Rio Olympic Test Event (Sailing): Americans Railey and Buckingham Aiming for Podium On Friday


27147740 ©Onne van der Wal / Sea&Co /OSM . NEW YORK CITY - NEW YORK- USA. 1st June 2014. Start of IMOCA OCEAN MASTERS NY-BCN Race ( 3700NM), double handed sailing race.
Pictured: Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), Laser Radial, is three points out of the lead heading into the medal race.


August 20, 2015

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – The stage has been set at the 2015 Rio Olympic Test Event, and US Sailing Team Sperry athletes will begin competing in medal races tomorrow (Friday, August 21). American sailors Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) and Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) are both in position to challenge for a medal in the Laser Radial and Laser classes, respectively. Additional medal races for the Men’s 470, Women’s 470 and Finn will take place on Saturday.

The Laser Radial class is poised to see a thrilling medal race tomorrow in the shadow of Rio’s iconic Sugarloaf Mountain, and London 2012 Olympian Paige Railey  is facing a high-stakes battle for the podium. Entering the medal race, Railey sits in third place overall, three points from the leader Gintare Scheidt of Lithuania and one point behind Belgian Olympic bronze medalist Evi van Acker. “I’m very exited to be in this position,” said Railey. “Tomorrow it’s going to be ‘who beats who’ for the medals. However, the Finnish boat in fourth place is nipping at our heels.” One of the challenging parts of competing in a double-points medal race, said Railey, is keeping track of the points situation as it evolves. “[Coach Mark Littlejohn] and I have multiple plans for different scenarios. The goal first of all is to medal. The secondary goal is to win gold.” Railey will rely on her extensive experience at this venue, which stretches back to her gold-medal-winning performance at the 2007 Pan American Games, to go for the podium on Friday. “I love the medal race course here, but the level of tactical difficulty depends mostly on how much wind we get. If we get more wind, it’s all about boat speed. Light air would be much more tactical.”

27147735 ©Onne van der Wal / Sea&Co /OSM . NEW YORK CITY - NEW YORK- USA. 1st June 2014. Start of IMOCA OCEAN MASTERS NY-BCN Race ( 3700NM), double handed sailing race.

Pictured: Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.), Men’s Laser.

After a slow start to his week, Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) has made an impressive charge up the standings in the Men’s Laser class over the past six days. The North American Champion and two-time College Sailor of the Year heads into the medal race in 6th overall and only eight points away from 3rd. “In the beginning of the week I made a couple of big errors, but I got more conservative, and started letting the other guys around me make the mistakes after that,” said Buckingham, who jumped from 9th overall to 6th today. “I have a chance for a medal tomorrow, and I’m going to go for it. All if this is valuable experience leading up to the actual thing a year from now. I’m fortunate for the opportunity, and can’t wait.”

In the Women’s 470, Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) entered the day with the overall lead. Despite a strong 3,3,7 showing in three races, the American pair dropped to second overall behind the resurgent British team of Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark, Olympic silver medalists in London 2012. “We tried to just minimize potential problems,” said Provancha, the crew. “You never know what you’re going to get here in Rio in terms of wind. The next race could always throw you something different, and the best way to deal with that is to keep an open mind.” With two races to go before the medal race on Saturday, the numbers game is already in full swing. “We are starting to think about the scores at this point,” said Provancha. “We’re trying to win the regatta, and in a tight battle with the British at the moment. It’s good that our ‘drop race’ is lower than theirs, since a lot can happen on the inner-harbor course we will use tomorrow.”

27147730 ©Onne van der Wal / Sea&Co /OSM . NEW YORK CITY - NEW YORK- USA. 1st June 2014. Start of IMOCA OCEAN MASTERS NY-BCN Race ( 3700NM), double handed sailing race.

Pictured: Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.), Women’s 470.

The Men’s 470 team of  Stuart McNay (Providence, R.I.) and David Hughes (Miami, Fla.) had their toughest day of the event so far, with scores of 12,10,8 moving them from 2nd overall to 6th. Nevertheless, the 2015 European Champions are only six points out of bronze medal position with two races left before the Men’s 470 medal race on Saturday. “Conditions were tricky today, but we made some errors,” said McNay. “It can be hard to to quickly adapt in this fleet. We are a little frustrated for sure. We were not resilient enough today, but we’re still in a position to challenge for the podium.”

2015 Olympic Test Event, USA Results:

Full Results

Women’s 470 (Women’s Two-Person Dinghy):

  • 2nd overall, Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.)

Laser Radial (Women’s One-Person Dinghy):

  • 3rd overall, Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)

Men’s 470 (Men’s Two-Person Dinghy):

  • 6th overall, Stuart McNay (Providence, R.I.) and David Hughes (Miami, Fla.)

Laser (Men’s One-Person Dinghy):

  • 6th overall, Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.)

Finn (Men’s One-Person Heavyweight Dinghy):

  • 15th overall, Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.)

Nacra 17 (Mixed Two-Person Multihull):  Final

  • 16th overall, Sarah Newberry (Miami, Fla.) and Matthew Whitehead (Panama City, Fla.)

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

  • 16th overall, Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.)

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

  • 18th overall, Brad Funk (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Trevor Burd (Marblehead, Mass.)

Women’s RS:X (Women’s Board):

  • 19th overall, Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.)

Men’s RS:X (Men’s Board):


  • 24th overall, Carson Crain (Houston, Texas)

Rio Olympic Test Event Reports

The Medalist Newsletter: US Olympic and Paralympic Sailing News

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