August 11 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team News

The Rio Report from US Sailing is your source for updates on the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team. Here's the latest from Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro.


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Team USA Rides Through Highs and Lows

Day 4 Report from Rio 2016.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - For the second consecutive day, conditions at the Rio 2016 Olympic sailing event were defined by high, steady breeze with large swells on the ocean racing areas, and flat water with unpredictable weather on the Guanabara Bay courses. Team USA athletes experienced a wide range of results and emotions, spanning from disappointment to elation to relief.

The team was paced by a doggedly effective performance from the Women's 470 duo of Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.), and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.), who fought through a pre-race serious breakdown in the first race, and unfavorable early positions in both races.

"The 470's had a course change this morning and went from [the interior] "Ponte" course to "Niteroi" [on the ocean]. You definitely plan to be [on the scheduled course], but the Olympics is all about adapting and being flexible," said Provancha, a Youth World Champion. "We did our best in 25-knot massive-wave sailing. It was a very full-on day, and it was awesome. It was what 470's are supposed to be raced in."

"In the first race our halyard lock failed with 15 seconds [left until] the start," said Provancha. "We were unable to start with the fleet, and were pretty far behind. We managed a 10th, and that was pretty awesome." Provancha explained that due to the failure, the head (top) of their mainsail was stuck about 1.5 feet down from its optimal position at the top of the mast, effectively "reefing" (reducing the size) of the main sail. "I think that was probably the best sailing the two of us have ever done, honestly," said Provancha.

In the second race, this time with their mainsail restored to its proper position, Haeger and Provancha again found themselves buried deep in the pack at the first mark after choosing an unfavorable course on the first leg. The Americans maintained their composure, steadily climbed through the fleet, and finished in 2nd. After four races, Haeger and Provancha sit in 6th overall, only six points from the lead.

Pictured: Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.), Women's 470.

Marion Lepert (Belmont, Calif.) once again showed flashes of elite speed on Thursday, finishing 6th in Race 7, before two mid-fleet scores placed her in 12th overall. Lepert will have an opportunity to fight for a medal race berth on Friday in the final day of full-fleet RS:X racing. "We had completely crazy conditions today," said Lepert. "I was racing on [the Escola] "Naval" course, next to the city, and the wind [direction] felt like a lottery. Some big changes in position were going on."

Echoing the reports of other sailors racing on Guanabara Bay courses today, weather unpredictability was a constant factor, said Lepert. "There was definitely no playbook today. In the past few days there were patterns, but today there were none, and it made it exciting because you never knew what was going to happen."

When asked about her strategy to finish strong, Lepert said that she wanted to leave Rio with nothing left in the tank. "It will depend on what kind of wind we have, but for me, [the strategy] is to give it my all, make every last race count, make every last beat count, and to make sure it's a really memorable experience." In the Men's RS:X fleet, Pedro Pascual (West Palm Beach, Fla.) finished with scores of 22, 26, 28 and stands in 30th overall.

Pictured: Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.), Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.), Men's 470.

In the Men's 470 fleet, Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.), Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) have had difficultly establishing positive momentum in the early stages of their event. The veteran pair, who have won several unofficial coaches regattas in Rio against the world's best, scored 8, 13 in two races on the physically taxing Niteroi course on Thursday. McNay and Hughes were forced to execute penalty turns in both races, hampering what had looked to be two strong performances.

Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.) crossed the finish line today in his two races in 14th and 2nd positions, which would have put him in 4th place overall. However, a protest against Paine in Race 6 resulted in a disqualification for the American, which dropped him from 4th to 15th overall.

Bora Gulari (Detroit, Mich.) and Louisa Chafee (Warwick, R.I.) experienced equipment problems that forced their retirement in two of the days' four races. "Bora's trapeze harness kept snapping where it attached to the mast," said Chafee. "It's not something you can quickly fix and go right back into the racing. You're done for the race." Despite the setback, Gulari and Chafee mentally regrouped, and submitted a 12th in Race 4, and an impressive 4th in Race 6. The American Nacra 17 team now sits in 16th overall.

Sailing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games will continue on Friday, August 12, which will see a return to action for the Laser Radial and Laser fleets, and Americans Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) and Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.).

U.S. Sailing Team Results:

Day 4: Wednesday August 11

Women's 470 (Top 10):

1. NZL - ALEH Jo / POWRIE Polly: 6


3. GBR - MILLS Hannah / CLARK Saskia: 11

4. FRA - LECOINTRE Camille / DEFRANCE Helene: 11

5. SLO - MRAK Tina / MACAROL Veronika: 11

6. USA - HAEGER Annie / PROVANCHA Briana: 12

7. NED - ZEGERS Afrodite / VAN VEEN Anneloes: 18

8. AUT - VADLAU Lara / OGAR Jolanta: 20

9. BRA - OLIVEIRA Fernanda / BARBACHAN Ana Luiza: 20


Women's Laser Radial: (No Racing on Thursday, August 11)

1. IRL - MURPHY Annalise: 19

2. DEN - RINDOM Anne-Marie: 20

3. NED - BOUWMEESTER Marit: 21

4. CHN - XU Lijia: 27

5. FIN - TENKANEN Tuula: 30.8

6. LTU - SCHEIDT Gintare: 34

7. USA - RAILEY Paige: 35

8. SWE - OLSSON Josefin: 40

9. CRO - MIHELIC Tina: 42

10. BEL- VAN ACKER Evi: 47

Men's 470: (Top 10)

1. CRO - FANTELA Sime / MARENIC Igor: 4

2. AUS - BELCHER Mathew / RYAN Will: 7

3. GRE - MANTIS Panagiotis / KAGIALIS Pavlos: 9

4. SWE - DAHLBERG Anton / BERGSTROM Fredrik: 14

5. FRA - BOUVET Sofian / MION Jeremie: 14

6. GBR - PATIENCE Luke / GRUBE Chris: 16

7. AUT - SCHMID Matthias / REICHSTAEDTER Florian: 18

8. SUI - BRAUCHLI Yannick / HAUSSER Romuald: 22

9. KOR - KIM Changju / KIM Jihoon: 25

10. USA - MCNAY Stuart / HUGHES Dave: 25

Women's RS:X:

12. USA - LEPERT, Marion: 92.9 points

Men's Finn:

15. USA - PAINE Caleb: 55

Men's Laser: (No Racing on Thursday, August 11)

15. USA - BUCKINGHAM, Charlie: 37 points

Mixed Nacra 17:

16. USA - GULARI Bora / CHAFEE Louisa: 23

Men's RS:X:

30. USA - PASCUAL, Pedro: 136 points

Viewing: Friday, August 12

Live coverage begins at 12:00 noon ET tomorrow online at NBC Olympics via the link below.

Classes Covered Live: Men’s 49er (Thomas Barrows and Joe Morris), Women’s RS:X (Marion Lepert) - NOTE: Classes subject to change.

UPDATE ON COMMENTARY: US Sailing has been informed that there may be a technical problem that will prevent NBC commentary from Gary Jobson and Randy Smyth from coming through on the Live video feed today, and possibly the next "several" days. However, the video footage itself should be unaffected. Furthermore, the MSNBC and CNBC daily sailing recap program (30 minutes duration) will broadcast as planned each evening. More updates to come.

The Rio Report


PRESS CONTACT: Will Ricketson, Press Officer / Communications Manager, +1 978 697 2384 (USA), +21 992 458 664

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