Clearwater Worlds: USA 49ers Battle In Gold Fleet, Olympic Selection To Be Determined Sunday

Pictured: Thomas Barrows (St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.) and Joe Morris (Annapolis, Md.), 49er, US Sailing Team Sperry


February 13, 2016

Clearwater, Fla. – Strong winds and big waves returned to Clearwater, Florida on the penultimate day of the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships. Skiff sailors engaged in their first Gold Fleet races, and the the Nacra 17 fleet continued its full-fleet championship series. One more day of racing remains, with three Gold Fleet 49er races planned, three Gold Fleet 49erFX races, and one Nacra 17 race, with medal races to follow in all three classes.

U.S. Olympic Team selection will be determined in the men’s 49er and mixed Nacra 17 classes on Sunday, with the women’s 49erFX selection series already wrapped up by Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.), who have a chance to make tomorrow’s medal race.

SUNDAY: LIVE Video Coverage from Clearwater

49er and 49erFX racing will be brought to a worldwide sailing audience on Sunday, February 14 (Day 6) at the Worlds in Clearwater. Coverage will include onboard cameras, aerial footage, 3D graphics and expert commentary as the best skiff sailors in the world battle off Clearwater Beach. The first broadcast will begin at 12:00 noon EST, with skiff gold fleet racing and the Nacra 17 medal race. The second show is scheduled for 3:00PM EST, and will cover the 49er and 49erFX medal races. 

SEE ALSO: Team Tracker – Current Standings of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Sailing Teams Selection Series

49erFX (Women’s Two-Person High Performance Skiff)

Pictured: Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.), 49erFX, racing off Clearwater’s famous Pier 60.

Henken and Scutt have had little chance to celebrate their U.S. Olympic Team selection, as they remain locked in a tight battle for a medal race berth. Currently sitting in 11th overall, the pair will begin Sunday’s final Gold Fleet races just four points away from 10th place.

“I didn’t really sleep last night, although that huge iced tea I had around bedtime probably didn’t help,” noted Scutt, who along with Henken was inundated with messages from well-wishers after their Olympic selection. “Today was tough racing, though,” continued Scutt. “As soon as people rounded the top mark, they were battling for downwind sailing lanes and trying to hang on. We were pretty lit up in the big breeze and waves, and it was lots of work on the sheets.”
The pair had a dramatic moment before the start of the final race of the day, as they nearly collided at high speed with an Argentinian boat. “Paris almost got crushed, it was a bit scary,” said Scutt. “We escaped, but we lost our lane at the start and had to rack out. Paris had us go hard right, and it worked perfectly. When Paris gets one of her gut feelings, we generally go with it.”
Henken said their scored of 22, 11, 7 were satisfactory considering the tough conditions. “Throughout the day we did better and better. Wasn’t as wavy as at the beginning of the week, which made it a bit better to deal with.”

See Also: Henken & Scutt Earn U.S. Olympic Team Selection in the 49erFX

Tracker: 49erFX Class U.S. Olympic Team Selection Tracker

49er (Men’s Two-Person High Performance Skiff)

The 49er fleet sailed in the afternoon, after the conclusion of gold fleet 49erFX racing, and by then the breeze and waves had become more formidable. The US Sailing Team Sperry’s Thomas Barrows (St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.) and Joe Morris (Annapolis, Md.) had the better day of the two American boats, with scores of 7, 23, 16, and passed Judge Ryan (San Diego, Calif.) and Hans Henken (Coronado, Calif.) in the overall standings. Both teams are competing for U.S. Olympic Team selection this week, and by making gold fleet, are the only U.S. boats left in contention.
“We felt good coming out of the first race, and it seemed like we were going well,” said Barrows, a Beijing 2008 Olympian in the Laser. “We had a tough second race, though, and luckily we were able to pull out decent third. It was definitely challenging with all the waves.”
Based on the results in January’s Sailing World Cup Miami, the first of two Olympic selection events in the 49er, Ryan and Henken must beat Barrows and Morris by seven or more spots overall to win the Olympic berth. With three gold fleet races scheduled for Sunday, plus a medal race, and with the points being very close, there could be a dramatic conclusion in store.

