Stuart McNay and David Hughes continued their quest for an Olympic medal in men’s 470 with a gold medal at the first ISAF Sailing World Cup of the year in Miami.
The ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami is the only world cup held in North America, and McNay and Hughes took full advantage of competing on their home waters, winning four of the week’s 11 races, including Saturday’s medal race, which was worth double the points.
McNay and Hughes ended the six-day event with 51 points overall, claiming gold to Greece’s Panagiotis Mantis and Pavios Kagialis (54) and Spain’s Onan Barreiros and Juan Carbelo Cabrera (73).
The win marked the third world cup victory for McNay, a two-time Olympian, and Hughes, who is aiming to make his first Olympic team this year. They won the Miami world cup three years ago, before returning to the top of the podium in Weymouth and Portland, England, in June 2015. The duo also won the 470 European Championships in June.
McNay and Hughes secured Team USA’s second medal of the week. On Friday, Charlie Rosenfield earned bronze in the Paralympic 2.4mR class.
Miami also served as the last chance for the U.S. to earn quota spots in three Olympic classes, as well as the first of two selection events for eight of the 10 Olympic classes.
Team USA was successful in earning quota spots for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in all three of those classes – 49er, 49erFX and men’s RS:X – and will be represented in all 10 classes in Rio.
U.S. athletes earn points based on their overall finishing position at each of the selection events. So, for example, an athlete who finishes fifth at the first event and third at the second earns a total of eight points. Then the athlete or team with the lowest number of points qualifies for the Olympic team.
Here’s a look at how the top three U.S. athletes per class finished in Miami and where they stand in the Olympic selection process heading into their second and final events:
Thomas Barrows and Joseph Morris – 13
Bradley Funk and Trevor Burd – 18
Judge Ryan and Hans Henken – 21
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt – 17
Emily Dellenbaugh and Elizabeth Barry – 18
Genevieve Tulloch and Maggie Shea – 31
Zach Railey – 5
Caleb Paine – 6
Luke Muller – 14
Charlie Buckingham – 16
Erik Bowers – 24
Henry Marshall – 39
Paige Railey – 7
Erika Reineke - 17
Lindsey Baab – 39
Bora Gulari and Louisa Chafee – 12
Mark Mendelblatt and Carolina Mendelblatt – 20
Stephanie Hudson and Dalton Tebo – 27
Pedro Pascual – 24
Carson Crain – 32
Raul Lopez – 34
Farrah Hall – 17
Marion Lepert – 19
Kathleen Tocke – 35
The 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 teams will wrap up their selection series first at the world championships, held Feb. 7-14 in Clearwater, Florida. Laser Radial selection ends with the Laser Radial Europeans, Feb. 26-March 5 in Grand Canaria, Spain, followed closely by Finn Europeans, March 5-12 in Barcelona, Spain to close out that class. Laser, RS:X men and RS:X women come to a close at Trofeo SAR Pricess Sofia, March 26-April 2 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
Selection for 470 men and 470 women begins at the 470 world championships, Feb. 20-27 in San Isidro, Argentina, and ends with 470 Europeans, April 5-12 in Palma de Mallorca.