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USA Fighting for Rio 2016 Berths: IFDS Worlds Day 5 Report

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Pictured: Daniel Evans (Miami, Fla.), 2.4mR class, US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 22, 2014

Halifax, Nova Scotia – The IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship is closing in on a dramatic conclusion as teams from around the world race to win the first country berths awarded for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The United States will have a chance to qualify in all three classes (2.4mR, SKUD-18 and Sonar) during the final day of racing on Sunday, August 24. US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider Paralymic-class athletes have been training all year for this moment, and tomorrow will be the decisive day. There was plenty of action on the penultimate Day 5 of racing, as Halifax demonstrated once again why as a sailing venue it is so difficult to master, even for the world-class sailors gathered at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron this week.

The American 2.4mR contingent had a stellar day, recording six single-digit individual race scores in the 49-boat fleet. Paralympic medalist and Open World Champion John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wisc.) took a 4th in the final race to end the day in 7th overall. To qualify at this event for Rio 2016, the US needs to be one of the top 8 countries in this fleet, so Ruf remains in position to qualify the country. Ted Green (Newport, R.I.) recorded a 4th place finish, and The US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider’s Daniel Evans (Miami, Fla.) notched a pair of 6th place scores to jump up the standings.

In the SKUD-18, Ryan Porteous (San Diego, Calif.) and Cindy Walker (Portsmouth, R.I.) stayed in single-digits with a 7,9,6 scoreline today, which increased their lead over the Dutch team in 6th overall. Only five countries will qualify at this regatta for Rio 2016 in the SKUD-18, and Team Porteous/Walker will look to defend their 7-point advantage tomorrow. Sarah Everhart-Skeels (Tiverton, R.I.) and Gerry Tiernan (Falmouth, Maine) had their best day of the event with finishes of 8,6,5, showing that they are making steady gains this week. “Today was one of those tactical days where it felt like your head was exploding,” said Everhart-Skeels. “Sometimes you had to sail through 20-degree shifts because you knew they wouldn’t last. It’s a hard pace to sail because it’s so shifty, and another side effect of that is the extended wait time as [the race committee] continues to re-set courses. It’s hard to keep your focus.”

In the Sonar, the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider will have a tough fight on its hands during the final day of racing. The top-ranked American team of Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Tim Angle (Reading, Mass.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine) fell from 6th to 8th overall, and is now on the outside looking in as countries attempt to qualify for Rio 2016. Sailing on the course positioned the farthest outside of Halifax harbor, the Sonar fleet endured a continuous battle for supremacy between a northerly offshore breeze and the prevailing southerly sea breeze. This led to wild wind shifts during both races that did not treat the Americans kindly. Andrew Fisher (Greenwich, Ct.), Mike Hersey (Hyannis, Mass.) and Bradley Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.) stand in 11th, and said it was one of the hardest days of sailing they could remember. “It was a very difficult tactical day, with both the huge shifts and the up-and-down pressure,” said bowman Johnson. “This is one of the most challenging places we’ve sailed.” Main trimmer Hersey noted that “lanes evaporated in an instant, and it made good teamwork pretty important.”

Sunday will be the final day of racing. By tomorrow evening World Champions will be crowned, and the Paralympic sailing community will have a clearer picture of what the Rio 2016 regatta will look like.

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Pictured: US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider Sonars, Day 5

Rio 2016 Nation Qualification System Notes: The 2014 IFDS World Championship serves as the first nation qualifying event for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. A percentage of berths for Rio 2016 will be allocated based on final results at this event. The top 8 nations will qualify for The Games in the 2.4mR class, the top 5 nations in the SKUD-18 class, and the top 7 nations in the Sonar class. More information: http://www.sailing.org/37521.php

Racing at the 2014 IFDS Worlds will take place in Halifax from Tuesday, August 19, to Sunday, August 24.

Top US Results: 2014 IFDS World Championships, Day 5

2.4mR Class:

• 7th, John Ruf (Pewaukee, Wisc.)

• 14th, Ted Green (Newport, R.I.)

• 16th, Daniel Evans (Miami, Fla.)

SKUD-18 Class:

• 5th, Ryan Porteous (San Diego, Calif.) and Cindy Walker (Portsmouth, R.I.)

• 7th, Sarah Everhart-Skeels (Tiverton, R.I.) and Gerry Tiernan (Falmouth, Maine)

Sonar Class:

• 8th, Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Tim Angle (Reading, Mass.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine)

• 11th, Andrew Fisher (Greenwich, Ct.), Mike Hersey (Hyannis, Mass.) and Bradley Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.)

Event website:

http://www.ifdsworlds2014.ca

Results:

http://www.ifdsworlds2014.ca/view-results.html

Photos:

US Sailing Team photos from the IFDS World Championship are available here: http://bit.ly/1pW56do

For photo download password, email: willricketson@ussailing.org

Follow the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider:

www.twitter.com/ussailingteam

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www.instagram.com/ussailingteam

RSVP Today for the Golden Spinnaker Regatta and Gala, September 27th: 

Come sail with the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider in Newport, Rhode Island at New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court! Enjoy cocktails, dinner and an auction for items such as a VIP trip to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and Olympic flags signed by the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Teams. – See more at: http://www.ussailing.org/gsr2014

About the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider

The US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider 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 Top-Sider. 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 Top-Sider; other sponsors include Harken and Team McLube. 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 Top-Sider training centers. Chubb Personal Insurance sponsors US Sailing’s National Team Tour, a nationwide presentation program for US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider athletes.

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 Top-Sider. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org

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Press contact: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager, US Sailing. willricketson@ussailing.org, +1 978 697 2384

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