Preview: 470 World Championship & U.S. Olympic Team Selection


Pictured: McNay and Hughes, Men’s 470, US Sailing Team Sperry.


February 21, 2016

Portsmouth, R.I. –  The 470 Class World Championship (Feb. 22-27) will begin on Monday in San Isidro, Argentina, and will form the first half of the Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team Selection Series for American men’s and women’s 470 teams. US Sailing Team Sperry athletes have had a strong year of results in both fleets, and will aim for the podium this week.

While the start of the Olympic selection process stands as an important milestone for U.S. athletes, the six Americans competing in Argentina this week remain focussed on larger goals as well. “We continue to grow and excel as a team,” said David Hughes (Miami, Fla.). “That trajectory remains exciting, and we look to build on it not only at the Worlds, but ultimately, at the Olympic Games.”

The second and final 470 Olympic Team selection event will be the 2016 470 European Championships (April 5-12) in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The combined scores of the Worlds and Europeans will determine who will represent the United States in Rio 2016 in these two classes.

Haeger (left) and Provancha (right)

In the Women’s 470, the United States will be represented at the Worlds in San Isidro by two strong teams. Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) are coming off a second place finish at the South American Championship, the lead-up event to the Worlds in San Isidro.

Haeger and Provancha distinguished themselves in 2015 by winning the Rio Olympic Test in event, along with bronze at the 2015 470 Europeans. Haeger was recently named US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, and has previously won Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year. Provancha was a 2007 ISAF Youth World Champion.

Bolger (right) and Shevitz (left)

Sydney Bolger (Long Beach, Calif.) and Carly Shevitz (Santa Barbara, Calif.) have also been
sailing at a high level of late, as they took home wins at the Women’s 470 U.S. Nationals and 470 North Americans (as top N.A. female boat). Bolger is also a Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year.

See Also: Women’s 470 U.S. Olympic Team Selection Tracker

On the men’s side, Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and David Hughes (Miami, Fla.) have repeatedly proven themselves to be among the best teams in the world, and are aiming to top their career-best Worlds result (a 5th in 2014). McNay is a two-time Olympian in the 470 class, and after teaming up with Hughes in 2013, the pair immediately performed at a high level.

McNay (left) and Hughes (right)
McNay (left) and Hughes (right)

Highlight results for the pair include two top-ten performances at the 470 Worlds, and gold medals at the 2015 470 Europeans, 2015 Sailing World Cup Weymouth, and Sailing World

Cup Miami in both 2013 and 2016.

McNay and Hughes qualified the U.S. as a country for Rio 2016 at the 2014 Worlds in Santander, Spain. They are the only American men’s boat competing at the 2016 Worlds, and as a result are currently vying for Olympic selection unopposed.

All athletes named to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team are subject to approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC). For more information on the 2016 470 World Championships, visit the event website. 

See Also: Full U.S. Olympic Team Selection Tracker (All Classes)

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

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

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