US Sailing Team: Medal Race Day at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2015


Pictured: Paige Railey, Laser Radial, competing in Saturday’s medal race.


January 31, 2015

Miami, Fla.- The US Sailing Team Sperry competed in medal races in five classes on Saturday, turning in strong performances on the final day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella. The conclusion of America’s premier Olympic and Paralympic classes regatta was highlighted by a nearly flawless medal race victory for the US Sailing Team Sperry’s Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) and the awarding of the prestigious Sunbrella Golden Torch Award (given to the top US performer at the event) to Sonar silver medalists Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine), the first Paralympic team to ever take home the prize.

“Today several US Sailing Team Sperry athletes showed some grit in the Medal Races, a strong cap to a  very competitive week in Miami,” said Josh Adams, Managing Director of US Olympic Sailing. “With the world’s best sailing on our home turf in Biscayne Bay, this event marked the first step in our team’s 2015 high-performance plan, which leads to peak performance at the Rio Test Event in August. Next up is a winter training period, advancing the process that moves the US Sailing Team Sperry closer to our performance goals in Rio 2016.”


Pictured: Railey wins the pin end of the line to start the medal race.

In the Laser Radial, Railey came out firing by decisively winning the pin end of the line. With an outside shot at making the podium, Railey needed to win the race and hope that her closest competitors would find themselves in the back of the pack. The Olympian, World Champion and ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year successfully controlled the left side of the racecourse up the first beat, but Irish competitor Annalise Murphy used a significant right wind shift to open up a lead of more than 15 boat lengths at the windward mark. Using excellent speed and shift anticipation, Railey reeled the leaders back in over the next two legs until finally taking the lead midway through the final downwind leg. While Railey finished 4th overall, just shy of a medal, she said there was plenty to be pleased about this week. “It was exciting to win the race, because I went into it with a slim chance at the medals, and that’s what I needed to do,” said Railey. “I wasn’t able to compete at the [most recent] Worlds in Santander because of an injury, so I’ve just been on the climb ever since then. To start the year off with a win at the [Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta] and to get 4th here means that I’m pretty excited.”

Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) finished 4th in the medal race, which boosted him two positions overall. “I had a tough start, but I picked a nice shift at the beginning to get myself back into the race,” said Buckingham, who rounded the first mark in second place, and finished the race in fourth place (and in seventh place overall). “I love medal races, and being a part of them. The top guys are there, and it is definitely a challenge. You really have to be at your best.”


Pictured: Charlie Buckingham, Laser.

Brad Funk (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and Trevor Burd (Marblehead, Mass.), who demonstrated themselves to be true game-time players last year when they secured a silver medal in the men’s 49er class during the medal race in Miami, did so once again at this edition of the event. While they were too far back on points this time to get on the podium, Funk and Burd took 2nd in the medal race, and jumped two spots to 7th overall.

In the women’s 470, Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha fought through injuries to put together yet another top-10 finish at the highest level of international sailing. “I would say that we accomplished most of our goals this week. With the injury I’ve been battling, we knew that we would face some setbacks on speed on the racecourse, so we tried to focus on things more in our control, like starting and communication,” said Haeger. “We had a tough medal race as well, but we fought back and passed a bunch of boats at the end. Briana is always the cheerleader in tough situations, and she keeps my head on straight. She keeps the attitude positive, which is super important.”

In the Finn Class, Caleb Paine finished 8th in the medal race and his overall position did not change. The world #2 ranked athlete in the men’s heavyweight dinghy class noted that his downwind speed hampered him slightly this week, and that it would be a primary focus of his training after the event.


Pictured: Caleb Paine, Finn.

An under-the-radar theme of this event for the US Olympic Sailing Program was the impressive showing of many of the top American sailors coming out of the youth development ranks. Standout performers included 18-year old Haddon Hughes (Houston, Texas) who barely missed the medal race in the Laser Radial and finished 11th at her first World Cup regatta. The 2014 ISAF Youth Worlds silver medalist recorded 6 single-digit finishes out of 9 races in the 79-boat fleet, showing maturity and skill well beyond her years.

2013 ISAF Youth Worlds 4th-place finisher Marion Lepert (Belmont, Calif.) led the women’s RS:X fleet after a windy and physical first day of the regatta, showing that her formative training on breezy San Francisco Bay had given her impressive speed in heavy conditions. 2014 ISAF Youth Worlds team member Luke Muller (Ft. Pierce, Fla.), sailing in his first Finn regatta after previously winning US Nationals in the Laser Standard and the US Sailing Youth Championships in the Laser Radial,* said that training with US Sailing Team Sperry athletes and coaches over the past year had been a life-changing experience. “I can clearly see what I need to do to get to the highest level,” said Muller, who qualified for the 2015 US Sailing Development Team at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami. “Sailing on this level, it takes all you have. And I know that if I stick with it I can be successful.”

*Correction: An earlier version of this release incorrectly stated that Muller won the US Sailing Youth Championships in the Laser Standard, which was actually won by Malcolm Lamphere (Lake Forest, Ill.) in 2014 and Mitchell Kiss (Holland, Mich.) in 2013. Muller won the Radial fleet in 2013.


Pictured: Haddon Hughes, Laser Radial.

Notable US Results, Overall: Final

Full Results:

Sonar (10 boats)
  • Rick Doerr, Brad Kendell and Hugh Freund, 2nd overall

Laser Radial Women (79 boats)

  • Paige Railey, 4th overall
  • Haddon Hughes, 11th overall

49er Men (54 boats)

  • Brad Funk and Trevor Burd, 7th overall

Laser Men (103 boats):

  • Charlie Buckingham, 7th overall

470 Women (30 boats):

  • Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha, 8th overall
2.4mR (17 boats)
  • John Ruf, 9th overall
  • Daniel Evans, 10th overall

Finn Heavyweight Men (40 boats):

  • Caleb Paine, 9th overall

RS:X Women (38 boards): 

  • Marion Lepert, 16th overall


US Sailing Team Sperry Report Archive: ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2015

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The Medalist Newsletter: Winter 2014/2015 Issue

The Medalist is out! Winter 2014/2015 Issue: Subscribe:

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Featured In This Issue:

  • Mid-Quad Measure
  • Sunbrella Arrives
  • Snapshots
  • Rising Tide: Two New Episodes!
  • Olympic Trials Q&A
  • Medals in Abu Dhabi
  • NYYC & SFNY Renew Support
  • Groupe Beneteau Joins the Team
  • Quotables from Social Media

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 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 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.