OD news and an offshore drama—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 29 Apr 2013
Recent sailing headlines have been dominated by the ISAF Sailing World Cup, which just took place in Hyères, France. Here, international Olympic hopefuls arrived to speed check against the world’s best and also to represent their country on an extremely visible world stage. Racing concluded on Saturday, with U.S. athletes earning a respectable fourth-place finish in the Women’s 470 (Anne Haeger and Briana Provancha), a 13th in the Women’s 470 (this time by Sydney Bolger and Sarah Lihan), as well as a 15th in the 49er FX (Kristen Lane and Christine Neville) class.
2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Laser Radial Day 4 Thom Touw © http://www.thomtouw.com
'Obviously they’re out of the blocks in the quad having some strong performances both in individual races,' said Charlie McKee, US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider’s High Performance Director, about Haeger and Provancha). 'They’ve done three regattas here in Europe and they’ve done well in all three. There’s an example of a lot of hard work of training at home. They come here and are able to compete with the top people, so it’s encouraging for them and a credit to what they’ve done so far.'
While the week didn’t finish on the strongest note for the U.S.-flagged team, McKee is optimistic that the team’s overall course and direction are solid. 'It was a bit of a tough week for us as a team,' said McKee. 'We had some moments of strong performances, but overall it was a good reminder that we’re not really on top in many classes and we have quite a lot of work to do before we can deliver consistent performances on the international stage.'
The good news, says McKee, is that the team learned some important lessons on their recent European trip. 'People are ready to take those lessons and tailor their domestic training,' said McKee. 'We have to get faster and we have to get more consistent… Most important is that we are driving things from these experiences that are making us better.'
Get the full post-racing, multi-media debriefing from the ISAF Sailing World Cup, inside this issue.
Also in offshore news, U.S. Classe Mini sailor Jeff MacFarlane was rescued off the deck of his stricken craft by a Spanish Coast Guard helicopter during what was supposed to be a routine one thousand mile solo qualifier run for the Mini-Transat race. According to reports, MacFarlane was sailing in strong winds when his boat suffered catastrophic failure. The Spanish Coast Guard brought MacFarlane to a hospital on the Spanish island of Menorca, where he received treatment for multiple fractures to his left hand; MacFarlane’s Mini was later found and towed to shore.
'I am still determined to go forward with this campaign,' said MacFarlane. 'While I never want to go through this again, I do know that I am capable of survival. I also must thank the Spanish Coast Guard, the Hospital Mateu Orfila and especially the hospitality of Sarah and Jeff Davis. Finally I am heartened and amazed by the network of sailors and friends, led by my fiancée Laura Tillsley who through Facebook and Skype secured a ride from the hospital, a bed to sleep in and logistic assistance, which will result in my boat being on dry land in a matter of hours.'
Also inside, get the latest news from the 505 Worlds, the Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race, the Melges 32 Virgin Islands Sailing Series, and the PWA Surf World Cup Podersdorf.
And finally, don’t miss ace lensman Leighton O’Connor’s great image gallery from Boston Yacht Clubs’ Jackson Cup. Enjoy!
May the four winds blow you safely home,
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