More Honors for Clearwater's Silver Medalist Sailor
By Anne McKay Garris
Zach Railey, Silver Medalist in last summer's Olympics, was recently given US Sailing's 2008 SportsMan of the Year award. Sailing in the Finn Class at the Olympics in Qingdao, China, Zach took the silver in his first Olympic try. The award from US Sailing recognizes that he won the medal although he wasn't favored to win, by "sailing one of the best regattas of his career and proving his talent and athleticism. He battled Qingdao's inconsistent and moody conditions, stormy seas and tough international competition by sailing a conservative and smart regatta," according to the committee awarding this latest honor. They also cited his rigorous training, physical prowess and smart tactical moves as contributing to his success.
Railey has also been named a nominee for US Sailing's 2008 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award.
Zach was vigorously supported in his Olympic bid by the Clearwater Yacht Club where he started sailing as a youngster. When the Yacht Club held a celebration of his medal win, Zach assured them the medal belonged to "all of you." Asked at the celebration party what he planned next, he responded, "Tomorrow, we start training for London (site of the next summer Olympics)."
US Sailing, the organization that awarded Zach SportsMan of the Year, is the United States Sailing Association, the national governing body for sailing. Founded in 1897, the organization provides leadership for the sport of sailing in the United States.
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