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8 October 2007, 11:56 am
Day Two At US East Coast Trials
Image of Paige Railey racing
Paige Railey lies in second place at the Laser Radial trials

US Olympic & Paralympic Team Trials 2007
Newport, Rhode Island, USA

Brad FUNK and world #1 Anna TUNNICLIFFE hold the leads in the Laser and Laser Radial classes respectively after the opening two days of the East Coast US Olympic & Paralympic Team Trials ? Sailing.
The one person Laser and Laser Radial share a lot: the same hull design and the same race course at the mouth of the Sakonnet River during the US Olympic & Paralympic Team Trials. But one thing these two Olympic classes may not share at this nine-day regatta is their story line - with the combination of wind, boats, and sailing talents in each class developing a definite pattern of its own.

After Sunday's three races in breeze that ranged 9 to 16 knots, the top three order in the 33-boat Laser class has been completely shuffled, with Brad FUNK (Plantation, Fla.) - the USA's top-ranked Laser sailor in the ISAF World Sailing Rankings - now in the lead. FUNK has solidified a five-point edge over Clay JOHNSON (Toms River, N.J.), who captured an early class lead by winning the opening race, and Trevor MOORE (North Pomfret, Vt.). JOHNSON and MOORE are tied in points after Sunday's racing.

FUNK sailed a day of 2,2,9 finishes, generally coming into the first mark of the course in the lead pack of boats and moving deeper into the leading edge of the fleet as the Lasers sailed the trapezoid courses. The last race of the day was sailed in breeze that lightened to 9 knots, after a period of postponement while the Race Committee waited for the shifting breeze to settle in. The sailor who championed the fleet in the final race was Fred STRAMMER (Nokomis, Fla.), a member of US SAILING's Elite Youth Development team studying at Brown University.

In the Laser Radial class, the top three order in this 22-boat class remains unchanged from Saturday night's standings. Anna TUNNICLIFFE (Plantation, Fla.) still holds the lead after finishing 1,1,3 in Sunday's three races, and Paige RAILEY (Clearwater, Fla.) is again, as on Saturday, in second place and one point behind.

The smooth pattern of TUNNICLIFFE's bullets in the opening three races looks immutable on the scoreboard, but results could have been different after dramatic tussling between TUNNICLIFFE and RAILEY in a close opening race today. On a single run on the trapezoid course, the two women changed leads four times as they battled for the lead, with TUNNICLIFFE winning that race. RAILEY won the final race of the day, and Ft Lauderdale sailor Sarah LIHAN remains in third overall.

On the race course for the Paralympic Classes, sailors saw wind that ranged from approximately 8 knots to gusts in the high teens/low-20-knot range, with the breeze lightening during the latter part of the day. Sonar skipper Rick DOERR (Clifton, N.J.) and his crew of Bill DONOHUE (Brick, N.J.) and Tim ANGLE (Marblehead, Mass.) are still leading this six-boat class after today's races.

SKUD18 sailor Nick SCANDONE (Fountain Valley, Calif.) and crew Maureen MCKINNON-TUCKER (Marblehead, Mass.) came to this series fresh off a silver-medal performance at the 2007 IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship. But SCANDONE, the 2005 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, and MCKINNON-TUCKER turned windier conditions into gold today, by taking two bullets for the class lead.

"We had good boat speed … The windier conditions are the ones we tend to like," said SCANDONE. The SKUDs had wind shifts that were sizeable enough to effect course changes.

One person 2.4mR sailors have been trading race wins, and no one sailor is easily dominating this singlehanded Paralympic Class. Mark BRYANT (Estero, Fla.) now leads the class with a 2,1,2 record to date.

After protest hearings on Saturday night, Saturday's second race for the 2.4mR and Sonar classes was abandoned. Going into Monday's racing, all classes, except the 2.4mR class, have completed four races and are on schedule in this two-race-a-day series. Results are provisional at press time.

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.

Cynthia Goss (As Amended By ISAF)
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