LONDON – (Hawaii Athletics) Former
University of Hawai'i Rainbow sailor Molly (O'Bryan) Vandemoer will compete in
the 2012 Olympic Games in London after her team captured the Women's Match
Racing U.S. Olympic Qualifying Regatta this past weekend. The qualifying event
was held at London's Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, which will
serve as the Olympic venue later this summer.
Team Maclaren—a three-person crew consisting of Vandemoer, Anna Tunnicliffe and Debbie Capozzi—bested the competition in head-to-head action during the semifinal and final knockout rounds to earn the Olympic bid. Four crews competed during the weekend, all of whom advanced from the first stage of the U.S. Olympic Qualifying Regatta last October. All four US teams are ranked in the top 10 in the world, yet each nation is only allowed one boat per sailing event. Match racing will be making it Olympic debut this summer.
This will be the first Olympics for Vandermoer who was a three-time All-American for UH and captain of a Rainbow Wahine squad that captured the 2001 women's national championship. The last Rainbow sailor to compete in the Olympics was John Myrdal who competed in the Laser class during the 2000 games in Sydney, Australia.
Team Maclaren should enter as the favorites to take home the gold this summer. The crew is No. 1 in the world after winning the ISAF Sailing World Championships in December and also earning gold at the past two World Cup events in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and Hyeres, France.