By David Gold

Golden Spinnaker_Gala_06-03-12March 6 - The New York Sailing Foundation has raised $150,000 (£95,000/€114,000) for the United States Olympic and Paralympic sailing programme at the Golden Spinnaker Gala, held in Manhattan.

The evening, held at the New York Yacht Club's iconic clubhouse, celebrated the team work and dedication needed to achieve success at the London 2012 Olympic sailing competition, which takes place at Weymouth and Portland from July 29 to August 11, with the Paralympic competition from September 1 to 6 at the same venue.

The event saw a preview presented by US Sailing President Gary Jobson, featuring interviews with Olympic hopefuls Amanda Clark and Mark Mendelblatt, as well as Paralympian Jen French.

"As we count down the days to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Sailing Foundation of New York and the New York Yacht Club, generously hosted a spectacular evening of support for the US Olympic and Paralympic teams and our athletes," said Olympic Sailing chairman Dean Brenner.

"With fewer than 150 days of training left before the Games, this significant support will enable our athletes to bring home medals."

A live auction gave guests the chance to purchase Olympic experience packages which included London 2012 tickets.

Also on offer was for a VIP weekend at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and two ready-to-race Laser sailboats donated by LaserPerformance.

"We are proud to support the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Teams," New York Yacht Club's Bill Sandberg said.

"It's our responsibility as a country and as a sport to step up to the plate and make sure that our team is given enough resources to perform at their best in Weymouth in 2012."

The US will hope to improve on their sailing medal tally from the Beijing 2008 Games, where they claimed one gold and one silver medal at the Olympics, and a further gold and bronze medal at the Paralympics.

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