USA duo reaching for Olympic dream

Published on August 4th, 2019

Enoshima, Japan (August 4, 2019) – Amid stifling hot temperatures at the 2019 470 470 World Championships, the conditions lived up to the forecast as light winds prevented the start of racing for the 91 teams from 29 nations at what will be the venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

After a shoreside postponement, the women’s race 1 made an attempt but in the light wind it was impossible for the fleet to get to mark 1 by the 20 minute time limit, forcing the Race Committee to stop the race. Ultimately the wind never returned and around 1520 hours the Race Committee made the decision to call off racing for the day.

One of the teams pursuing their Olympic dream is Emma and Carmen Cowles of the USA, with the sisters just over one year removed from their Youth Sailing Worlds crown in the 420 Class, and, just nine months after competing at their first 470 event.

Having recently graduated from high school, the twins are now taking on the best in the world, but first they, and the three other USA teams in the women’s fleet, must secure Olympic qualification for their nation. With a quota of 21 teams, the USA has yet to claim one of the entries.

Here in Japan their mission is to learn, but also to make sure they are stepping up to be in the mix for Olympic selection. If the USA does not qualify here at the 470 Worlds, their next opportunity is at the North American and Caribbean Continental Olympic Qualifier at the 2020 Hempel Sailing World Cup Miami on January 19-26.

Emma explained, “This is part of the qualifier for the Olympics in 2020, so it is a qualifier but a big part of it is to continue to learn. We are very young compared to other sailors, who are older with much more experience. This is a learning curve, just keep learning.”

The pair are still in the familiarization stages, as Carmen said, “A lot of the beginning of learning the 470 was just trying to incorporate what we learned in the 420 and transition it to the 470. We are loving it. We are quite light for the boat so it is getting time in the gym and learning the physicality of the boat.”

The pair can’t help but be impressed by their boat park colleagues, as Emma reflected, “Walking around the boat park and being around all these World Champions and Olympians is very inspiring and there is a lot we can learn from them.”

The light winds are expected to continue tomorrow as another attempt at racing will be at 1300 hours local time with 3 races scheduled for the Men and Women fleets.

MORE: This is also the first event to determine the USA representative for the men and women (assuming they gain entry) at Tokyo 2020. For details on the plan, click here.

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Racing at the 470 Worlds for the 91 teams from 29 nations is from August 4 to 9 after which Enoshima will host the Olympic Test Event on August 15-22 and then onto 2020 World Cup Series Round 1 – Enoshima from August 25 to September 1.

Representing North America:
Joshua Yale/ Michael Montagnese (CAN)
Stuart McNay/ David Hughes (USA)
Trevor Davis/ Trevor Bornarth (USA)

Nikole Barnes/ Lara Dallman-Weiss (USA)
Emily Bornarth/ Laura Slovensky (USA)
Carmen Cowls/ Emma Cowles (USA)
Atlantic Brugman/ Nora Brugman (USA)

Background: Designed in 1963 by the Frenchman André Cornu as a modern fiberglass planing dinghy, the International 470 Class is the class of boat used for both the men’s two person and women’s two person dinghy events at the Olympic Games. Used as Olympic equipment since 1976, where the class was sailed as an open event before the introduction of separate events for men and women in 1988, the 470 is sailed in more than 60 nations around the world.

Source: Luissa Smith

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