Only the Finns sailed on Wednesday at the West Coast US Trials, notching two races ? both won by frontrunner Zach RAILEY.
This puts the Finn fleet one race ahead of schedule with nine in the book and four days remaining. Their "lay day" was windless Monday. Wednesday was much better with 12-16 knots and harbour seals frolicking around the course.
Following their planned lay day, all other classes will resume Thursday with their final four days of racing through Sunday. All racing starts at 12:00, conditions permitting, except for the RS:X men's and women's sailboards at Long Beach, which start at 14:00.
Newport Harbour Yacht Club, Balboa
, 23, of Clearwater, Fla., has a stranglehold on first place. Besides winning both races - that's six in a row and seven of nine - he cashed in a bonus by tossing his worst result - a 12th on day two - to drop his net points from 19 to 9 and now leads Geoffrey EWENSON
by 14 and Darrell PECK
of nearby Fountain Valley, Calif., has made a 3,2,2 move over the last two days to reach fourth place. "Zach is just unbelievably fast,"
CASEY said. "It feels good to go out and get beat just by him."
CASEY, 29, is originally from Clearwater, where he knew RAILEY since the latter was 15 and coached his younger sister Paige RAILEY
, who is campaigning for a Laser Radial berth in Newport, R.I. this week (currently second to Anna TUNNICLIFFE
). When CASEY and Zach RAILEY outgrew Lasers, they launched their Finn careers at US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR in 2005.
"I went to Europe this year and learned to sail in breeze,"
said CASEY, 6-1 and 210. "With these 1.4-nautical mile [upwind] beats, it's killing your body, but to lock in and not think about how much it hurts makes a difference."
- Jenn LANCASTER reporting
For complete information on the US Olympic and Paralympic Team Trials - Sailing, please visit www.ussailing.org/olympics/OlympicTrials. Video from the event with commentary by Gary JOBSON will be available daily on the website of the NBC network at www.NBCOlympics.com.