FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., June 3, 2016 — Lauderdale Yacht Club (LYC) sailing alumnae and current LYC members, Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha, are on the ‘Road to Rio’ having secured their place to represent Team USA in the women’s 470 class at the 2016 Olympic Games Aug. 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Beginning in July 2015, Team USA’s best and brightest have been earning their Olympic berths in track and field, synchronized swimming, wrestling, table tennis and more. Haeger, along with partner Provancha, comprise the top women’s 470 boat in the U.S. and punched her ticket to Rio by earning the lowest combined score at the 470 World Championships and 470 Europeans. The duo won the Olympic test event in 2015, and was among the first 100 athletes to solidify their standing as part of Team USA.
Haeger, 26, and Provancha, 28, attended Boston College, where they excelled on the school’s sailing team, each helping to lead the Eagles to a multitude of Co-ed National Championship Titles. The pair was able to train sporadically while in school, but always had their sight set on the Games. Since going full time in September 2012, Haeger and Provancha have made waves on the international 470 circuit, winning last summer’s Pre-Olympic Championship Regatta in Rio by nipping out the British 2012 Gold Medal Winner from 2102. Now, Annie and Briana have one goal in mind and one goal only: To bring home the Gold for Team USA in 2016.
“We are so pleased for Annie and Briana’s incredible achievements,” said LYC Commodore Peter Commette, an Olympian himself. “From the Opti training boats at 7 or 8, to collegiate All-Americans, to the Olympics, no yacht club in in the country grooms them like we do at Lauderdale Yacht Club.”
Annie and Briana’s consistency of effort over the past three and a half years has led to consistent results. LYC has the same attitude and the same results with its world recognized sailors and sailing program, which is continuously reloading.
Annie and Briana are the fifth and sixth LYC Olympic Sailors; the club boasts two America’s Cup champions; and, in March of this year, the club achieved something no other club in the United States ever has. LYC members won the trifecta of the top yearly awards that the national governing body for sailing, the United States Sailing Association, presents annually to the country’s elite performing sailors.
Annie won the 2016 Women’s Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year for the incredible year she had in international competition; LYC member and Olympic Gold Medalist, Steve Benjamin, won the Men’s Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award; and Chris Williford won the Sportsmanship Award for overcoming an over two year battle with cancer and leading the St. Thomas Aquinas High School Sailing Team to the top combined spot in the nation, placing second in fleet racing and second in team racing, as well as excelling in a number of individual national and international events throughout the year.
“We take great pride in our Sailing Program and the caliber of all those who train with us and our coaches,” adds Commette. “We look forward to rooting on Annie and Briana as they compete for Olympic Gold in Rio.”