470 Europeans: Bronze for McNay & Hughes As Olympic Contenders Square Off


Pictured: Stu McNay and Dave Hughes, Men’s 470, US Sailing Team Sperry, shortly after the medal race in Palma.


April 12, 2016

Palma de Mallorca, Spain – The 2016 470 Class European Championship (April 7-12) have concluded in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and for the second consecutive year, the US Sailing Team Sperry’s Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) secured a spot on the podium at this prestigious international event. With the conclusion of the Europeans, which served as the second and final U.S. Olympic Team selection event, McNay and Hughes also confirmed their place on Team USA for Rio 2016. 

“We are stoked to walk away with a medal at a major championship,” said Hughes, who won the 2015 edition of the 470 Europeans with McNay. The final day of racing featured a tactically difficult medal race characterized by light wind, which saw several lead changes.

Heading into the race in 3rd overall and close on points to the silver medal spot, McNay and Hughes’ position in the double-points medal race ranged from second at the first mark, to 6th at the second-to-last mark. A final position of 4th place left them tied on points with the reigning World Champions, Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic of Croatia. The American pair won the tiebreaker, and with it the bronze medals of the Open 470 European Championship.


“Our campaign for the Olympics is in a great spot,” said McNay, who will become one of a select few three-time Olympians in August. “The wounds that we had this week were self-inflicted, and we are confident we can improve. To take home our fifth medal of 2016 feels good, and we always enjoy gaining more experience at playing this game.”

SEE ALSO: McNay and Hughes (Men’s 470) Earn Selection to Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team

So far in 2016, McNay and Hughes have picked up medals at Sailing World Cup Miami (gold), Palma’s Trofeo Princesa Sofia (silver), 470 North Americans (gold), 470 U.S. Nationals (gold) and now 470 Europeans (bronze). The top-performing US Sailing Team Sperry men’s pair may be having a nice run of success of late, but there is little opportunity to rest on one’s laurels at the highest levels of the sport.

“I’m glad we finished out the regatta,” said Barcelona 1992 silver medalist Morgan Reeser (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), who has coached McNay and Hughes since 2013. “Stu and Dave are still just scratching their potential. Whenever they reach that potential, they consistently win races.” McNay and Hughes won three of the event’s twelve races, tying the top Australian team for the most “bullets.”

Picking up gold at the 2016 Men’s 470 Europeans were the multiple World Champions Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan of Australia, with Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion of France taking home silver.


Pictured: Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha, Women’s 470, cross close behind 2016 European Champions Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar of Austria during the medal race.

In the women’s 470 fleet, Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) finished in the same position they held prior to the medal race, which was just shy of the podium in 4th place. Haeger and Provancha nearly repeated their bronze medal performance of the 2015 Europeans, and also earned Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team selection in the process.

“I think we handled the pressure well at this event,” said Provancha. “To finish strong here even though it was an Olympic selection event is a big confidence booster as we get closer to Rio. The fleet is at its highest level yet, and the racing is quite difficult.”

Winning the Women’s 470 Europeans were Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar of Austria, with Aphrodite Kyranakou and Anneloes Van Even (The Netherlands) and Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Barbachan (Brazil) rounding out the podium.

The 470 Class European Championship ran from April 7-12 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. All athletes selected by US Sailing for the Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team are subject to approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC).

Final USA Results:

Men’s 470: 69 boats

Women’s 470: 57 boats

Full Results

Note: This year’s Europeans served as the second and final U.S. Olympic Sailing Team selection event in the Men’s and Women’s 470 classes.

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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 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 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

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

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