The Medalist U.S. Olympic Sailing News - February 2017

The Medalist newsletter is your source for updates on the US Olympic Sailing Program, the US Sailing Team and the Olympic Development Program (ODP). This is our path to the podium.


  • Training for Tokyo Begins
  • Racing Returns In Miami; McNay and Hughes (Men's 470) Dominant
  • Regatta Park Welcomes Sailing Fans in Miami
  • Paine, Moroz Named US Sailing’s 2016 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year
  • Team Leadership: Malcolm Page Begins Work as Chief of U.S. Olympic Sailing, Charlie McKee to Step Down

The Work Begins: Tokyo 2020 Olympic Quadrennium

Miami, Florida - (January, 2017) A few months after the end of racing at Rio 2016, US Sailing Team athletes and roster hopefuls gathered Miami for the first large-scale training camp of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic quadrennium.

"We just have the start of a great effort here in Miami. We now have a level of organization in our Olympic program that we haven't had in the past. Camps like these are the way to have continuity between quads. Here, we encourage new sailors to push old sailors." - Dave Ullman, 470 Coach and 3-time 470 World Champion
Dave Ullman and the Women's 470 group briefing in Miami, January 2017.
"When I was doing this, we went out and just tried to do what we thought would work. Usually it didn't. To have this knowledge available for our sailors now is incredible. And working together as a team and as a country is essential to becoming the best. This isn't about the individual right now. We all have to help each other." - Ed Baird, Multi-Class Coach and America's Cup Champion
Ed Baird (Left), helping to prep a 49er skiff in Miami.
US Sailing Team Camp - January 2017, Miami, Florida.

U.S. Olympians Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.), Men's 470

McNay and Hughes (USA) Claim 3rd Miami Gold

Miami, Fla. – The final five medal races were held at World Cup Series Miami 2017, Presented by Sunbrella (January 22-29, 2017) on Sunday, January 29, capping off a successful 28th year of North America’s premier Olympic classes regatta. U.S. Olympians Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) won their fourth Miami medal in the last five years, with three of those medals being gold. The veteran campaigners, who have reached the podium at top-level events more times than any other American team since 2012 once again led the US Sailing Team in the standings this week. Eight American boats competed in seven different medal races in Miami, and those sailors also became the first athletes to qualify for the 2017 US Sailing Team roster.

“We had a solid team performance this week in Miami, with eight teams making medal races, and I’m happy with what I saw out of our athletes,” said Malcolm Page (Newport, R.I.) the two-time Olympic champion who recently assumed the role of Chief of U.S. Olympic Sailing. “We have much work ahead of us as a team, but we clearly have a great foundation not only of talented sailors, but of collective hunger for improvement.”

McNay and Hughes entered Sunday’s Men’s 470 medal race with a narrow eight point lead over Rio 2016 bronze medalists Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis of Greece in the Men’s 470, and were 12 points over Tetsuya Isozaki and Akira Takayanagi of Japan. The Americans scored 5th in the medal race, which secured a four point overall victory, while the Japanese took silver and the Greeks bronze following a light and tricky contest on Biscayne Bay. McNay and Hughes were also the recipient of the Sunbrella Golden Torch Award, given to the top-performing American team in Miami each year.

Bringing Sailing To The Masses

Sailing World Cup Miami 2017 featured the debut of the Regatta Park Fan Zone, a new effort to bring as much sailing action as possible to fans watching from shore. Spectators were able to watch live TV coverage on a large video display, with an experienced commentary team led by U.S. Olympian and 2005 Sailing World Cup Miami champion Sally Barkow (Nashotah, Wis). The medal race video feed was also available online on Saturday and Sunday on World Sailing’s Facebook and YouTube Channels.

WATCH: American Sailors See Medal Race Action In Miami

Above: Watch Medal Race Day 1: RS:X, 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17

In the Nacra 17, Olympian Louisa Chafee (Warwick, R.I.) and helmsman Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.) qualified for the medal race, capping off an impressive performance for a team that lacked much experience together heading into this week. The U.S. was represented in the Men’s 49er medal race by David Liebenburg (Livermore, Calif.) and Ian MacDiarmid (Delray Beach, Fla.), who after a slow start to their event charged up the leaderboard to record four top-five scores in their last six races.

