A four-second difference and Russian sailing around the leeward mark helped bounce Debbie Capozzi's Team USA down to fourth place, but the Bayport sailor remains in good position after splitting two races in Day Four of round-robin racing Wednesday in Weymouth, England.
Capozzi's team defeated fifth-place New Zealand, 17:00 to 17:15, in the day's first match, but lost a slim lead to Russia, which won by a four-second margin (16:57) in the Elliot 6-meter keelboat class. Team USA, rounded out by Molly O'Bryan Vandemoer and skipper Anna Tunnicliffe, is 5-3, and dropped a spot from Tuesday. The top eight of 12 teams advance to the quarterfinals, which begin Tuesday.
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Huntington's Erik Storck and partner Trevor Moore made up some ground from Tuesday's results in the men's two-person dinghy high performance, but faced an unexpected challenge in the day's first race. Piloting their 49er in winds up to 17 knots, Storck and Moore finished seventh in Race 5 after losing an early lead when Moore's trapeze cable came untied halfway down the run. They ceded the top spot to France, which won in 30:07, 45 seconds faster than the Americans.
"It can be catastrophic if it doesn't get fixed right away," Storck said. The duo was able to fix the bungee quickly, tying it to Moore's foot strap, but lost ground. "It's just a little frustrating at this point to give up points like that," Storck said, "[but] there's still a lot of racing left."
This was an especially tough stumble to stomach, since the U.S. was trying to maintain the momentum gained Tuesday, when it came in 16th in the first race but took the top spot in its second fleet race of that day.
"It was almost as if nothing changed from [Tuesday]," Strock said. "We clicked into a really good gear and rounded that top mark first. [Then] we had a little snafu."
The medal round is Wednesday, with the top 10 teams advancing. Points are cumulative, medal-round points count twice, and the lower the score the better. Australia leads with 10 points, while the U.S. has 37.