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470 HELM STU MCNAY (USA) WINS J/80 WORLDS

06 Oct 2014

When not campaigning his 470 to Rio 2016, Stu McNay can often be found campaigning as a professional crew on a range of other classes.

The J/80 World Championships beckoned him to Eastport Yacht Club in Annapolis on the USA's east coast from 25 September to 4 October.

After three more races in shifty northwesterly winds and a strong ebb current, Massachusetts sailor Brian Keane and his Savasana team emerged the winners of the 2014 J/80 World Championship, sailed out of Eastport Yacht Club from Monday through Saturday.

After a relatively rough day on Friday, Keane had seen his previously commanding lead in the 32-boat fleet shrink drastically. The fleet left the dock yesterday morning with a mere eight point spread across the top four boats, but the Savasana team, including 470 Olympian Stu McNay and Canadian Olympic silver medalist Mike Wolfs along with veteran Chesapeake Bay sailor Ron Weed, pulled out finishes of 3-1-4 on Saturday to take the top spot in the series convincingly. Savasana finished the 16-race, one-throwout series with a margin of 16 points over the next closest in the standings, recent North Americans winner Terry Flynn and his Quantum Racing team out of Texas.

Before Saturday's racing, Keane said, "I have great confidence in our team, that we can go out and do it. We can't be worrying about other people, we have to take care of our business."

Take care of business they did. Although Savasana only won one race in the series – yesterday's second contest – and some speed bumps along the way with three finishes in the teens, the team racked up a lot of second-place finishes and kept the rest of the races at sixth or better to demonstrate consistent proficiency across a wide range of wind and water conditions in a highly competitive fleet to earn the championship.

"It was all about getting off the line and catching the first shift," Keane said, describing another day of tricky, shifting breeze and challenging wave and current conditions.

Finishing the series in third, a point behind Flynn's Quantum Racing, was Connecticut sailor Kerry Klingler and his Lifted crew, with J/World Annapolis owner Jahn Tihansky and the Le Tigre team in fourth overall as top local boat. Sailing with Tihansky, who also is head coach of the Naval Academy's Varsity Offshore Sailing Team, were Max Skelley, Karl Anderson, and Willem van Way. The Annapolis-based R80 team of Will and Marie Crump, Thomas Klok, and Chris Larson finished in fifth.

Although the leader board might look as if Keane and the Savasana team had dominated the event and run away with the title, that was not the case. Each of the races in the six-day series was hard-fought against a highly competitive group fellow racers as well as against challenging weather conditions ranging from connect-the-dots light and spotty air early in the series to yesterday's gusty, shifting wind and lumpy seas. The competition was very close and leads changed often in nearly every race.

After three more races in shifty northwesterly winds and a strong ebb current, Massachusetts sailor Brian Keane and his Savasana team emerged the winners of the 2014 J/80 World Championship, sailed out of Eastport Yacht Club from Monday through Saturday.

After a relatively rough day on Friday, Keane had seen his previously commanding lead in the 32-boat fleet shrink drastically. The fleet left the dock yesterday morning with a mere eight point spread across the top four boats, but the Savasana team, including former Olympians Stu McNay and Canadian silver medalist Mike Wolfs along with veteran Chesapeake Bay sailor Ron Weed, pulled out finishes of 3-1-4 on Saturday to take the top spot in the series convincingly. Savasana finished the 16-race, one-throwout series with a margin of 16 points over the next closest in the standings, recent North Americans winner Terry Flynn and his Quantum Racing team out of Texas.

Before Saturday's racing, Keane said, "I have great confidence in our team, that we can go out and do it. We can't be worrying about other people, we have to take care of our business."

- See more at: http://www.capitalgazette.com/sports/sailing_boating/ph-ac-cs-j80-wrap-100514-20141004,0,1771505.story#sthash.v5mgbcdQ.dpuf

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