US Sailing, the national governing body for the sport, has named 20 Olympic-class athletes to the 2018 US Sailing Team. The national team is selected annually and is comprised of the top sailors competing in the events selected for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The roster is assembled from a combination of sailors who qualified based on results at 2017 class world championships, the 2017 Aarhus Test Event, World Cup Series Miami USA 2018, and additional accomplished athletes who receive discretionary selection from the Chief of U.S. Olympic Sailing, two-time Olympic Champion Malcolm Page (Newport, R.I.). Through the US Sailing Team and its sponsors, athletes on the Olympic path receive financial, logistical, coaching, technical, fitness, marketing and communications support.
“This year is going to be crucial for our sailors as they pursue their Tokyo 2020 campaigns, with the first national Olympic Games qualifier regatta, the Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus 2018, fast approaching this August,” said Page. “The sailors on this list will proudly represent the United States at Aarhus and at other major events around the world, and work to achieve their own goals while also helping each other, our staff and our supporters build a stronger U.S. Olympic sailing program.”
For many athletes on the US Sailing Team, the pursuit of an Olympic medal represents a challenging journey on several levels; a chase for the podium means reaching for difficult physical, technological, financial and even psychological goals.
“I’m a big believer that you still have to conquer yourself,” said Rio 2016 Olympian and Nacra 17 athlete Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.). “You can’t end up on top of the podium unless you have full control of your mental state and you’ve pushed yourself to your limits physically.” Laser athlete Chris Barnard (Newport Beach, Calif.) added that the self-discovery aspect of campaigning for the Olympic Games is an essential, if often overlooked, part of being on the team. “Growing as a person [as I’ve trained], I’ve become more confident and aware each day of ‘this is how I operate,’” said Barnard.
For many athletes on the national team, an essential aspect of their desire to chase an Olympic medal comes from competing against the world’s best sailors. “This utmost respect for the playing field on which we compete makes sailing so incredible,” said 49er helmsman Judge Ryan (San Diego, Calif.).
2018 US SAILING TEAM: ROSTER
49er (Men’s Two-Person High Performance Skiff):
- Judge Ryan (San Diego, Calif.) and Hans Henken (Coronado, Calif.)
- Chris Rast (Holland, Mich.) and Trevor Burd (Marblehead, Mass.)
49erFX (Women’s Two-Person High Performance Skiff):
- Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wisc.) and Maggie Shea (Wilmette, Ill.)
Finn (Men’s One-Person Heavyweight Dinghy):
- Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.)
Laser (Men’s One-Person Dinghy):
- Chris Barnard (Newport Beach, Calif.)
- Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.)
Laser Radial (Women’s One-Person Dinghy):
- Erika Reineke (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)
- Haddon Hughes (Houston, Texas)
- Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
Men’s 470 (Men’s Two-Person Dinghy):
- Stuart McNay (Providence, R.I.) and David Hughes (Miami, Fla.)
Nacra 17 (Mixed Two-Person Multihull):
- Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.) and Louisa Chafee (Warwick, R.I.)
- Bora Gulari (Detroit, Mich.) and Helena Scutt (Kirkland, Wash.)
- Ravi Parent (Sarasota, Fla.) and Christina Persson (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)
- No Women’s 470, Men’s RS:X or Women’s RS:X athletes have been added to the 2018 US Sailing Team as of this announcement, though it is possible that others could be added later in the year.