US Sailing Team Sperry Begins Racing in Palma


March 30, 2015

Palma de Mallorca, Spain – Day 1 of the 2015 Trofeo Princesa Sofía brought a memorable mix of long delays on some courses and survival conditions on others. High winds flowed down onto the bay through the mountains surrounding Palma, and impacted the racing areas in unpredictable ways. Overall, Day One presented continuous challenges to over 1,200 of the world’s best Olympic-class sailors and the US Sailing Team Sperry.

Pictured: Paris Henken and Helena Scutt, 49erFX, sailing in Palma. Photo: Will Ricketson/US Sailing

“We just had crazy conditions today,” said 2012 Olympian and Laser Radial World Champion Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.). “A girl just 100 feet from me could be in 25 knots, and I could be in about 4 knots. The puffs were really extreme.” Railey added that the strong puffs wrought havoc across the fleet. “It was about survival out there. We had auto-tacking, boats breaking, contact, and flipping. I capsized in the first race, then submarined (submerged the hull), and got hit by another boat. In between races was the toughest though, and just trying to keep your boat safe. These are the conditions where you just know you’re going to mess up your gear, and there’s not much you can do to stop it.” Haddon Hughes (Houston, Texas), the 2014 ISAF Youth Worlds Laser Radial silver medalist, had similar recollections on the day. “A 35 knot puff came through and just took me out in the first race,” said the Texan and high school senior, who suffered a broken outhaul.


Pictured: Sarah Newberry (Miami, Fla.) and Matthew Whitehead (Panama City, Fla.) battling big waves in Palma, Day 1. Photo: Will Ricketson/US Sailing

In the Men’s Laser, Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) and the rest of the fleet endured an extended on-the-water delay as the race committee attempted to start a fair race. In the end, only one race was completed, but Buckingham made the most of the opportunity. “I got a 6th, which I felt was a good race. It’s tough to get back in race mode after you just sit out there for half the day. I did what I needed to do, and am looking forward to tomorrow.”

Also starting strong was the Women’s 49erFX team of Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.), who sit in 7th overall with scores of 3 and 7. “In race one we had a terrible start but stayed resilient, clawing our way back in smartly using lots of shifts and catching some waves downwind,” said Scutt. “In race two, we won the start but a poor strategical decision cost us a lot. We continued to fight and earned another good finish.”

Racing continues tomorrow on Day 2 of the 2015 Trofeo Princesa Sofía.

Notable US Results, Overall: Day 1

Full Results: 

49erFX Women (40 boats)

  • Paris Henken and Helena Scutt, 7th overall

Laser Radial Women (108 boats)

  • Paige Railey, 11th overall

470 Women (62 boats):

  • Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha, 11th overall

Finn Heavyweight Men (74 boats):

  • Caleb Paine, 14th overall

470 Men (75 boats):

  • Stu McNay and Dave Hughes, 17th overall

Laser Men (150 boats):

  • Charlie Buckingham, 16th overall

49er Men (71 boats)

  • Brad Funk and Trevor Burd, 25th overall

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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.