FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Conner Blouin
US Sailing Communications Assistant
Johnson and Blecher Flawless in Sheboygan
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (July 28, 2012) – Two past Collegiate All-American’s put on a clinic today on Lake Michigan. Clay Johnson and Allie Blecher lead the men’s and women’s divisions at the US Singlehanded Championships, a US Sailing National Championship. For the second day in a row, five races were held by Sail Sheboygan.
Johnson (Point Pleasant, N.J.) won all of the day’s races, extending his lead by leaps and bounds, as he has won nine out of ten races. His lead has grown to 25 points over Eric Bowers (Excelsior, Minn.). This is his fourth time Johnson has raced in this event, and he will attempt to capture his first ever O’Day Trophy.
Blecher (Santa Monica, Calif.) came into the day sitting second overall, six points behind US Junior Singlehanded Champion Hanne Weaver (Gig Harbor, Wash.). The 2010 ICSA Women’s College Sailor of the Year flipped a switch to make an amazing turnaround in today’s racing. After winning five in a row, she takes a three point lead over Weaver. This dominating performance on day two has set the stage for a dramatic conclusion between these two athletes tomorrow.
Today’s conditions ranged from 6-10 knots with an aggressive chop. There are two races remaining for tomorrow’s Championship. The first warning signal is scheduled for 9:00 am CT.
Following the final day of sailing, the winning male will be crowned with the George D. O’Day Trophy, and the top female will receive the Helen Willis Hanley Trophy. This is the third US Singlehanded Championship that has featured a women’s division. A sailor will also receive the Peter J. Barrett Sportsmanship Trophy. Anna Tunnicliffe, 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist and 2012 Olympic Team Member, won the sportsmanship award in 2003.
Several other Olympians and US Sailing Team members have participated at this Championship, including Paul Foerster, Morgan Larson, Andrew Campbell, Sally Barkow, and Sarah Lihan.
• Competitors became eligible to race in the US Singlehanded Championship by their results though national semifinals or by select invitation.
• A maximum of 12 races are scheduled for the Championship.
• Racing is held on July 27-29. Racing is scheduled to begin at 12:00 pm CT on Friday, 11:00 am CT on Saturday, and 9:00 am CT on Sunday (subject to change).
• The racing venue is a half mile S/SE of Sheboygan Lighthouse on Lake Michigan.
• US Sailing medals will be awarded to the top three in each division. The winning skipper of the men’s division will have his name engraved on the George O’Day Trophy. The winning skipper of the women’s division will have her name engraved on the Hellen Willis Hanley Trophy. The Peter J. Barrett Sportsmanship Trophy will also be awarded.
• Competitors will participate in a Rolex Clinic on Thursday, July 26.
• This event is a US Sailing National Championship.
• The first US Singlehanded Championship took place in 1962.
For results, standings, photos and more details about the 2012 U.S. Singlehanded Championship, please visit the event website at http://championships.ussailing.org/Adult/USSinglehandedChampionship.htm.
The US Singlehanded Championships is sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A., Zim Sailing, Gill North America, and Hobie Sunglasses. This Championship is a Sailors for the Sea - Clean Regattas certification event.
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About US Sailing
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.
About Rolex Watch U.S.A.
Since Rolex Watch U.S.A. first presented timepieces to America's Cup defenders in 1958, the company has consistently recognized and encouraged excellence in every important arena of competitive sailing, including US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider preparation, US Sailing National Championships, disabled sailing, offshore, one-design and women's events. For more information, please visit us at www.rolex.com.
About Gill North America
Gill NA, with headquarters near Atlanta, GA is the sole distributor and licensee of Gill-brand foul weather gear in North America including Caribbean, Central America, US and Canada. Gill is an apparel and accessories leader in the worldwide marine industry for over three decades and specializes in high tech, breathable waterproof clothing. The company tests, designs and markets a variety of performance-oriented, award-winning apparel and accessories for virtually every type of boating activity with product lines that include foul weather gear; interactive layering systems; footwear; gloves; bags; junior gear; scholastic gear and team wear. Available through hundreds of dealers nationally, Gill NA is the sole distributor and licensee of Gill-brand foul weather gear in North America, where it is the top selling yachting clothing brand. For more information on Gill NA, visit the company website at http://www.gillna.com/or contact Lance Jones at Gill NA, (678) 730-5581 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Zim Sailing
Zim Sailing, headquartered in Warren, R.I. is the fastest growing manufacturer of one-design sailboats in North America. Currently, Zim manufactures and distributes the Optimist, Club 420, CFJ and the Byte CII. Zim’s customers include high schools, colleges, yacht clubs, community sailing centers and the passionate dinghy sailor. Zim boats have won several local, regional, National and North American championships since the company’s creation in 2008. Zim is dedicated to the success and growth of dinghy sailing. Zim’s experienced staff and support vehicles can be found at many regattas. For more information, please visit www.zimsailing.com or email email@example.com.
About Hobie Polarized
Hobie Polarized is a leading designer, developer, marketer and distributor of polarized eyewear. The brand’s innovative lens technology allows total glare reduction, 100% UV protection, enhances contrast and provides optimum visual acuity. The company’s products are sold worldwide and are used by watermen at all skill and lifestyle levels. The Hobie Polarized headquarters is located in Plainview, New York. For further information, please visit the company’s website at www.hobiepolarized.com.