U.S. sailors Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea entered Saturday’s 49erFX final looking up at the podium from fifth place. By the end of racing in Genoa, Italy, the duo had locked in their spot on the steps.
The women took third place at the Hempel World Cup Series stop in Genoa, wrapping up a week of racing in the city in which the wind was not always on the side of the sailors.
Finishing first was Odile Van Aanholt and Marieke Jongens of the Netherlands, who dominated particularly during mid-week racing and finished with 43 points. Italy’s Carlotta Omari and Matilda DiStefano took second with 47 points, and Roble and Shea finished with 53 points. With placements added together from each race, the lowest score wins.
Fifty boats began the competition in the 49er FX class, including U.S. teammates Paris Henken and Anna Tobias Tunnicliffe, who finished 21st. Tobias is the 2008 Olympic champion in Laser Radial and Henken is a 2016 Olympian in 49erFX.
Roble and Shea had a strong start in Genoa, finishing first in the first race of the week, and were just outside the top five going into the final fleet races of the series Friday. They moved up to fifth going into Saturday’s medal race, and then moved up to third after finishing second in each of the four laps on Saturday.
This was the first time Genoa hosted a world cup regatta.
Roble and Shea began racing the 49erFX together in the fall of 2016. They were ninth at the world cup stop in Miami earlier this year, their best world cup finish until this weekend. Last week, US Sailing announced Roble and Shea will be among the 17 sailors representing the U.S. at the Pan American Games this summer in Lima, Peru.