From French Mistral winds in the 30s to bobbing around in postponement and everything in between, Hyères tested competitors with a wide range of challenges during the 54th edition of Semaine Olympique Française. Daniela Moroz, of Lafayette, Calif., brought home a silver medal for the US Sailing Team in the Women’s Formula Kite and two more classes finished off their selection procedures for the 2023 Olympic Test Event and Pan American Games. Stephanie Roble, of East Troy, Wis., and Maggie Shea, of Wilmette, Ill., will represent the US in the 49erFX, and Sarah Newberry Moore, of Miami, Fla., and David Liebenberg, of Richmond, Calif., will compete in the Nacra 17 July 7-16 on the future Paris 2024 waters and in Santiago, Chile October 20-November 5.
The Trofeo Princesa Sofía was the first time in Daniela Moroz’s kitefoil career that she entered semifinals instead of advancing straight to finals and finished outside the podium. Moroz faced her second career semifinals this week in Hyères and fought her way through an epic comeback from 5th to 2nd. She kept spectators on their toes as she won the two Semifinal races she needed to advance to Finals, won the first Finals race, and chased the one last race win she needed to win the event. France’s Lauriane Nolot came away with the Gold after securing the only race win she needed to win the event, and Jessie Kampman, of France, rounded out the podium in third.
“I knew I was capable of delivering under pressure and I’m really proud of how I finished Semifinals and Finals to take home the silver medal this week,” said Moroz. “It was stressful and intense but I had a solid plan with my team and was able to execute my strategy in the racing. This week was long and hard with a lot of ups and downs and I struggled with consistency but to be able to put it all together on Finals day and end on a high note felt really good.”
“French Olympic Week is a step closer to the Olympic Test Event and the Pan Am Games,” said Newberry Moore after officially locking in the Nacra 17 spot with her partner, David Liebenberg. “Over the last 6 months we’ve diligently chipped away at weaknesses that became apparent to us in training camps and in regattas. French Olympic Week 2023 was the first time we’ve sailed inside the top 10 in the world at a World Cup regatta. We went into the Medal Race with the potential to be on the podium which is an incredible achievement and an indication of how our hard work has begun to pay off. We know that growth is not linear, but we are very excited to see the evidence of it. We’re really looking forward to representing the US at the Olympic Test Event in Marseille this summer.”
The 49er FX battle for the Test Event and Pan American Games spots came down to Steph Roble and Maggie Shea and Paris Henken and Anna Tunnicliffe Tobias – two teams of qualified, seasoned Olympians. Roble and Shea came out on top with 13 points between the Trofeo Princesa Sofía and French Olympic Week regattas, an 11-point lead over Henken and Tunnicliffe Tobias with 24 points.
“We had super challenging conditions on the front end of the week with the Mistral winds and then again at the end of the week with light wind,” said Roble. “We had a lot of fun learning throughout the week and working on our processes. We qualified for the Medal Race in a good position and unfortunately had a tough race and weren’t very quick upwind. We finished 10th in the race which put us in 8th overall, but the big goal was to focus on qualifying for the Olympic Test Event, which we’re happy to have achieved.”
Next, many US Sailing Team athletes make their way to Marseille or The Hague, The Netherlands for training on Olympic and World Championship waters, respectively.
Final USA Results:
Women’s Formula Kite
2nd: Daniela Moroz, US Sailing Team
7th: Sarah Newberry Moore & David Liebenberg, US Sailing Team
7th: Ian Barrows & Hans Henken, US Sailing Team
10th: Andrew Mollerus & Ian MacDiarmid, US Sailing Tem
16th: Nevin Snow & Mac Agnese
8th: Stephanie Roble, Tokyo 2020 & Maggie Shea, Tokyo 2020, US Sailing Team
9th: Paris Henken, Rio 2016 & Anna Tunnicliffe Tobias, Beijing 2008 and London 2012
Men’s Formula Kite
7th: Markus Edegran, US Sailing Team
20th: Kai Calder, US Sailing Team
37th: Evan Heffernan
57th: Noah Runciman
70th: Casey Brown
77th: Adam Keaton
11th: Dominique Stater, US Sailing Team
18th: Bryn Muller
22nd: Charlotte Rose, US Sailing Team
33rd: Christina Sakellaris
36th: Lilly Myers
56th: Hallie Schiffman
52nd: Ford McCann
108th: Daniel Escudero