Portsmouth, R.I. – The last of seven regattas comprising the Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team Athlete Selection Series has concluded, and US Sailing has confirmed the names of the fifteen sailors who will represent the United States at the Olympic Games this coming August. The team hails from eight U.S. States and territories including California, Washington, Maryland, Michigan, Rhode Island, Florida, Wisconsin, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The finalization of the Olympic Team is the culmination of three and a half years of intense training and racing by dozens of America’s best sailors.
“An impressive effort was submitted by the entire fleet of U.S. sailors who competed in the Olympic Sailing Team Selection Series,” said Josh Adams, Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing. “It was an objective test of talent in a highly competitive field, and the athletes who ultimately won selection to the team had to earn it. The athletes selected to the team not only proved they belong in Rio, but this is a team of Olympic sailors Americans can be proud of.”
The US Sailing Team Sperry, the annually-selected national sailing team in Olympic classes, was one of the first teams to set up an extensive training operation at the 2016 sailing venue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In addition to competing at events around the world, American sailors have collectively logged hundreds of days of training at the Games venue in Rio since London 2012. With just over 100 days remaining until the Opening Ceremony, the newly-selected Team USA sailors will enter an even more focused phase of their training, overseen by two-time Olympic medalist and High Performance Director Charlie McKee (Bend, Ore.) and an experienced staff of coaches.
“U.S. sailors have been preparing for the Rio racecourses since early in the Olympic quad,” said Adams. “Now we enter the final stage of pre-Games training, which is critical to athlete success in Rio. Our team of athletes, coaches, technical experts and support staff are making every day count between now and the Olympic Games by focusing a comprehensive training effort on the field of play in Rio.”
The Rio 2016 team is a potent mix of young, hungry talent, and experienced veterans. Both 470 teams look strong heading into the summer, with 2015 Olympic Test Event victors Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) in the women’s fleet, and North American and Open European Champions Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) as the men’s representatives. McNay will earn the rare distinction of becoming a three-time Olympian.
World Champion, Rolex World Sailor of the Year, three-time Pan American Games medalist and US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) will make her second consecutive Olympic Games appearance. Railey and McNay will be the only returning members of the London 2012 sailing team.
The United States has won more medals in Olympic sailing than any other nation, with 59. The Games of the XXXI Olympiad will take place from August 5-21, 2016, and the sailing events will be based at Marina da Gloria on Rio de Janeiro’s harbor front. The largest sporting event in the world, the Olympic Games will feature approximately 10,500 athletes from over 200 countries competing in 306 medal events. The sailing events will feature up to 380 athletes competing in ten classes.
All nominations to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team are subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee.
Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team Roster
49er (Men’s Two-Person High Performance Skiff):
Thomas Barrows (St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.) and teammate Joe Morris (Annapolis, Md.) – For Barrows, this will be a second shot at the Olympic podium, having represented the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Laser class in 2008. Five-time U.S. National Champion and college sailing standout Morris will compete at his first career Olympics. 49erFX (Women’s Two-Person High Performance Skiff):
49er FX (Women’s Two-Person High Performance Skiff):
Paris Henken (Coronado, Calif.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.) – Rio 2016 will be the first Olympic Games appearances for both Henken and Scutt, who won bronze at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
Nacra 17 (Mixed Two-Person Multihull):
Bora Gulari (Detroit, Mich.) and Louisa Chafee (Warwick, R.I.) – Two-time Moth World Champion and 2009 US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Gulari will team up with college All-American Chafee in the first Olympic Games appearances for both.
Laser Radial (Women’s One-Person Dinghy):
Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) – Rio 2016 will be the second consecutive Olympics for Railey, a World Champion, Rolex World Sailor of the Year, three-time Pan American Games medalist and US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year.
Finn (Men’s One-Person Heavyweight Dinghy):
Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.) – Paine, a Sailing World Cup Series Champion, has been the top-ranked American Finn sailor since 2012, and will compete in his first career Olympics.
Laser (Men’s One-Person Dinghy):
Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) – The Laser North American Champion, Two-Time College Sailor of the Year and Toronto 2015 Pan American Games representative will sail at his first career Olympic Games.
Women’s RS:X (Women’s Board):
Marion Lepert (Belmont, Calif.) – Rio 2016 will be the first career Olympic Games for the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games bronze medalist, who also made the podium at the 2015 RS:X U21 European Championship and won the medal race at the top-level 2016 Trofeo Princesa Sofia regatta in Palma, Spain.
Men’s RS:X (Men’s Board):
Pedro Pascual (Miami, Fla.) – Pascual won the RS:ONE European Championship before making gold fleet at the 2016 RS:X Worlds, and will sail in his first career Olympics.
Women’s 470 (Women’s Two-Person Dinghy):
Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) – Winners of the 2015 Olympic Test Event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015 US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Haeger and Youth World Champion Provancha will make their first career Olympic Games appearances.
Men’s 470 (Men’s Two-Person Dinghy):
Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) – McNay will compete at his third consecutive Olympic Games, but his first with teammate Hughes. The veteran pair have compiled an impressive list of podium finishes at many of the world’s toughest dinghy regattas since January 2013.