US Sailing Team Sperry athletes Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (San Diego, Calif.) have secured their second straight major international victory at the 2015 470 Class European Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. Following on the heels of their gold medal at ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland (UK) in June, the European title cements the veteran pair’s status as one of the top teams in the Men’s 470, the Olympic two-person dinghy.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2015
Portsmouth, R.I. – After winning the medal race in the Men’s 470 class at ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland, US Sailing Team Sperry athletes Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (San Diego, Calif.) claimed gold against the world’s best in the two-person Olympic dinghy. The five-day event was their second ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta victory of the Rio 2016 Olympic quadrennium, and was a strong demonstration of the skill and determination of these two veteran athletes. For McNay, it was also an dramatic return to the site of the London 2012 Olympic sailing competition.
“It feels great to win at the previous Olympic venue,” said McNay, a two-time US Olympian (Beijing 2008, London 2012). “We all left Weymouth in August 2012 feeling kicked in the teeth. It is rewarding when hard work starts to pay off.”
McNay noted that their rapid rise through the ranks of the 470 fleet is unusual for a relatively new team. “Dave and I have been able to raise our level surprisingly fast since we teamed up after the last Olympics. I attribute much of our success to the methodical approach of refining every detail of our program. Everything is considered, from daily amounts of rest to starting technique.”
Morgan Reeser (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) has coached McNay and Hughes since 2013, and is an Olympic silver medalist in the 470 class. Reeser also coached the British Men’s 470 team to a silver medal on this same racecourse in 2012, and was recently named US Sailing’s 2014 National Coach of the Year. He noted that the keys to the success of McNay and Hughes this week could be found in some surprisingly simple pre-event goals. “Stu and Dave have been very simply focused on starting accurately, and hitting the priorities for each race,” said Reeser. “The event had very different conditions and priorities each day. Their good starts and understanding of race course priorities transferred into excellent first weather mark roundings. This made for consistent results.”
For Hughes, an encouraging element of their program is the strong working relationship formed by the sailors and their coach.”The three of us have created a really comfortable and repeatable formula for learning and success,” said Hughes. “We’re excited to keep this pace throughout our upcoming events and, ultimately, the Olympics in Rio.”
North American Champion Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) took 5th overall in the Men’s Laser class at the event. Buckingham finished only seven points shy of podium position after a consistent week of racing. “I had good starts and speed this week, and for the most part made good decisions,” said Buckingham. “I left some points on the table here and there, but I’m happy with how things are going as I head into the Laser worlds, Pan Am Games and Rio Olympic Test event this summer.”
Working with Buckingham for the first time this week was three-time US Olympic medalist Mark Reynolds (San Diego, Calif.). “It was great working with Mark this week and hearing his thoughts on the racing given his vast experience,” said Buckingham. “I’m looking forward to more events together.”
In the Women’s 470, Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) won their medal race, but it was not enough to improve their position in 6th overall. However, after a slow start to their week of racing, the pair was happy to finish on a definite high note.”We never give up,” said Haeger. “Every day you sail, and every race you complete doesn’t have to dictate how you end up. You need to keep a fighting attitude and always look ahead.”
Racing began at ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth and Portland on Wednesday, June 10 and concluded on Sunday, June 14.
NOTABLE US STANDINGS: ISAF SAILING WORLD CUP WEYMOUTH AND PORTLAND 2015
Men’s 470 (Men’s Two-Person Dinghy):
- 1st overall, Stuart McNay (Providence, R.I.) and David Hughes (Miami, Fla.), US Sailing Team Sperry
Laser (Men’s One-Person Dinghy):
- 5th overall, Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.), US Sailing Team Sperry
Women’s 470 (Women’s Two-Person Dinghy):
- 6th overall, Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.), US Sailing Team Sperry
- 11th overall, Sydney Bolger (Long Beach, Calif.) and Carly Shevitz (Santa Barbara, Calif.), US Sailing Team Sperry
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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 www.ussailing.org/olympics
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 www.ussailing.org
About the ISAF Sailing World Cup
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The 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup will consist of five regattas for all ten Olympic events and where possible, Formula Kite Racing. Qualification places for the ISAF Sailing World Cup final are up for grabs at each event. The final will bring together the top 20 boats in each Olympic event and an Open Kiteboarding event where the World Cup Champions will be crowned.
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Contact: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager, US Sailing. email@example.com, +1 (978) 697-2384.
After a packed Fall season, which included J80 Worlds in Annapolis (Win aboard Savasana), the ISAF World Cup Grand Final in Abu Dhabi (3rd), the Copa de Brazil (2nd), and a lot of 470 training, we are now back in the 470. This year is a key time for Dave and me to make the gains in the 470 that we need to be ready for a medal (Gold) finish at 2016 Olympics.