The Medalist U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Sailing - Issue No. 5 Spring 2015

The Medalist newsletter is your source for updates on the US Olympic and Paralympic sailing program and the national team, the US Sailing Team Sperry. This is our path to the podium.


  • Progress on the Water: Recent Racing Overview
  • 2015 US Sailing Team Sperry Roster Announced
  • Olympic Development Renewed: The New ODP
  • Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Update
  • Next for The Team: Summer Schedule
  • Snapshots from the Campaign Trail
  • Gear Up at the New Team Store
Paige Railey (Laser Radial) on her way to a Medal Race win in Miami. Photo: Jen Edney.

Recap: Winter & Spring Racing

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella

Miami, Fla.- The US Sailing Team Sperry competed in medal races in five classes, 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.

Caleb Paine (Finn) was the top U.S. performer in Palma.

Trofeo Princesa Sofia - Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Palma de Mallorca, Spain – The US Sailing Team Sperry finished in the top ten in four classes at the 2015 Trofeo Princesa Sofía, an event that attracted over 1,200 olympic-class sailors from 65 countries. The 46-year-old regatta was a notable stop on the team’s European racing circuit, with competitor berths for the 2015 Rio Olympic Test Event being awarded based on the combined results of US athletes at the 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, and the 2015 Trofeo Princesa Sofía. However, the US national team was also in Palma to compete against the world’s best. “We had a few performances that represent good steps forward, and a few disappointments,” said Charlie McKee, High Performance Director of the US Sailing Team Sperry. “Overall, we feel that the team is on a good path but there is much more to be done before we can get on the podium in Rio."

Charlie Buckingham (right, Laser) won the Medal Race in France.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Hyères, France

Hyères, France – After competing on medal race day at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères, the US Sailing Team Sperry finished with four boats in the top eight overall. All American athletes sailing on Sunday finished in the top half of their medal race, with the highlight being a wire-to-wire medal race victory in heavy air by top-ranked US Laser Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.). A global TV audience was able to watch the medal races live via ISAF and ESPN3, bringing high-performance Olympic sailing directly to tens of thousands of fans.

2015 U.S. Sailing Team SPerry Announced

New Year, Familiar Faces

With less than 500 days remaining until the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, US Sailing, the national governing body for the sport, named 42 Olympic and Paralympic class athletes to the 2015 US Sailing Team Sperry. The US national sailing team is selected annually and is comprised of the top sailors competing in the events selected for Rio 2016. Olympic class athletes qualified for the team at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander, Spain, and at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, in January 2015. Paralympic class athletes qualified in Miami as well. Through the US Sailing Team Sperry and its sponsors, athletes on the Olympic and Paralympic path receive financial, logistical, coaching, technical, fitness, marketing and communications support.

ISAF Youth Worlds medalists Quinn Wilson, Haddon Hughes and Riley Gibbs. Photo by Yvette Eenkema.

Olympic Development Revitalized

Following an unprecedented $5 million donation by theAmericaOne Foundation, US Sailing has begun implementing a new-look Olympic Development Program (ODP), guided by its Project Pipeline strategic initiative. Starting in March 2015, promising American youth sailors will begin to receive world-class coaching support from the program in high-performance classes.

"We are excited to launch a completely revamped Olympic Development Program here in the U.S." - Josh Adams

"With the help of AmericaOne and other generous donors, we are excited to launch a completely revamped Olympic Development Program here in the US, and provide significantly improved training to youth athletes looking to increase their high-performance skills." - Josh Adams, Managing Director of US Olympic Sailing

Youth Worlds medalists and Rio 2016 hopefuls Haeger and Provancha, Women's 470.

"We need to help driven youth sailors transition into high-performance boats, provide them with clear pathways in the sport of sailing and get them the best possible coaching," Said Adams. "Through the ODP, we will give dedicated youth athletes in the US a level of support that was previously unattainable. The ODP will strive to establish a culture of excellence with the highest standards while serving as the top level of youth training in the US.”

Working in conjunction with the major American youth sailing institutions, classes and events already in place, the ODP will help guide the way for motivated sailors who are ready and looking to successfully transition from important skill-building classes like the Optimist, Sabot, Techno 293 and Club 420 into high-performance classes.

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The Effort continues to return sailing to the paralympic games

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Update

The following is a statement from US Sailing, the national governing body for sailing, on the recent update from the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) regarding the decision by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to not include sailing at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games:

“We are highly disappointed to hear that the IPC has confirmed their decision not to include sailing at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. We believe that sailing is one of the best sports available to disabled athletes worldwide, and we will continue to champion its future inclusion in the Games, assisting ISAF on future reinstatement efforts—for Tokyo 2020 (should the opportunity arise), 2024 and beyond. The sailors who have competed for the United States in the Paralympics, eleven of whom returned with hard-won medals, are heroes in our sport. US Sailing will work hard to ensure that others will have the opportunity to join their ranks in the future.

Olympic Racecourse, RIo

What's Next for the Team?

  • June 8-14: ISAF Sailing World Cup Weymouth & Portland - Weymouth, UK
  • July 10-26: Pan American Games - Toronto, Canada
  • August 15-22: Olympic Test Event - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


From the campaign trail.

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella - Images by Jen Edney/US Sailing Team Sperry
Palma and Hyères - Images by Will Ricketson/US Sailing Team Sperry
A recent team fundraiser at San Diego Yacht Club brought together current athletes and Olympic legends. From left: Chris Barnard, Paris Henken, Pam Healy (bronze, 470), JJ Fetter (silver and bronze, 470), Caleb Paine, Lowell North (gold and bronze, Star and Dragon), Mark Reynolds (2 golds and a silver, Star), Annie Haeger, Briana Provancha, and Helena Scutt.
Team 1 Newport is the new home of the online team store. Click below to shop.

Team Media Guide

PRESS CONTACT: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager -, (401) 683-0800

COMMERCIAL INQUIRIES: Martha Pitt, Commercial Manager -, (401) 683-0800


Photography in this issue of The Medalist was created by and is copyright © Will Ricketson/US Sailing Team Sperry, unless otherwise credited.

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US Sailing Team Sperry

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