Nacra 17 (Mixed Two-Person Multihull)


Pictured: Bora Gulari (Detroit, Mich.) and Louisa Chafee (Warwick, R.I.), Nacra 17, US Sailing Team Sperry

Michael Easton (Bedford, Mass.) and Katie Pettibone (Port Huron, Mich.) once again had the best race finish of the day by an American boat, taking 12th in Race 14. They now sit in 18th overall.

Bora Gulari (Detroit, Mich.) and Louisa Chafee (Warwick, R.I.) are in 29th, and continue to lead the U.S. Olympic selection series by virtue of their strong Sailing World Cup Miami results. To win selection, Mark and Carolina Mendelblatt (Miami, Fla.), currently in  27th, must beat Gulari/Chafee by seven spots, and Easton/Pettibone must be fifteen spots ahead. With one race remaining race scheduled in the full-fleet Nacra 17 series, Gulari and Chafee look to be in a strong position.

See Also: Nacra 17 Class U.S. Olympic Team Selection Tracker

Racing will continue on Day Six of the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championship in Clearwater, Florida, with medal races being held on Sunday, February 14, 2016.

USA Results: 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championship

Full Results

49erFX (Women’s Two-Person High Performance Skiff): 43 boats

  • 11th overall, Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.), US Sailing Team Sperry
  • 32nd overall, Genny Tulloch (San Francisco, Calif.) and Maggie Shea (Chicago, Ill.)
  • 40th overall, Emily Dellenbaugh (Easton, Conn.) and Elizabeth Barry (Riverside, Conn.), US Sailing Team Sperry

See Also: 49erFX Class U.S. Olympic Team Selection Tracker

49er (Men’s Two-Person High Performance Skiff):
 54 boats

  • 17th overall, Thomas Barrows (St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.) and Joe Morris (Annapolis, Md.), US Sailing Team Sperry
  • 24th overall, Judge Ryan (San Diego, Calif.) and Hans Henken (Coronado, Calif.)
  • 37th overall, Brad Funk (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Trevor Burd (Marblehead, Mass.), US Sailing Team Sperry
  • 48th overall, Fred Strammer (Nakomis, Fla.) and Mike Kuschner (Gloucester Point, Va.)
  • 40th overall, David Liebenberg (Livermore, Calif.) and Dan Morris (San Francisco, Calif.)
  • 53rd overall, Andrew and Matthew Mollerus (Rye, N.Y.)
  • 56th overall, Jonny Goldsberry & Chad Freitas
  • 63rd overall, Wade Waddell and Ian MacDiarmid
  • 64th overall, David Ames & P.J. Buhler

See Also: 49er Class U.S. Olympic Team Selection Tracker

Nacra 17 (Mixed Two-Person Multihull): 33 boats

  • 18th overall, Michael Easton (Bedford, Mass.) and Katie Pettibone (Port Huron, Mich.)
  • 27th overall, Mark Mendelblatt and Carolina Mendelblatt (Miami, Fla.)
  • 29th overall, Bora Gulari (Detroit, Mich.) and Louisa Chafee (Warwick, R.I.), US Sailing Team Sperry
  • 30th (tied) overall, Steph Hudson (Winnetka, Ill.) and Dalton Tebo (Sarasota, Fla.)
  • 32nd overall, Sarah Newberry (Miami, Fla.) and Matthew Whitehead (Panama City, Fla.), US Sailing Team Sperry
  • 39th overall, Jeremy Wilmot and Mayumi Roller
  • 43rd overall, Sandra Tartaglino and Charles MacBain

See Also: Nacra 17 Class U.S. Olympic Team Selection Tracker

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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

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