SAILING: BC Sailers Qualify For Olympic Team
Published: Sunday, February 10, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 10, 2013 12:02
Traveling to Miami recently, site of the International Sailing Federation’s only World Cup event in North America, one Boston College sailor and two recently graduated Eagles hoped to earn their spots on the United States National Sailing Team. Success in Miami would potentially mean a chance to compete in Rio De Janiero during the 2016 Games; gaining a spot on the US Team is the first crucial step toward competing in the Olympics.
During each of the races, the top two American boats from each class qualify for the national team. Though the team of Annie Haegerand Briana Provancha, a duo of graduated Eagles, would face injury along the way, and despite freshman sailor Erika Reineke facing the second largest fleet in the event, both boats ultimately earned spots.
After winning multiple national championships during their time at BC, the duo of Haeger and Provancha now has their Olympic dreams to fulfill. Race after race during the two-person 470 event at the World Cup, Haeger and Provancha finished in the top 10. Everything was going well until the windy conditions that the team was facing during the penultimate race of the event resulted in Haeger dislocating her knee. Due to the injury, the team was forced to sit out the final event of the race, yet their score of 90.00 points was enough to finish as the number one American team and secure their spot on the national roster. Overall, Haeger and Provancha finished in fifth place, with the only boats ahead of them being one from Brazil, two from China, and one from Austria.
Also in competition was Reineke, who was competing in Laser Radial, a singlehanded boat competition. In the early races of the event, Reineke was able to put together her best races, including a third place finish in race five, as well as a fifth place finish in race four. Reineke was racing in the second largest fleet of the event, one that included several Olympic sailors, but her earlier finishes as well as sixth place finishes in races six and fourteen would be enough to secure her spot on the US Team. Reineke finished with 70.00 points overall after her 15 races, which locked her in at second place in American competition and sixth place in international competition.
Going forward, Reineke will be back competing for BC, looking to help defend the 2012 national title that both Haeger and Provancha played an instrumental part in winning. She intends to continue racing in Europe’s World Cup events with the rest of the American team later on during the spring and summer. Meanwhile, the graduated Eagles will use this spring as a chance to recover from Miami and to keep on racing. This spring, Haeger will use her time to rehab her dislocated knee in hopes of rejoining Provoncha, Reineke, and the rest of the US team for the European tour.