Above: Watch Medal Race Day 2: 470, Finn, Laser, Laser Radial

Finishing 4th overall in the Men’s heavyweight Finn class was Luke Muller (Ft. Pierce, Fla.), who moved up one spot in the standings with a solid 4th place finish in the double-points medal race. “This is certainly my best regatta in the Finn so far,” said Muller, a 2014 U.S. Youth Worlds Team member and current Stanford University student. Muller was one of Rio 2016 bronze medalist Caleb Paine’s (San Diego, Calif.) primary training partners in the lead up to the Olympic Games, which he said was an important step in his development.

Erika Reineke (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) finished 9th in the Laser Radial medal race, and remained in 7th overall. “I had two confident and successful upwind legs today, and some other good highlights this week,” said Reineke, who in 2016 had a career-best 6th place result at the Laser Radial World Championship. In the Men’s Laser, U.S. Olympian Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) finished 4th in the medal race, and also remained in 7th overall. “Considering how tactically hard it was this week, with many top guys carrying deep scores, I am pretty happy with how I sailed,” said the two-time College Sailor of the Year.

Women’s 470 sailors Atlantic Brugman (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Nora Brugman (Palo Alto, Calif.) were among the newest teams to compete in Miami this year, but nevertheless came away with a career-first medal race appearance and a solid 8th place final result. “We learned so much this week, and Nora and I owe a huge debt to [US Sailing Team 470 coach] Dave Ullman (Newport Beach, Calif.)," said Atlantic Brugman. “I can’t say enough about how great Dave was throughout this event, and the recent U.S. training camp in Miami. He kept us positive, while also wanting us to be feisty enough to push ourselves and the other teams.”

Paine, Moroz Named US Sailing’s 2016 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year

Olympic Bronze Medalist Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.) and IKA Formula Kite World Champion Daniela Moroz (Lafayette, Calif.) were selected as US Sailing’s 2016 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year.

This selection follows the announcement in December of the eight men and six women shortlisted for the award and recognized as sailing’s top performers of the year by US Sailing. A slate of nominees, determined by the membership of US Sailing, was presented to a panel of accomplished sailing journalists, who together discussed the merits of each nominee and individually voted to determine the ultimate winners.

Under immense pressure to return Team USA to the Olympic podium in sailing, Caleb Paine prevailed in an epic medal race to earn a bronze medal in the Finn class, the Men’s Heavyweight Dinghy at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In his first career Olympic Games, Paine led the medal race at every mark. He passed Croatia’s Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic in the overall standings to earn a place on the podium.

Malcolm Page (left) with U.S. Olympian Helena Scutt in Miami.

Malcolm Page Meets the Team

“The potential that I see in this team and in this country is quite evident. Everywhere I’ve looked, I’ve seen inquisitive faces, and have been impressed by the answers I’ve gotten when I’ve asked athletes and coaches about their plans and processes. The new system of youth development that was put in place two years ago, as well as the existing pool of national team talent, is impressive. We have a solid foundation to build on.” - Malcolm Page, two-time Olympic Champion and seven-time World Champion

Charlie McKee, High Performance Director, Steps Down

US Sailing has announced that following an annual review and resulting team reorganization, two-time Olympic medalist Charlie McKee (Bend, Ore.) will step down as High Performance Director for the US Sailing Team after working to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities. McKee has orchestrated the national team’s on-the-water performance initiatives and youth development strategy since assuming the role shortly after the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“It has been an honor to work with the team during the Rio quadrennium. There are so many dedicated and talented athletes, staff, and coaches who really came together in a cooperative spirit. I felt proud to be a part of it, and take particular pride in helping to get the ODP to where it is today in such a short period of time. I wish everyone great success going forward in trying to build from here for the future.” - Charlie McKee

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Photography in this issue of The Medalist is copyright US Sailing. Contributing photographers in this issue: Jen Edney and Will Ricketson.

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