Sailing News

Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone Arrives Early
Japanese Bulk Carrier Attacked in Straits of Malacca

US SAILING this week announced the members of the 2005 US Sailing Team. The US Sailing Team was created in 1986 to recruit and develop top sailors in the country for upcoming Olympic Games. The Team annually recognizes the top-five ranked sailors in each of the boat-classes selected for the next Olympic competition. For the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, those classes are: 49er, 470 (Men and Women), Finn, Laser, Laser Radial, RS:X (Men and Women), Star, Tornado, and Yngling. Due to unavailability of the newly selected Neil Pryde RS:X, no Team-members have been determined for this class (Men and Women). More information on the RS:X will be made available this spring.

Rankings on the US Sailing Team are based on attendance and performance at qualifying events. Athletes who have qualified for the US Sailing Team are identified as strong contenders for an Olympic berth and, as members of the Team, they will be assisted with coaching, training, and other benefits.

The 2005 US Sailing Team is coached by High Performance Director Gary Bodie, and Olympic Coaches Luther Carpenter and Skip Whyte. Sponsors of the 2005 US Sailing Team are Extrasport, Gill, Harken, Nautica, New England Ropes, Rolex Watch U.S.A., Sperry Top-Sider, Team McLube, Vanguard Sailboats, Vineyard Vines, and Zodiac of North America.

1. Morgan Larson (Capitola, Calif.) and Pete Spaulding (Miami Beach, Fla.) 2. Dalton Bergan (Seattle, Wash.) and Zack Maxam (Coronado, Calif.) 3. Ty Reed (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Bora Gulari (Detroit, Mich.) 4. David Fagen (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Ned Goss (Madison, Conn.) 5. Sam Kahn (Aptos, Calif.) and Paul Allen (Santa Cruz, Calif.)

470 Men
1. Mike Anderson-Mitterling (Coronado, Calif.) and David Hughes (San Diego, Calif.) 2. Stu McNay (Boston, Mass.) and Graham Biehl (Point Loma, Calif.) 3. Seth Siegler (Charleston, S.C.) and Michael Miller (Charleston, S.C.) 4. David Dabney (Charleston, S.C.) and Hunter Stunzi (Marblehead, Mass.) 5. Aubrey Mayer (Orient, N.Y.) and Cotton Kelley (Annapolis, Md.)

470 Women
1. Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.) and Sarah Mergenthaler (Harvey Cedars, N.J.) 2. Erin Maxwell (Stonington, Conn.) and Alice Manard (New Orleans, La.) 3. Allison Jolly (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Isabelle Kinsolving (New York, N.Y.) 4. Molly Carapiet (Belvedere, Calif.) and Whitney Besse (Guilford, Conn.) 5. Genny Tulloch (Houston, TX) and Lauren Maxam (Coronado, Calif.)

1. Kevin Hall (Ventura, Calif.) 2. Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) 3. Bryan Boyd (Annapolis, Md.) 4. Darrell Peck (Gresham, Ore.) 5. Andrew Casey (Mill Valley, Calif.)

1. Brad Funk (Belleair Bluffs, Fla.) 2. Andrew Campbell (San Diego, Calif.) 3. John Pearce (Ithaca, N.Y.) 4. Ryan Minth (New York, N.Y.) 5. Matthew Sterett (Corpus Christi, TX)

Laser Radial
1. Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) 2. Anna Tunnicliffe (Norfolk, Va.) 3. Leah Hoepfner (Corpus Christi, TX) 4. Lindsay Buchan (Seattle, Wash.) 5. Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wis.)

1. Andy Horton (Newport, R.I.) and Brad Nichol (Hanover, N.H.) 2. Mark Mendelblatt (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and no qualified crew. 3. Mark Reynolds (San Diego, Calif.) and Phil Trinter (Lorain, OH) 4. John MacCausland (Cherry Hill, N.J.) and Brian Fatih (Miami, Fla.) 5. Eric Doyle (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and Brian Sharp (Franklin, Mass.)

1. John Lovell (New Orleans, La.) and Charlie Ogletree (Kemah, TX) 2. Rob Parrish (Brunswick, ME) and Lars Guck (Bristol, R.I.) 3. Robbie Daniel (Clearwater, Fla.) and Enrique Rodriguez (Key Largo, Fla.) 4. Don Thinschmidt (Holland, Mich.) and Andrew Wierda (Miami, Fla.) 5. Michael Grandfield (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) and Mike Kuschner (Coon Rapids, Minn.)

1. Sally Barkow (Chenequa, Wis.), Deb Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.), and Carrie Howe (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) 2. Carol Cronin (Jamestown, R.I.), Kate Fears (Ocean City, Md.), and Jaime Haines (Jamestown, R.I.) 3. JJ Isler (San Diego, Calif.), Pease Glaser (Long Beach. Calif.), and Laura Schmidt (Chicago, Ill.) 4. Liz Baylis (San Rafael, Calif.), Nancy Haberland (Annapolis, Md.), and Katie Pettibone (Port Huron, Mich.) 5. No qualified team

Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone Arrives Early
Scientists from Texas A&M, NASA, and Louisiana State University surveyed 120 sites in the Gulf during March. They recorded data to help them track the dead zone this summer. The scientists found 19 spots of oxygen-depleted water, or hypoxia. They didn't expect to find any, and said that because it has come so early this year, the area could become a severely hypoxic region.

Researchers believe the dead zone is caused by an influx of polluted freshwater from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers. Fresh water floats over salt water and acts as a barrier to oxygen. Meanwhile, pollution also flows from the rivers in to the Gulf, creating algae plumes that further choke off the oxygen.

Japanese Bulk Carrier Attacked in Straits of Malacca
The attack occurred in the widely used One Fathom Bank, a narrow strait just north of Port Kelang. The International Maritime Bureau said the attack was particularly worrisome, because the attack was so close to Malaysian waters, which is traditionally considered safe.

On February 28th, a Malaysian tugboat was attacked. The chief engineer was shot in the leg, and the captain and chief officer were kidnapped, but later freed.

On March 12th, a gang of 35 pirates armed with machine guns and rocket launchers boarded an Indonesian gas tanker and kidnapped the captain and chief engineer. They were released after a ransom was paid.

On March 14th, a Japanese tugboat was boarded by armed men who kidnapped the captain and two crew members. They were released a week later.

There is great concern about the ease with which pirates are boarding commercial vessels in the straits, because terrorists could board a tanker and use it as a floating bomb and block the vital channel and disrupt world trade.