LIer Debbie Capozzi wins both sailing races

Erik Storck, left, Debbie Capozzi, center, and Amanda Erik Storck, left, Debbie Capozzi, center, and Amanda Clark, three Long Islanders heading to London to sail in the Olympics, stand together during farewell party in Larchmont. (July 14, 2012) Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

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Bayport sailor Debbie Capozzi's team won both of its round-robin races in women's sailing match racing Tuesday, propelling Team USA into a tie for third place in the event after three days of racing. The top eight teams in the round-robin stage advance to the knockout stage.

Capozzi's team, which sails an Elliott 6-meter keelboat, consists of her fellow crew Molly O'Bryan Vandemoer and skipper Anna Tunnicliffe. After going 1-1 in each of the first two days of racing, the Americans now boast a record of 4-2 on the strength of Tuesday's victories over Finland and France.

"We were sailing pretty well the past two days," Capozzi said. "The score line didn't really show it. So we're really excited to have a great day today."

The win against Finland came by just two seconds, with the United States finishing in 17:31 and Finland in 17:33.

"I can't tell you how many times the lead changed on the last downwind," Capozzi said. "I think we beat them by less than an inch."

Capozzi, Tunnicliffe and Vandemoer continue round-robin competition Wednesday with races against New Zealand (3-3) and Russia (5-1).

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In the two-man dinghy high performance, also referred to as 49er racing for the type of vessel, Huntington native Erik Storck and teammate Trevor Moore sailed in two fleet races yesterday with widely varied results. After a disappointing 16th-place finish in the first race, the Americans won the second.

After four races, Storck and Moore are ninth in the 20-team field, a two-spot drop from the seventh spot they occupied after the first two. The top 10 teams advance to the medal race, and the points from the entire competition carry over, with medal race points counting twice. In order to medal, Storck and Moore need to be within reach going into the final race.

Despite the slip in the standings, Storck said the weather conditions and the momentum of a first-place finish should allow his team to make a surge.

"We had a good game plan for the fourth race that we executed," Storck said. "We like flat water and breeze, and expect to have more the next few days."

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