McNay and Hughes Claim Gold at 470 Europeans in Denmark

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 4, 2015

Portsmouth, R.I. – 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. In the Women’s 470, Annie Haeger (East. Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) won yet another medal race against the top boats in the world, and secured a bronze medal. For both the US men’s and women’s teams, this was a standout result.

“This is definitely the biggest win of my 470 career,” said McNay, a two-time US Olympian (2008, 2012). ” The European Championships are on par with the World Championships in terms of difficulty and importance for all teams involved. We are honored to have won this regatta against such a strong field competitors.  Consistency is always hard in sailing, but we had it this week. We were able to correctly identify the priorities for each day, and pounce on opportunities as they came our way. Our coach, Morgan Reeser (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) deserves a lot of credit for keeping us on track over this six-day event.”

Morgan Reeser won an Olympic silver medal in this same class at the Barcelona 1992 games, and has been coaching McNay and Hughes since 2013. “The Europeans was a very challenging event,” said Reeser. “We had six days of racing, and only one of those days had stable wind. Stu and Dave were in either first or second overall from the first day, so they were always wearing a leader jersey, and they tried hard to defend their position. A disqualification in race four allowed them no room for error until the final race was completed. ”

In a similar fashion to their performance in Weymouth, the team relied on their strong abilities on the starting line to get ahead early. Reeser also expressed satisfaction in their general speed around the course.

McNay and Hughes have achieved a rapid rise through the international ranks of the Men’s 470 since joining forces after London 2012. “Although they have only been sailing together for three years, both are veteran 470 sailors, and have previously been part of the U.S. Olympic Team (McNay competed in 2008 and 2012, and Hughes was a team coach in 2012). They have worked hard to refine their sailing technique and decision making, always aspiring to reach the level of the Gold Medalist Australians.”

Making the win all the more inspiring was the apparent loss of teammate Trevor Moore (Miami, Fla.) right before the event began. Moore disappeared on a motorboat off Miami on June 25. “Trevor was one of Dave’s best friends and an athlete that he coached at the 2012 Olympics. We learned of Trevor’s disappearance when we arrived in Denmark. Stu and Dave struggled with stressful, sleepless nights thinking of Trevor during pre-event training. Once the championship began, they resolved to win the event in Trevor’s memory, as that would make Trevor truly proud.”

In the Women’s 470, Haeger and Provancha started the event slowly before making an impressive charge up the standings over the course of the week. “We just kept looking forward, and took things one day at a time,” said Provancha. “We are over the moon right now with this result. It’s a personal best for our team, and we’ve been working really hard with our coach, (three-time 470 World Champion) Dave Ullman (Newport Beach, Calif.). It’s always great to see that pay of, especially in medal races.”

Racing began at the 470 European Championships on June 27 and concluded on July 4, 2015. US Sailing Team Sperry 470 athletes will next be in action at the 2015 Rio Olympic Test Event (August 15-22) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

US STANDINGS: 470 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS 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

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

  • 3rd overall, Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.), US Sailing Team Sperry
  • 13th overall, Sydney Bolger (Long Beach, Calif.) and Carly Shevitz (Santa Barbara, Calif.), US Sailing Team Sperry

Full standings.

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Contact: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager, US Sailing. willricketson@ussailing.org, +1 (978) 697-2384.