Shelter Island sailor still ahead after second day of Olympic trial races in Australia

COURTESY FILE PHOTO | Amanda Clark at the helm of her 470.

After four of seven races to be held this week in Perth Australia, Shelter Island’s Amanda Clark and her sailing partner Sarah Lihan on Tuesday continued to hold the lead over their United States competitors, Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar, in their battle for a place on the 2012 US Olympics sailing team.

After Tuesday’s two races Down Under, Ms. Clark and Ms. Lihan were in seventh place among all international competitors with Maxwell-Kinsolving Farrar team  in 19th place.

After Clark-Lihan’s fifth place standing on Monday, Tuesday’s results keep them well ahead but with the gap between them and Maxwell-Kinsolving Farrar significantly narrowed. Clark-Lihan scored a 15-16 in Tuesday’s two races while world number-one ranked Maxwell (of Wilton, Connecticut) and Kinsolving Farrar (of New York City and Fishers Island) finished 6-19 to climb to 19th overall.

The winner of the US Olympic team spot in the women’s 470 category will be the team with the lowest combined overall placement determined by the races being sailed in Perth and the previous Olympic trials held in June in Weymouth, England, where the 2012 Olympic races will be sailed.

Ms. Clark and Ms. Lihan placed 11th overall in the Weymouth races, behind Ms. Maxwell and Ms. Kinsolving Farrar, who finished eighth. In case of a tie after Perth results are included, the boat with the better finish in Australia will take the spot.

“Day 2! Tough day on the water with more rain showers and large clouds influencing the wind on the course,” Ms. Clark wrote on her Facebook page. “We feel good about our day. In both races [on Tuesday], we battled back to end the day with a 15, 16. We have 2 more races before a lay day.”

The fifth and sixth races in Perth will be sailed beginning at 1:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday. Races can be tracked at