Harken Derm

Showing up each day to grow

Published on July 14th, 2019

While success at the Olympic level requires years of commitment to rise to the top, an open field for the USA in the Women’s Two Person Dinghy event has allowed a late start by 2017 United States Coast Guard Academy graduate Nikki Barnes along with Lara Dallman-Weiss to be in the mix.

They will ultimately be fighting it out with the sister teams of Atlantic and Nora Brugman and Carmen and Emma Cowles to represent the USA at Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but for now Barnes and Dallman-Weiss hold the slight edge. Here is their latest update:


We are now off to Japan for three regattas and our first look at the 2020 Olympic sailing venue. But before we left, while at St. Francis Yacht Club for a sendoff dinner with some of our mentors, one of them reminded us that success comes from experience.

And what an incredible year we have had. After just three months together, we sailed the 2018 470 World Championship in Denmark where we discovered what level our competitors were at and took note of where we needed to be. That fall we returned home and became US National Champions.

The 2019 spring European season was a compilation of a lot of small experiences that, when put together, transformed our sailing as a team. We spent a lot of time failing, learning, failing again, and learning again. And through all the racing and training camps, coach Robby Bisi was there to help us find the fastest or most efficient solutions through the roadblocks.

Some of what we are most proud of is our heavy air boat speed around the entire course, the newfound ability to make quick transitions with our eyes out of the boat focused on the racecourse, and our synchronization as a team. In April, we qualified for the Olympic Test Event this August and will proudly be the one US women’s 470 team selected to compete.

We have been incredibly lucky to have the support of the US Coast Guard, not only to allow Nikki to train full time, but the USCGA Alumni Association has opened an Elite Athlete branch of their 501(c)3 for us to accept tax-deductible donations. We have raised enough funds in the past year to purchase two boats (the one we race in Europe and her sister-ship in Japan), and to travel and compete in Europe for four months.

Where would we be without our Perfect Vision Sailing team?

This team includes our parents and friends, coach Robby, the U.S. Coast Guard, the USCGAA, Frankie and Old Bull Athletics, The Harmony Exercise, Murphy Jahn Architects, the US Sailing Team and staff, Harken, Kilroy Realty Corporation, all who have generously offered their time, sailing gear, money, and guidance that has gotten us to this point, and to each other for showing up each day with the respect for one another and the desire to constantly grow as a team.

We are so eager to start sailing in Enoshima, Japan. Onward!

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