Sailing World Cup. TUNNICLIFFE has been ranked #1 in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings in the Laser Radial class since April 2008. She is also top of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings, after winning gold medals at US SAILING's 2009 Rolex Miami OCR in January and Sail Melbourne in December 2008. USSTAG members Stuart MCNAY and Graham BIEHL are also top of the World Cup Standings in the Men's 470, thanks to a gold medal at Rolex Miami OCR and a silver at Sail Melbourne; Scott WHITMAN and Julia DORSETT are first in the SKUD18 class after setting an event record by winning every race in Miami.
Based on results at US SAILING's 2009 Rolex Miami OCR, US SAILING selected the top three boats in each Olympic and Paralympic event for the 2009 USSTAG. Two boats declined to pursue Olympic/Paralympic campaigns, so the Star and SKUD18 classes include the top two boats.
The members of the 2009 USSTAG are (listed in order of USSTAG ranking):
Men's One Person Dinghy - Laser
Women's One Person Dinghy - Laser Radial
Men's One Person Dinghy Heavy - Finn
Men's Windsurfer - RS:X
Women's Windsurfer - RS:X
Men's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Stuart MCNAY and Graham BIEHL
Adam ROBERTS and Nicholas MARTIN
Women's Two Person Dinghy - 470
Erin MAXWELL and Isabelle KINSOLVING
Molly CARAPIET and Molly O'BRYAN VANDEMOER
Allison JOLLY and Darby SMITH
Men's Two Person Dinghy High Performance - 49er
Erik STORCK and Trevor MOORE
Jon GOLDSBERRY and Charlie SMYTHE
Men's Keelboat - Star
George SZABO and Rick PETERS
Andrew CAMPBELL and Brad NICHOL
Women's Match Racing - Elliott 6m
Genny TULLOCH, Jen MORGAN and Jamie HAINES
Debbie CAPOZZI, Jackie SCHMITZ and Emily HILL
Katy LOVELL, Alice MANARD and Dana RILEY
Single-Person Keelboat - 2.4mR
Two-Person Keelboat - SKUD18
Scott WHITMAN and Julia DORSETT
Karen MITCHELL and Bob JONES
Three-Person Keelboat - Sonar
Paul CALLAHAN, Roger CLEWORTH and Tom BROWN
Rick DOERR, Maureen MCKINNON-TUCKER and Hugh FREUND
Jen FRENCH, Mike HERSEY and Brad KENDELL
In addition to these athletes currently leading the ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings, 12 other USSTAG boats amongst the top five in their respective classes, based on their top performances at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR, the second of seven ISAF Sailing World Cup events. In the Star class, George SZABO and Rick PETERS are second, while Andrew CAMPBELL and Brad NICHOL are fourth. In the Women's 470, Erin MAXWELL and Isabelle KINSOLVING are third and Molly CARAPIET and Molly O'BRYAN VANDEMOER are in fifth place. Paige RAILEY is fourth in the Laser Radial, while her brother Zach RAILEY is fifth in the Finn class. Genny TULLOCH, Jen MORGAN and Jamie HAINES stand in fourth place, while Debbie CAPOZZI, Jackie SCHMITZ and Emily HILL are fifth in the new Women's Match Racing event.
In addition to WHITMAN and DORSETT's top-place standing in the SKUD18 class, Karen MITCHELL and Bob JONES are fourth. In the Sonar class, Paul CALLAHAN, Roger CLEWORTH and Tom BROWN are second, Rick DOERR, Maureen MCKINNON-TUCKER and Hugh FREUND are third and Jen FRENCH, Mike HERSEY and Brad KENDELL are fifth. The U.S. dominated US SAILING's 2009 Rolex Miami OCR in January by winning 12 medals, which was the most medals of any country competing.
The Olympic Sailing Programme is focused on developing a strong, cohesive team and training culture to ensure high performance for the next four years leading up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Competition at Weymouth and Portland. Goals for 2009 include continuing to support team members and instituting a more collaborative culture of knowledge sharing and joint training. The programme also wants to give team members every opportunity to become the very best in their classes and compete at the top international regattas, including the ISAF Sailing World Cup events and Olympic and Paralympic event World Championships.
"We want to start this year off with a high level of activity and build momentum for the rest of the quad," said High Performance Director/ Head Coach Kenneth ANDREASEN. "We have a strong group of talented sailors who are showing great promise. Most importantly, they are working extremely hard, and I am sure the results will follow."
US SAILING provides these top athletes 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 Programme Chairman Dean BRENNER, Olympic Director Katie KELLY, High Performance Director/Head Coach Kenneth ANDREASEN, Commercial Director Dan COONEY, Communications Director Marni LANE, Olympic Coordinator Sarah HAWKINS and coached by Betsy ALISON, Luther CARPENTER and Leandro SPINA. Team members must be eligible to represent the USa in the next Olympic and Paralympic Games, remain a member of US SAILING and commit to weight requirements as appropriate in the nominated class.
The USSTAG is proud to be supported by several outstanding sponsors, including the team's first-ever title partner, 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 and Team McLube.
For more information about the 2009 USSTAG, please visit the new team website, http://sailingteams.ussailing.org, and click on "Teams."