Both Experienced and Untested U.S. Boats Excel In Unpredictable Miami


January 26, 2017

Miami, Fla. – World Cup Series Miami 2017, Presented by Sunbrella (January 22-29, 2017) saw shifty conditions return to Biscayne Bay, but the world-renowned sailing venue nevertheless yielded up a full day of exciting racing. Americans are battling inside the top ten overall in seven of ten Olympic classes, with one more day of full-fleet action on Friday before the medal races take place on Saturday and Sunday. Friday will also see the opening of the Regatta Park Fan Zone in Coconut Grove, Miami, which will bring world-class sailing to spectators on shore via a large video screen and expert commentary.

On Thursday, Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) moved up to 2nd place overall after winning the day with scores of 3,1 in the Men’s 470 fleet. “It was a gradient-type breeze battling the typical sea breeze [out on the racecourse], and that produced big shifts back and forth,” said McNay, a three-time Olympian who has won this event twice since teaming up with Hughes in late 2012. “Miami never ceases to keep things fresh by delivering unexpected conditions,”added McNay. The Americans are locked in a  close battle for the overall lead with Rio 2016 bronze medalists Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis of Greece.

In the Men’s Laser, U.S. Olympian Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) had a second consecutive day of quality results, and advanced from 6th overall to 4th in the deep 59-boat fleet. “I got a couple keepers today, even though the second race in particular was a bit crazy,” said the two-time College Sailor of the Year. “It got a bit haywire out there, and I had to fight back a few times.”

Pictured: Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.), Men’s 470. Photo: Jen Edney/US Sailing Team.

In the Nacra 17, Olympian Louisa Chafee (Warwick, R.I.) and helmsman Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.) notched a victory in the first of three races today, and kept their place inside the top ten overall. “On the race we won, Riley did a great job of noticing the [wind] pressure out on the left side of the first leg,” said Chafee. “We went pretty hard in that direction, and it paid off. We’ve only just reached double digits in terms of days sailing together, but we’re really happy with how it’s going, and we’re having fun.” Gibbs and Chafee are in 6th place overall after eight races in the two-person mixed multihull class.

In the Men’s 49er fleet, another new American team excelled in shifty breeze conditions on day three. David Liebenberg (Livermore, Calif.) and Ian MacDiarmid (Delray Beach, Fla.) recorded scores of 3,5,2 and shot up to 9th overall. “We were trying to focus on having our heads ‘out of the boat’ more, and sailing to the pressure we saw,” said Liebenberg. “Before this, we’d been focusing on speed and missing the shifts we needed to catch. Today, we tried to be proactive on the racecourse. For the three weeks we’ve been together, we’ve been working hard, including attending a US Sailing Team training camp here in Miami. That definitely helped today.”

Pictured: Olympian Louisa Chafee (Warwick, R.I.) and helmsman Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.), Nacra 17. Photo: Jen Edney/US Sailing Team

What’s Ahead

Six days of racing for the ten Olympic classes are scheduled to take place from January 24-29, with medal races scheduled for Saturday, January 28 and Sunday, January 29. Additionally, Sailing World Cup Miami 2017 will feature the debut of the Regatta Park Fan Zone, a new effort to bring as much sailing action as possible to fans watching from shore. Spectators will get to watch live TV coverage on a large video display, with an experienced commentary team led by U.S. Olympian and 2005 Sailing World Cup Miami champion Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis). The medal race video feed will also be available online on Saturday and Sunday on World Sailing’s Facebook and YouTube Channels.

Watch the Racing:


For sailing fans in Miami looking to take in all the action this coming weekend, Regatta Park is located at 3400 Pan American Drive in Miami, Florida.


Live tracking and competitor’s analytics is available via SAP Sailing Analytics throughout the event here.

Follow the US Sailing Team: Team Media Guide

Notable US Standings: Day 3

See Also: Full Standings & Race Replays

See Also:

About the US Sailing Team

The US Sailing Team 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 class are selected annually to be members of the US Sailing Team. US Sailing helps these elite athletes with financial, logistical, coaching, technical, fitness, marketing and communications support. For more information, please visit

About US Sailing

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. For more information, please visit

Contact: Will Ricketson, Communications Manager, US Sailing
Phone: +1 978 697 2384 (USA)