US Sailing Team Report: Day 1, ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2015

Day 1 of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2015

Pictured: Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.), Laser class, Day 1.


January 26, 2015

Miami, Fla. – The first day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, America’s premier Olympic and Paralympic classes regatta, featured the full range of what sailing in Miami has to offer. Over 850 sailors enjoyed strong breeze for the duration of the day, in addition to a brief but powerful rainstorm.

Leading the way for the US Sailing Team Sperry was Marion Lepert (Belmont, Calif.), who is in 1st place in the Women’s RS:X fleet after two windy and physical races. Lepert earned an impressive 4,1 scoreline in what many described as “survival” conditions on Biscayne Bay for much of the day. The San Francisco Bay area native was 4th at the 2013 ISAF Youth World Championship, and since then has been working hard at translating her youth success to the Olympic level. “I really felt at home today in the strong breeze, it felt just like home in San Francisco,” said Lepert. “It was special to get my first World Cup race win. However, I know I need to take this event one day at a time, and keep myself focused.”

Olympian and defending ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami champion Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) persevered through the effects of a recent injury to notch an impressive 3,3 scoreline on day 1. “I’m super happy with my performance today, because it’s been such a tough road to get here,” said Railey. “A couple of weeks ago I had trouble physically lifting any kind of weight. My body feels better, and we are definitely making strides forward.”

Day 1 of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2015

Pictured: A powerful rainstorm bears down on the fleet at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2015.

Also turning in a standout performance was 18-year-old 2014 ISAF Youth Worlds silver medalist Haddon Hughes (Houston, Texas.). In the first race of her debut World Cup regatta, Hughes rounded the first windward mark of Race 1 leading the entire Radial fleet. “It was a great moment for me to round first, a real chance for me to show what I can do,” said Hughes. “After working with [US Sailing Team Sperry coach] Mark Littlejohn so much this year, I’ve learned a huge amount about speed.”

Littlejohn, a multiple Olympic medal-winning coach, expressed pride in his athletes after the opening races. “Paige has worked hard on heavy weather sailing, and although we still have much to do, it’s great to see the fixes happening on things we’ve been working on. Haddon had a very impressive debut today. She’s coming off of her Youth Worlds medal, and got 9th in her first race on this level. After that, she fixed what she didn’t do well initially, and improved to 2nd in race two. Very impressive.”

The men’s laser fleet was hit hard by the rainstorm, with many competitors ending up capsized. The top US Sailing Team Sperry performer was 2013 Miami medalist Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.). “We had a very strange wind direction today, which made it super tricky,” said Buckingham. “Never raced in Miami when the breeze was like that, and it got really unstable.” Buckingham, who won the US Sailing Team Sperry’s “2014 All-Fitness Award” for his standout conditioning efforts,  added that “I definitely enjoy racing in big breeze. Today was one of those days where you need to try to just survive with two decent scores.”

Day 1 of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2015

Pictured: Stuart McNay (Providence, R.I.) and David Hughes (San Diego, Calif.) drag race against 2014 World Champions Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (Australia). 

In the men’s 470 fleet, Stuart McNay (Providence, R.I.) and David Hughes (San Diego, Calif.), the world ranked #4 team, opened the event with an up-and-down performance. “We were a bit off our usual mental calibration, and were peppered with some boat issues that only big-breeze sailing could reveal,” said Hughes. “[We had] great moments in both races with single-digit mark roundings, though we simply didn’t capitalize well.”


Notable US Results, Overall: Day 1

Full Results:

RS:X Women: 

  • Marion Lepert, 1st overall

Laser Radial Women

  • Paige Railey, 4th overall
  • Haddon Hughes, 7th overall
Sonar (10 boats)
  • Rick Doerr, Brad Kendell and Hugh Freund, 3rd overall

2.4mR (17 boats)

  • Daniel Evans, 5th overall

470 Women (30 boats):

  • Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha, 10th overall

Laser Men (103 boats):

  • Charlie Buckingham, 10th overall
  • Chris Barnard, 21st overall
  • Derick Vranizan, 26th overall

470 Men (42 boats):

  • Stuart McNay and David Hughes, 16th overall

49er Men (54 boats)

  • David Liebenburg and Daniel Morris, 16th overall
  • Brad Funk and Trevor Burd, 19th 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 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 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 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. 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 Top-Sider. For more information, please visit

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