Paul Foerster wint US singlehanded

Four years ago this month, Paul Foerster (Heath, Texas) won Olympic gold in Athens, Greece. Today, Foerster won the U.S. Singlehanded Championship at Sayville Yacht Club in Blue Point, N.Y. So stepping onto the top level of a podium is nothing new for Foerster, who has now won his fifth U.S. National Sailing Championship title and who also won gold at the Pan-Am Games last year as well as a silver medal at the 2000 Olympic Games.While Foerster certainly has an impressive sailing resume, he was not the lone favorite to win the U.S. Singlehanded Championship, which was sailed in Sunfish and sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A. and LaserPerformance. David Loring (Charleston, S.C.), a two-time Sunfish world champion, put up a good fight, finishing eight points behind Foerster. The two were neck-and-neck with the title still up for grabs when the starting gun sounded for the final race of the regatta. Foerster won the final race – the only race he won throughout the event – and with that US SAILINGs ODay Trophy. Third place went to local favorite Paul-Jon Patin (Forest Hills, N.Y.).The Peter J. Barrett Sportsmanship Trophy was awarded to Richard Chapman (Chico, Calif.) in recognition of the advice and assistance he offered to the number of sailors who were not normally Sunfish sailors (the U.S. Singlehanded Championship is a ladder event, meaning sailors compete in local and regional events to qualify for the national level – the event is sailed in a different class of boats each year). Chapman helped his fellow competitors tailor their rig tension for the competitors weight and gave the relatively novice Sunfish sailors tips on managing the wind and waves.

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