As we close in on the end of the 2013 World Championships season in Olympic and Paralympic classes, I bring your attention to three notable performances on the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. Each tells its own story about progress being made by Olympic and Paralympic athletes in the team’s pursuit of success in Rio 2016.
1. Annie Haeger/Brianna Provancha, 470 Women’s, 2013 Season. In 2012, Annie and Brianna were sailing for the Boston College sailing team. In 2013 they represented the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider in international competition, earning several podium results—bronze at Palma, silver at Delta Lloyd. They’ve gone from college sailors to competitive international 470 sailors in short order, due to their high level of talent and a focused approach to training. With the right mix of skill, coaching, background in high-performance boats and technical training, young U.S. sailors can fast track their way to the front of Olympic class fleets.
2. Ryan Porteous/Cindy Walker, SKUD-18, IFDS World Championship. Speaking of fast tracks, Ryan Porteous sailed a SKUD-18 for the first time in 2013. Cindy Walker started sailing (any boat for that matter) in 2012. They finished fourth at the IFDS Worlds this summer. Good, young sailors with a sky’s-the-limit approach to Paralympic racing.
3. Paige Railey, Laser Radial, 3rd at Laser Radial Worlds. A US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider veteran, Paige followed a methodical plan to her re-entry to the Radial in 2013. Following her eighth-place finish at the 2012 Olympic Games, Paige took much-deserved time off. She returned to the Radial at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami and won her return regatta. Her 2013 plan then focused on a peak at the 2013 Laser Radial World Championship in China, where she finished third. The Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year has her sights on Rio 2016. Welcome back, Paige.
Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing
Excerpted from The Medalist newsletter. Photos Mick Anderson/US Sailing, US Sailing