USA's Railey takes Olympic Finn lead

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. Zach Railey (USA).
Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) came in second in both races today and now leads the Finn Class at the 2008 Olympic Regatta. With a scoreline of 2,5,2,2 in a venue that has seen finishes all over the board, his consistency has brought him to the top.

He has even gained a little more extension over Great Britain’s Ben Ainslie, who now sits five points behind in second place. Railey knows five points is not far, and is cautious and modest in his analysis of the situation. 'My goal was to come here and sail a conservative regatta. I’m not going to take too many chances. I took one yesterday and it went well, so I have a pretty good record on my risks so far, but I don’t plan to take many.'

Now that he is in the lead, he does not plan to do anything differently. 'It’s too early in the event to be looking at one person.' He said, 'You can’t think, ‘I’m in the lead so I’m going to do something special.’ I’ll just keep executing things the same way, because that’s how I got here.'

After a windward mark altercation with Ainslie, Railey said they talked it over and Ainslie did his penalty turns. Railey was quick to compliment the whole fleet, saying everyone has been obeying the rules and dong their turns.

Railey admitted the fleet is very close, and said the keys will be basics and consistency. Rounding out the top three is Chris Cook from Canada, who has 28 points and is 17 points behind Railey.

1USAZach Railey252211
2GBRBen Ainslie1014116
3CANChris Cook8371028
4SLOGasper Vincec9116531
5ESPRafa Trujillo 12431433
6CROIvan Kljakovic Gaspic71010835
7POLRafal Szukiel32191236
8FRAGuillaume Florent5820336
9SWEDaniel Birgmark14171638
10FINTapio Nirkko1899945
11DENJonas Hoegh-Christensen166121650
12BRAEduardo Couto61627756
13AUSAnthony Nossiter112281758
14ITAGiorgio Poggi177142159
15GREEmilios Papathanasiou12752760
16NZLDan Slater211918462
17CYPHaris Papadopoulos1318211163
18IRLTimothy Goodbody2213151565
19TURAli Kemal Tufekci2021131872
20NEDPieter Jan Postma1915162272
21RUSEduard Skornyakov2420171374
22INDNachhatar Singh Johal424232475
23CZEMichael Maier1514222576
24NORPeer Moberg2327111980
25VENJohnny Bilbao2612252386
26CHNPeng Zhang2523242092

In the Yngling class, Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.), Carrie Howe (Grosse Pointe, Mich.), and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.) sailed to an eighth and a fifth today, launching them from ninth to fourth. They are currently four points away from The Dutch team of Mulder, Bes and Witteveen, and 13 points from the British Ayton, Webb and Wilson, who currently sit in first. Middle position Carrie Howe was happy to have moved up, but kept her eyes on the prize when she said, 'It’s important not to let people get too far ahead.'

2008 Olympic Regatta - Day 2 - Yngling - Race 3

Though the USA Yngling girls showed more consistency today, Howe said it’s not getting any easier. 'It’s very subtle. It’s important to recognize that and not give up.' Everyone knows this is just the beginning of a long event and having a positive attitude is the key to moving up no matter where they stand. Howe’s most enthusiastic comment of the day was, 'Go Zach!'

The Yngling and Finn classes got to sail farther from shore on Course Area E and benefited from stronger breezes and weaker currents than yesterday. They saw an average of eight knots today. Meanwhile on course A, the 49ers raced in five knots all day and rarely used their trapezes.

Tim Wadlow (Beverly, Mass.) and Chris Rast (San Diego, Calif.) had their first three races today in the 49er class. They had a great first race finishing in fifth place, but followed with a 14 and a 15. They sit in 13th place overall, but the points all the way up to 7th place are very close and show room to make gains tomorrow.

Over breakfast, Rast and Head Coach Gary Bodie discussed the previous day’s conditions, and pretty much concluded it was very difficult to read. Unfazed, Rast just said, 'That’s okay because it confirms what we thought: Every day is different in Qingdao.' As Rast and Wadlow have a collective three Olympic Regattas under their belts, they have the potential to bring a different type of day tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s forecast calls for morning squalls, clearing to more typical light Qingdao breezes by race time. The 470 Men and Women and the RS:X Men and Women start tomorrow, with two races scheduled for each class.

Racing for the USA in those classes are Stu McNay (Lincoln, Mass.) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.) in the Men’s 470 and Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.) and Sarah Mergenthaler (New York, N.Y.) in the Women’s 470. Ben Barger (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Nancy Rios (Miami, Fla.) compete in the Men’s and Women’s RS:X classes respectively.

Qingdao Olympic Regatta 2008. Criss cross Finns.