Pictured: McNay and Hughes, Men’s 470. Photo: Will Ricketson/ US Sailing.
Hyéres, France – The US Sailing Team Sperry returns to ISAF Sailing World Cup action on Wednesday in Hyères, France, with nineteen Americans set to take on many of the best sailors in the world. With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games just over fifteen months away, all competitors at this level are focused on testing themselves against the highest level of competition.
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Looking to build on his 5th place performance against a similar fleet last month in Palma de Mallorca, Spain will be Finn sailor Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.), who also finished 5th in Hyéres last year. The 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final bronze medalist has accumulated a significant amount of experience training and racing in southern France since initiating his Olympic campaign, and he intends to put it to good use this week. “Hyéres is a tricky place to sail, with the wind shifting 180 degrees from one day to the next,” said Paine. “Good starts will be crucial to starting the event strong, and I need to keep my head out of the boat to get consistent results.”
Pictured: Caleb Paine, Finn class.
In the men’s 470 fleet, Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (San Diego, Calif.) are seen as strong contenders heading into the event. The veteran pair, who also medaled at last year’s ISAF World Cup Final, report that they are eager to get started. “We’re always excited to race here. Hyéres is a fantastic event, and is known for delivering good racing,” said Hughes. “We’ve just had an exceptional week of training in strong breeze. Even though this event is forecasted to be light, we try to remember that pre-event training is also training for all futures regattas. Building skills throughout the wind range is always our focus.”
Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) who with teammate Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) will be aiming to repeat their 2014 podium performance in Hyéres this week, said that it was easy to appreciate the welcoming nature of the regatta. “The whole town is very involved in this event, and it makes for a fun atmosphere,” said Provancha. “We’ve been building more speed since November, and we feel very prepared going into this event. We’re excited to race against the top 40 boats in the world.”
Pictured: Haeger and Provancha, Women’s 470.
Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) is set to take on the always-deep Laser Radial fleet, and sees this regatta as a highly useful step in her overall campaign plan.”I am definitely confident for this event, but I am also in this for the long haul,” said Railey. “I’m racing here to prepare myself mentally and physically for the end goal, which is a gold medal in Rio.”
Making his debut in the Paralympic 2.4mR class will be a notable name in the world of professional sailing, Dee Smith (Annapolis, Md.). The five-time world champion and veteran of America’s Cup and Whitbread (Volvo Ocean Race) campaigns has never competed in the venerable and highly competitive single-handed class before, but is certainly a name to watch this week.
US Competitors: ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyéres
Full Results: http://bit.ly/1DeM1HB
2.4mR Paralympic (Open)
- Dee Smith (Annapolis, Md.)
Finn Heavyweight Men:
- Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.)
- Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (San Diego, Calif.)
- Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.)
- Sydney Bolger (Long Beach, Calif.) and Carly Shevitz (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
Laser Radial Women
- Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
- Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.)
- Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.)
- Debbie Capozzi (Blue Point, N.Y.) and Maggie Shea (Chicago, Ill.)
- Brad Funk (Miami, Fla.) and Trevor Burd (Marblehead, Mass.)
- Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.)
Nacra 17 Mixed:
- Sarah Newberry (Miami, Fla.) and Matthew Whitehead (Panama City, Fla.)
Event Website: http://swc.ffvoile.com/swc2015gbr/
US Sailing Team Media Hub: http://ussailingteam.uberflip.com/
Live Updates: www.Twitter.com/USSailingTeam
Live Tracking: http://bit.ly/1GhntBa
Daily Reports: www.ussailing.org/olympics
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