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Debbie Capozzi and Team USA rebound; Storck, Moore struggle

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) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Bayport's Debbie Capozzi and her Olympic sailing team remain in good position after Thursday's win over the Netherlands in the women's Elliott 6-meter race.

Team USA edged the Dutch by three seconds, rebounding from Wednesday's loss to Russia, and improved to 6-3 on Day 5 of the tournament in Weymouth, England.

Capozzi's team, which also includes skipper Anna Tunnicliffe and crewmate Molly Vandemoer, completed the course in 17:46, just ahead of the Netherlands (17:49) in their only match of the day.

"The round-robin, you try to win as many races as possible and make it through to the quarterfinals," Tunnicliffe said.

Team USA, with six points, is in fourth place. Australia is in first (10 points), and Russia and Spain are tied at seven. The top eight teams advance to the quarterfinals, beginning Tuesday.

The U.S. will face Sweden then Great Britain Saturday on the final day of the round-robin stage. Sweden is winless and in last place; Great Britain is tied for fifth with five points.

"Everybody is really good and there is going to be a battle in all of the lineups," Tunnicliffe said.

Huntington's Erik Storck and partner Trevor Moore had another difficult go, finishing 20th and 18th in their two 49er skiff races.

In their first race -- and seventh overall -- Team USA finished last, 3:15 behind winner Great Britain. In Race 8, they crossed 1:57 after Australia. Thursday's finishes have Storck and Moore 12th in the standings, with the top 10 teams advancing to medal races next Wednesday.

On Wednesday, the duo took seventh and 13th in their two races.

"The pressure is still the same," Moore said. "You just have to go out and execute, and we didn't do that today. There is little room for error in this fleet."

Australia is atop the standings with 24 points and Team USA has 71. Austria is in 10th place with 61 points. The U.S. still has an opportunity to make up ground with seven races remaining, including three Friday.

"We have to go out and execute and capitalize on the strengths that we have," Moore said.

Shelter Island's Amanda Clark will compete Friday in the first race of the women's 470 sailing tournament. Clark will skipper the two-person dinghy, along with crew member Sarah Lihan. Clark, 30, finished 12th in the event in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but earned a bronze medal in the 2011 Sail Melbourne World Cup.

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