ISAF Worlds, Day 3: USA Tied for Lead in Men’s 470, 2nd Overall In Laser

2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 3

Pictured: Stu McNay and Dave Hughes, Men’s 470.


September 14, 2014

Santander, Spain – Day 3 of the ISAF Sailing World Championships brought another solid day of results for the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider, with American sailors ending the day tied for the lead in the men’s 470 fleet, second overall in the men’s Laser, and threatening the leaders in the women’s Laser Radial.

In the men’s 470, Stuart McNay (Providence, R.I.) and David Hughes (San Diego, Calif.) won the opening race on the first day of the split-division qualifying series, a feat they accomplished for the second straight year. “We’re stoked to have won both of our openers together now,” said Hughes, who raced in his first Worlds with McNay last year. The US boat crossed the finish line with a substantial lead on the rest of the fleet in light conditions, but when asked about whether he felt satisfied with the wide margin, Hughes stated that “Though rewarding, distance doesn’t matter. It’s all the same on the scorecard.” With a breeze-shortened day only allowing for one race to be completed, McNay and Hughes concluded Sunday as regatta co-leaders with France’s Bouvet and Mion, who won the second division’s only race. The pair finished in 6th overall at the 2013 470 class World Championship in La Rochelle, France, and they will look to improve on that career-best finish in Santander. 

In the Laser, Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) again enjoyed a strong day, moving into second overall in the 147-boat fleet. The US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider athlete took second place in the only race held on the first day of gold fleet action. “I’m psyched to be in the top 3, since it’s my first time [being in that position] at the Worlds,” said Buckingham. He noted that in the light breeze, a good start was key for him today. “Getting off the [starting] line clean has been a focus for me this year, and it’s been going well in Santander. It’s pretty difficult do in this fleet.”

2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 2

Pictured: Charlie Buckingham, Laser. Photo: Mick Anderson

Chris Barnard (Newport Beach, Calif.) continued his run of consistency by scoring a 13th in the Laser gold fleet. While the race represented his lowest score so far, Barnard was happy to record yet another finish in the top group. “The conditions are constantly changing out there, and there are few passing lanes,” said Barnard, who moved up to 11th overall. 

Another notable accomplishment of US Laser sailors partway through Santander 2014 was the qualification of the United States for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. 50% of the country berths for Rio 2016 will be awarded in all classes at this event, and in the Laser class that amounted to 23 available berths. With 24 nations qualifying for gold fleet, and with 2016 host nation Brazil receiving an automatic berth at the Olympics Games, the remaining 23 nations, including the US, qualified for Rio.

In the Laser Radial fleet, Erika Reineke (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) finished 5th in her only race, and is now in 6th overall. With only five points separating Reineke from 3rd place in the tightly packed fleet, she remains very much in the hunt. “It’s starting to get exciting,” noted her coach, Mark Littlejohn (Auckland, New Zealand). Reineke’s best finish at a Laser Radial Worlds came in 2012, when she finished 8th. Reineke also won the ISAF Youth World Championship title in 2010.

2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 2

Pictured: Erika Reineke, Laser Radial.

The women’s 470 class saw their first races of the regatta on Sunday, with the American  team of Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) looking to cap a strong year of international results with a peak performance in Santander. That effort met with some resistance in the first race, with Haeger and Provancha finishing 14th before rebounding with a 7th in race 2. “A current error cost us a bit, but we are putting it behind us and looking forward to the rest f the event,” said Provancha. 

The other US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider boat, Sydney Bolger (Long Beach, Calif.) and Carly Shevitz (Santa Barbara, Calif.), also endured a tough first race before finishing 6th in race 2. “We have been working hard on both our setup and technique all year, and we’re happy with our speed,” said Bolger. “Working with Fuzz (Team Technical Director Grant Spanhake) and our coach Dave Ullman has been instrumental.” Shevitz noted that they felt well prepared for the light breeze. “We saw today’s conditions a couple of days ago during a long tuning session with our coaches, so we feel pretty comfortable.”

On day 4 of the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships, the action will expand significantly as four classes, the Nacra 17, the 49er, the 49erFX and the Finn will begin racing. Full schedule:

Notable US Results (Overall), Day 2:

470 Men (73 boats):

  • 1st (tied), Stuart McNay and David Hughes, US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider

Laser Men (147 boats):

  • 2nd, Charlie Buckingham, US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider
  • 11th, Chris Barnard, US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider
  • 24th, Erik Bowers, US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider

Laser Radial Women (120 boats):

  • 6th, Erika Reineke, US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider

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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.

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