The last day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca saw both US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider 470 teams compete in medal races in light and unsteady conditions. Reserved for the top ten overall competitors in each class, medal races present a different set of challenges to sailors who compete in much larger fleets during the qualifying rounds of World Cup events.
The women's team of Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) had the earlier start, and racing commenced in flat seas and less than eight knots of wind. 'Today and basically this whole regatta we've seen super weird weather,' said Haeger. 'We felt it was quite challenging to get in tune with everything. In general, we had a 'positive delta,' meaning every mark rounding we were looking to gain some points.' Provancha noted that the former college teammates had a strong skill set for small-fleet racing before they entered the 470 class.
'Medal races are awesome. They are a lot like college sailing, with close quarters and [tight] positioning, and you get to be a little more aggressive. A lot happens on the starting line.' Haeger and Provancha won the pin end of the line, and led the fleet for the first half of the race. After a close battle on the final two legs, Haeger and Provancha were caught by the 2012 Olympic gold and silver medal-winning teams from New Zealand and Great Britain, and finished third.
In the men's fleet, 2008 and 2012 Olympian Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and David Hughes (Miami, Fla.) were happy to gain entry into the medal race after a dramatic rally on Friday, capped by a second place finish in the final gold fleet race. 'We knew the points would be close, but we truly just attacked that racecourse as we would any other,' said Hughes. The veteran 470 crew noted that at times this week they had trouble finding their top-end speed, as the wildly inconsistent conditions from day to day challenged athletes in this highly technical class. 'If you are a bit off the pace, you can have a good regatta, but not the regatta you need to win the event,' said Hughes. 'Our finishes were fairly consistent, yet I felt very inconsistent around the racecourse. We'd like to raise our top-end,' noted McNay.
In the medal race itself, the pair looked to be in a strong position off the starting line, and attempted to work up the right side of the course on the first beat. Unfortunately, the pressure filled in on the left side, allowing the bulk of the fleet to cross in front. Nevertheless, a seventh place finish in the medal race allowed McNay and Hughes to improve their event result by one position, up to ninth overall. Notable US Overall Results, Final:
470 Men (78 boats):
- Ninth overall, Stuart McNay (Providence, R.I.) and David Hughes (Miami, Fla.), US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider
(No racing on day four) 470 Women (47 boats):
- Fifth overall, Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.), US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider
(No racing on day four) 49er (79 boats):
- 32nd overall, Brad Funk (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and Trevor Burd (Marblehead, Mass.), US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider
- 39th overall, Thomas Barrows (St. Thomas, USVI) and Joe Morris (Annapolis, Md.), US Sailing Development Team
(No racing for 49er silver fleet on day four) 49erFX (50 boats):
- 19th overall, Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.), US Sailing Development Team Finn (92 boats):
-11th overall, Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.), US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider Laser (144 boats):
- 22nd overall, Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.)?, US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider Nacra 17 (73 boats):
- 17th overall, Sarah Newberry (Miami, Fla.) and John Casey (Longwood, Fla.), US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider
RS:X Women (56 boards)
- 32nd overall, Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.), US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider Click here
for full results US Sailing Team