SAIL Olympics Update: U.S. dinghy and Skiff Crews Still in Contention

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Although the first wave of U.S. sailors won’t be seeing any medals at the 2016 Olympic sailing regatta, those sailors racing in the classes that started on Day 3 and Day 5 of the regatta still have plenty of life in them. Specifically, at the close of six days of racing, no U.S. sailor will be making it to the medal races in the Laser, Finn or RS:X men’s and women’s classes. However, U.S. crews in the two-person dinghy and skiff classes are very much in play for a podium position. After a poor Day 5, Laser Radial sailor Paige Railey will also advance to the medal round.

Perhaps most impressive are young skiff sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt in the new 49erFX class. On a fresh, sunny day on Rio’s Guanabara Bay, the duo bounced back from a disappointing 14th in the first race to finish 5, 1 and 4 in the next three leaving them in 9th overall with plenty of racing to go. Tomorrow is a rest day for the 49erFX class, but they’ll be plenty busy competing in another half-dozen races on Monday and Tuesday in anticipation of Thursday’s medal race.

Railey just managed to make the cut for the medal round by finishing 4th in the last of the preliminary races. Unfortunately, a disappointing run in which she finished in the mid-20s in three races in a row means she is, in essence, out of the run for any kind of a medal. Her overall record in the regatta is: 12, 2, 9, 21, 2, 7, 25, 24, 25, 4.

In the Nacra 17 after a rough start that included no less than two retirements, Bora Gulari and Lousia Chafee have been coming on strong, finishing 4, 9, 2, 8 in the last four races, which has vaulted them into 12th overall. A strong three races on Sunday should see them in the medal round as well.

“Consistency is a crucial way to win in Olympic sailing,” said U.S. team managing director Josh Adams. “It’ actually been really difficult here. You look at some of the classes and there are some real up and down scores.”

Today was a rest day for the men’s and women’s 470 classes, so they remain where they were at close of day yesterday, with Anne Haeger and Briana Provancha in 4th overall and Stuart Mcnay and David Hughes in 8th. Both teams have three races on Sunday followed by two more races on Monday, giving them ample opportunity to position themselves for a shot at the podium in the medal round on Wednesday.

For complete results in the sailing events, click here.

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