Palma de Mallorca, Spain – The final races before the medal round concluded on Day Five of the 2015 Trofeo Princesa Sofía, and the US Sailing Team Sperry will be represented in the medal races in the Finn, Laser Radial, and Men’s and Women’s 470 classes.
In the men’s heavyweight Finn dinghy, Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.) arrived ready to perform on Day Five. The 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final bronze medalist led at every mark of the first race of the day, and earned his first race win of the event. “I found a good spot on the line, and pulled the trigger at the right time,” said Paine. “Luther Carpenter, who is currently coaching me, also has a really good eye for sail shape and has contributed to my improved upwind speed.” Carpenter (La Porte, Texas) serves as Senior Olympic Coach for the US Sailing Team Sperry, and has guided American athletes to multiple medals at the Olympic Games.
Like the rest of the leaders in the Finn class, Paine has fought through some midfleet finishes, and used five single-digit scores in ten races to remain in contention. Paine enters tomorrow’s medal race 18 points away from the podium, and therefore still has a chance based on the double-points medal race scoring system. Despite the long odds, Paine does not have to search hard for inspiration. “My dad recently competed in the Singlehanded Trans-Pacific (San Francisco to Hawaii) race, and lost the use of half of his mast a third of his way across the Pacific,” said Paine. “He had to make the decision to soldier on at four knots or turn back. He chose to keep sailing. No matter what, I will fight to the end at this event.”
Women’s 470 athletes Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.), who concluded gold fleet racing in 7th overall, have qualified for the medal race in every regatta they have entered since the beginning of 2013, an impressive and consistent run of results. While they will not be eligible to win a second career medal at this event, there is still much for them to focus on tomorrow. “We have a lot of things we want to work on in medal races, and so we’re happy to get that practice,” said Provancha. “I always believe going into medal races that we have what it takes to win them, and that’s what we’ll be aiming for tomorrow. We want to be able to execute under pressure, and that’s where experience comes in.”
Also competing in medal races tomorrow will be Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) in the Laser Radial, and Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) with teammate Dave Hughes (San Diego, Calif.) in the Men’s 470. Like Haeger and Provancha, they will not be able to close the points gap and make the podium at this event. With three Olympic Games appearances and countless elite-level regattas between the three of them, they will undoubtedly make their presence felt in the medal round.
Finishing a heartbreaking four points shy of qualifying for the medal race in the 150-boat fleet was Laser sailor Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.), despite an impressive 2nd place finish in the final race. “I was happy to finish strong, and am looking forward to improving for the important events later this year like the World Championships, Rio Olympic Test Event and the Pan American Games,” said Buckingham. The two-time College Sailor of the Year will also join his US Sailing Team Sperry teammates later this month at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères.
For Saturday’s medal race schedule, visit the event homepage: http://www.trofeoprincesasofia.org
Notable US Results, Overall: Day 5
Full Results: http://bit.ly/1absKiX
Finn Heavyweight Men (74 boats):
- Caleb Paine, 4th overall
470 Women (62 boats):
- Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha, 7th overall
Laser Radial Women (108 boats)
- Paige Railey, 9th overall
470 Men (75 boats):
- Stu McNay and Dave Hughes, 9th overall
Laser Men (150 boats):
- Charlie Buckingham, 11th overall (Final)
49erFX Women (40 boats)
- Paris Henken and Helena Scutt, 14th overall (Final)
Event Website: http://www.trofeoprincesasofia.org
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US Sailing Team Daily Reports: www.ussailing.org/olympics
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Photos (Daily): www.usst.photoshelter.com
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 sponsors 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