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Alum Eyes America's Cup

Alum Eyes America's CupInternationally-renowned sailor training for one of the most revered sailing trophies in the world. St. Petersburg, Fl.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [06.22.01] The longest-contested trophy in international sports, the America's Cup is often called sailing's "most glamorous prize," pitting the best sailors in the world against each other for a month-long competition. Though it won't be awarded again until February of 2003, 1995 Tufts graduate Mark Mendelblatt is already focused on securing his place in history by taking home the Cup, considered by many to be the most revered prize in the world of international sailing.

"With a lengthy resume of national and international titles to his credit, the lifelong St. Petersburg resident has teamed up with the One World Challenge America's Cup campaign to crew aboard some of the largest, most expensive and fastest boats in international sailing," the St. Petersburg Times reported this week.

The America's Cup races will provide a change of pace for Mendelblatt, who has much more experience in smaller boats with crews of one to three people, rather than the 16-member boats he'll be sailing for the Cup.

"It's kind of a shock to be on a big boat like these with bigger equipment," the Tufts graduate told the Florida newspaper. "When you sail by yourself, you're responsible only for yourself. On the team, you're responsible to everyone. You have to perform well."

With a strong reputation for strong performances, Mendelblatt should be up to the challenge.

A three-time All-American sailor at Tufts, Mendelblatt has racked up an impressive list of accomplishments since graduating, including a silver medal at the Pan American Games, two top 10 finishes at the Laser World Championships and selection to the U.S. National Team on several occasions.

The Tufts sailor was also ranked the top American in the Laser Class, named U.S. Olympic Sailor of the Year in 1999 and qualified for the Olympic trials in 1992 and 1996.

But intense training, not his past successes, are the keys to winning the Cup.

"I'll be going back to Auckland, New Zealand in October or November," he told the Times. "I already spent five or six months down there training. I'm off for the summer, waiting for the boats to be built."

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