Harken Derm

Gaining confidence toward Tokyo 2020

Published on February 4th, 2019

For 30 years, Olympic campaigners have been coming to South Florida to train and test their skills during the quadrennial cycle toward the Games. The four-stage 2018-19 Hempel World Cup Series, which began in Japan and concludes in Europe, held its second event January 29-February 3 in Miami, Florida.

“This is a significant event for the United States,” said Malcolm Page, Chief of U.S. Olympic Sailing. “It’s hugely advantageous to have this our backyard, and to have international athletes coming to train in our backyard is hugely cost effective.

“The next generation know about this event, and they can come compete in this event if they’re lucky enough to get an entry. They can come measure themselves against the world’s best. This allows them to get a taste of where the level is. I think it’s an integral part of sailing within the U.S.”

More than 650 sailors from 60 nations raced on the waters of Biscayne Bay, with 18 countries claiming at least one medal across the 10 Olympic events. The most were three from Brazil, China, and Germany.

Among the North American contingent, the Mexican team began strong in the RS:X windsurfer events before slipping, whereas Canada fell short of the podium but saw Tom Ramshaw getting fourth in the Finn and Sarah Douglas finishing tenth in the Laser Radial. For the USA, they finished in the top 10 in seven of the events.

The Olympic superpowers of Australia, Great Britain, and New Zealand claimed two medals each, which matched the host USA with Paige Railey gaining silver in the Laser Radial and Luke Muller earning bronze in the Finn.

“The team performance is way up,” said Page. “We know our athletes have the talent, but they don’t always have that confidence to do it at the world championship level. We always said that 2019 had to be our year to achieve that. It’s only just begun, and we’ve had a great week. We didn’t have these results [last year], but we’re still far from our potential.”

 

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