Olympic Sailing Regatta Day 12: Last day for American Stars and Tornados

Wednesday, 20 August 2008


Qingdao, China (August 20, 2008) – USA Stars and Tornados sailed three races today in gorgeous weather. In eight to fifteen knots and sunshine they got their races started on time at 11:00 a.m. Unfortunately, the results were not so sunny for the two American boats. They were both unable to qualify for tomorrow’s top ten medal race, though John Dane III (Gulfport, Miss.) and Austin Sperry (Gulfport, Miss.) came just shy in eleventh place.

The American Star and Tornado teams took the same gamble going into this event: They committed to equipment packages that were exceptional in light air but hindrances in breezes over around six knots. John Lovell (New Orleans, La.) and Charlie Ogletree (Kemah, Texas.) chose to use a smaller, flatter gennaker that could be used upwind. They were depending on light air conditions for their weapon to work, but Ogletree said they only saw those ideal winds in one race of the ten-race Tornado series. They had banked on Qingdao to be a calm venue, but Lovell said, “The ironic thing is this is the windiest Olympics I’ve ever sailed. How weird is that?” Ogletree said, “Basically the Finns and Ynglings had the conditions we would have wanted.”

Asked to comment whether they thought they had made the right decision, Ogletree said, “Hindsight is 20/20. But it’s tough to say we regret it.” He continued, “This Olympics taught me some tough lessons and how to deal with them. At the end of the day, it’s a sailboat race.” Ogletree and Lovell won silver in Athens, so handling their position at the back of the pack was a challenging change of perspective. Lovell said, “Of course I’m a little depressed. We made a big call, we gambled and it backfired. But you can’t second guess yourself. We made a decision and that was it.”

John Dane explained that the USA Star was designed for light air from the keel and the hull to even the sails. He said they spent 40 days in Qingdao and looked at 20 years of weather data and the odds pointed to light air, but they still didn’t get what they needed. On the six knot day, they finished in second and fourth, but otherwise they struggled in any more wind. He said of racing with their handicap, “It’s not enjoyable, but it’s a great experience to be at the Olympics and I’m fortunate to be one of those few people who have been to the Olympics. I just wish I had done better for our country and the rest of the team.”

Sperry said of the campaign as a whole, “We did it so right this time. We proved ourselves by being here and the boat turned out perfect. Sometimes this is life.” Sailing with his father-in-law, Sperry was glad to help the 58-year-old get to the Olympics. He said, “I take pride in that. I helped give the old guy something he’s always wanted. He’s been a savior for a lot of people [providing housing to his employees after Hurricane Katrina] so he deserves it.” In the last race the wind dropped slightly and Dane and Sperry finished in fourth as opposed to their previous high scores. Sperry said, “The breeze went to six knots and the boat ripped. That’s the deal.”

By the end of the event, both teams knew they had painted themselves into limiting design corners with their equipment and they just tried to have fun and enjoy the Olympics. The three oldest member of the team, Dane, Lovell and Ogletree, have said this will be their last Olympics, but Sperry has not yet decided. The Stars and Tornados have one medal race scheduled for tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.

Current Standings for U.S. Sailors

Laser Radial: 28 boats

1. Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.), 4, 5, (6), 5, 6, 3, (15), 2, 2, 4; 37
2. Volungeviciute (LTU), 3, (13), 8, 1, 1, 4, (21), 6, 4, 2; 42
3. Lijia Ku (CHN), (24), 3, 10, 6, 5, 2, 1, 11, 6, 6; 50

Finn: 26 boats

1. Ainslie (GBR), (10), 1, 4, 1, 1, 10, 2, 2, 2; 23
2. Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), 2, 5, 2, 2, 7, 8, 7, (19), 12; 45
3. Florent (FRA), 5, 8, 20, 3, 4, 6, 4, (21), 8; 58

49er: 19 boats

1. Warrer and Ibsen (DEN), 2, 4, (10), 4, 2, 3, 4, 2, 9, 2, 7, 8, 14; 61
2. Martinez and Fernandez (ESP), 1, 10, 17, 2, (20/OCS), 5, 7, 10, 3, 4, 1, 2, 2; 64
3. Peckolt and Peckolt (GER), (15), 6, 11, 6, 3, 2, 2, 12, 4, 5, 4, 7, 4; 66
6. Tim Wadlow (Beverly, Mass.) and Chris Rast (San Diego, Calif.), 5, 14, 15, (16), 5, 10, 1, 1, 1, 3, 8, 4, 22/DNF; 89

