Olympics are a boon for Michigan sailboat builder - Trade Only Today

Olympics are a boon for Michigan sailboat builder

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At the London Olympics, Richland, Mich., boatbuilder Jon VanderMolen pulled off a feat not even Michael Phelps could match: His PStar boats took gold, silver and bronze in the same event.

In fact, VanderMolen's North American Sailing Center in Richland built 11 of the top 12 finishers in the premier Star-class sailing event, according to mlive.com.

"The U.S. snuck in there at seventh, so I'm proud for them. They had a respectable showing," VanderMolen told the publication.

For the teams, the medal round was a nail biter, with the Swedes not realizing they had won gold until their coach told them. VanderMolen and his partner, German Olympic sailor and boatbuilder Marc Pickel, had the pleasure of watching nine of their boats sweep in almost simultaneously.

(He and his crew had built some 37 boats, with 13 of their boats claiming 16 spots in the Star class final.)

"It was one of the most exciting races I've ever seen. All 10 boats finished almost overlapping — within 10 seconds of each other," VanderMolen told the publication.

Since the Olympics concluded earlier this month, VanderMolen said the company has had 15 inquiries for price quotes on its website. But right now, he said, he's competing with himself.

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