Pictured: Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha, Women’s 470.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2015
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – After a fifth day of racing at the the 2015 Rio Olympic Test Event, the US Sailing Team Sperry continues to compete well against the world’s best. With solid scores recorded in the Men’s 470, Women’s 470, Laser and Laser Radial on Wednesday, American sailors remained consistent. The highlight of the day was a second place finish in the lone Women’s 470 race by Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.), which moved them into the overall lead.
Haeger said that having a firm idea of how to approach the racecourse prior to the start was the key today. “We once again executed our plan, and really capitalized on our speed downwind,” said the 2015 470 European Championships bronze medalist. “We’re happy to be in the leader jersey, but it’s not about that at this stage of the regatta. It’s about holding onto it at the end.”
The team has been coaches since April 2014 by three-time 470 world champion Dave Ullman, who has returned to the Olympic scene after an extended absence in order to boost the prospects of the US Sailing Team Sperry and his home country. “Dave is a great asset for our team, and we’re fortunate to have him,” said Haeger. “This is a current-heavy venue, and he does a really good job of giving us readings on the current and the breeze.” When asked whether the 470 legend’s steady hand had been key to their recent run of success, Haeger noted that Ullman’s widely-accepted nickname was particularly apt in a coaching setting. “Who wouldn’t want to have ‘Yoda’ as part of their team?”
In the Men’s 470, 2015 European Champions Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) entered the day leading the fleet, and notched a 5th place in the only race. Despite this good score, the veteran pair fell to 2nd place overall behind the 2009 470 World Championship-winning Croatian team despite the strong showing. “We suffered a bad start, but it turned out that discretion was the better part of valor, as the boat to leeward of us was OCS (penalized for being over the start line early). However, we were able to quickly figure out the course and get some clear lanes to make a comeback.”
Hughes noted that a strength of their team is a healthy and resilient tactical dialogue on board. “The communication on our boat is same regardless of our position,” said Hughes. “There may be different focus points that you have to manage, as lanes and opportunists vary. We always feel confident that we can pick our way back up the fleet, maintain a positive attitude, and find course gains. On our second beat, for example, we got some good gains out of the leeward gate, but we were not able to leverage that gain to catch anyone until we were fifty percent done with the upwind leg. You have to be patient, since the payout is not always instant. It’s better to be opportunistic, but not over enthusiastic.”
In the Laser Radial, Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) continues to log scores in the top ten, and today recorded a 6th. Still in 2nd overall behind Lithuania’s Gintare Scheidt, Railey has to tread carefully to avoid bringing her (currently discarded) Race 3 black flag penalty into play. So far she has done exactly that, with five of her seven race finishes being in the single-digit range. In the Laser, Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) continues his steady climb, and with a 7th place finish maintained his spot in the top 10 overall.
Racing continues at the Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta 2015 (Olympic Test Event) on Thursday, August 20. The event will conclude with medal races for the top competitors in each fleet from August 20-22. Full schedule here.
2015 Olympic Test Event, USA Results:
Women’s 470 (Women’s Two-Person Dinghy):
- 1st overall, Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.)
Men’s 470 (Men’s Two-Person Dinghy):
- 2nd overall, Stuart McNay (Providence, R.I.) and David Hughes (Miami, Fla.)
Laser Radial (Women’s One-Person Dinghy):
- 2nd overall, Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
Laser (Men’s One-Person Dinghy):
- 9th overall, Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.)
Finn (Men’s One-Person Heavyweight Dinghy):
- 15th overall, Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.)
Nacra 17 (Mixed Two-Person Multihull):
- 16th overall, Sarah Newberry (Miami, Fla.) and Matthew Whitehead (Panama City, Fla.)
49erFX (Women’s Two-Person High Performance Skiff):
- 16th overall, Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.)
49er (Men’s Two-Person High Performance Skiff):
- 17th overall, Brad Funk (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Trevor Burd (Marblehead, Mass.)
Women’s RS:X (Women’s Board):
- 19th overall, Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.)
Men’s RS:X (Men’s Board):
- 24th overall, Carson Crain (Houston, Texas)
Rio Olympic Test Event Reports
- Day 4: Railey (USA) Records Another Keeper, Buckingham, Into Top 10
- Day 3: USA Takes Lead in Men’s 470, Maintains in Women’s 470, Radial
- Day 2: USA 2nd Overall In Three Classes
- Day 1: USA Starts Strong In Laser, Radial
- Preview & Roster
The Medalist Newsletter: US Olympic and Paralympic Sailing News
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About the US Sailing Team Sperry
The US Sailing Team Sperry is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. The top boats in each Olympic and Paralympic class are selected annually to be members of the US Sailing Team Sperry. US Sailing helps these elite athletes with with financial, logistical, coaching, technical, fitness, marketing and communications support. The title sponsor of the team is Sperry; other sponsors include Gold-Level partner Sunbrella and Silver-Level partners Harken, Team McLube and Groupe Beneteau. Yale Cordage is a team supplier. The US Sailing Center Miami is an Olympic training site. Oakcliff Sailing and Clearwater Community Sailing Center are US Sailing Team Sperry Training Centers. Chubb Personal Insurance and the Gowrie Group sponsor US Sailing’s National Team Tour, a nationwide presentation program for US Sailing Team Sperry athletes. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org/olympics
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org
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Contact: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager, US Sailing. email@example.com, +1 (978) 697-2384.