Yngling: 15 boats

1. Ayton, Webb and Wilson (GBR), 2, 3, 4, (7), 4, 2, 2, 5, 2; 24
2. Mulder, Bes, Witteveen (NED), 9, 1, 2, (13), 1, 5, 4, 1, 8; 31
3.  Bekatorou, Papadopoulou, Kravarioti (GRE), 10, 12, 9, 3, 2, (OCS), 3, 3, 6; 48
7. Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis.), Carrie Howe (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) and  Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.), (14), 2, 8, 5, 6, 11, 1, 10, 18 ; 61

Star: 16 boats

1. Loof and Ekstrom (SWE), 1, 4, (15), 3, 6, 1, 8, 2, 1, 7; 33
2. Percy and Simpson (GBR), 7, (13), 3, 5, 8, 2, 1, 1, 2, 6; 35
3. Scheidt and Prada (BRA), 10, (11), 6, 1, 9, 10, 2, 3, 3, 3; 47
11.  John Dane (Gulfport, Miss.) and Austin Sperry (Gulfport, Miss.), 8, 2, 4, 12, 15, 15, (16), 16, 10, 4; 86

Women’s 470: 19 boats

1. Rechichi and Parkinson (AUS), 2, 2, 4, 1, (9), 4, 2, 5, 3, 2; 25
2. De Koning and Berkhout (NED), 3, 1, 9, 5, 2, 2, 10, 7, 4, (16); 43
3. Oliveira and Swan (BRA), 11, (16), 5, 10, 7, 6, 6, 2, 7, 4; 58
12. Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.) and Sarah Mergenthaler (New York, N.Y.), 12, 12, 10, 14, 4, (17), 7, 6, 17, 7; 89

Men’s 470: 29 boats

1. Wilmot and Page (AUS), 4, (7), 3, 3, 3, 4, 5, (16), 3, 10; 42
2. Coster and Coster (NED), 11, (15), 12, 2, 8, 15, 2, 8, 4, 2; 64
2. Charbonnier and Bausset (FRA), 6, 3, 8, 1, 6, 18, 3, 14, 7, (20); 66
13. Stu McNay (Lincoln, Mass.) and Graham Biehl (San Diego, Calif.), 26, 12, (30/OCS), 17, 15, 1, 4, 1, 6, 23; 105

Tornado: 15 boats

1. Echavarri and Blanco (ESP), 1, 6, 1, 4, 7, (13), 1, 7, 1, 8; 36
2. Bundock and Ashby (AUS), 5, 4, 3, 1, 5, (9), 2, 8, 7, 4; 39
3. Lange and Espinola (ARG), (13), 1, 1, 12, 4, 6, 9, 1, 9, 1; 44
15. John Lovell (New Orleans, La.) and Charlie Ogletree (Kemah, Texas), 14, 12, 7, 11, 12, 14, (15), 15, 14, 15; 114

Laser:  43 boats

1. Goodison (GBR), (15), 2, 15, 1, 9, 7, 1, 4, 6, 18; 63
2. Zbogar (SLO), (24), 4, 14, 6, 2, 11, 18, 1, 11, 4; 71
3. Romero (ITA), 6, 3, 5, (36), 10, 15, 11, 9, 10, 6; 75
25. Andrew Campbell (San Diego, Calif.), 14, 18, 1, 26, 32, (44/BFD), 8, 18, 31; 174

Men’s RS:X: 35 boards

1. Ashley (NZL), 4, 7, 7, 1, 5, 5, 3, 6, 8, (32), 6; 52
2. Bontemps (FRA), (13), 1, 5, 4, 10, 8, 2, 10, 2, 3, 8; 53
3. Zubari (ISR), 1, 3, 1, 3, 17, 6, (19), 18, 1, 4, 4; 58
26. Ben Barger (St. Petersburg, Fla.), 21, 22, 24, 26, 26; (32), 25, 11, 25, 31; 217

Women’s RS:X: 27 boards

1. Yin (CHN), 1, 1, 1, 3, 3, (13), 7, 8, 8, 1; 33
1. Sensini (ITA), 6, 2, 9, 1, (28/DSQ), 3, 2, 2, 5, 8; 38
3. Shaw (GBR), 4, 3, 11, 6, (28/OCS), 6, 5, 3, 1, 2; 41
26. Nancy Rios (Miami, Fla.), 25, 24, 22, 26, 24, 27, (28/DNF), (28/DNF), 26, 22; 224

Derby Anderson

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 August 2008 )