When the world comes to North America

Published on April 22nd, 2021

Luther Carpenter

While nothing beats sleeping in your own bed, traveling to regattas extends the experiences provided by the sport of sailing. But for North Americans, there’s a massive difference when that road trip goes to another continent.

Aside from the logistics of travel, differences in culture, currency, and nutrition can be a distraction, so it is immensely nice when the world travels to North America. Luther Carpenter, U.S. Olympic Head Coach, reflects on the upcoming schedule for three Olympic classes:

If you are like me, one of the greatest aspects of sailing is the community that comes within our exciting sport. No matter who you are, we have all grown up being encouraged and nurtured into better sailors by our peers and generations above us. It’s such a gift to be told, “You have talent, and here are some tips!” It’s the lifeline and blood of sailing.

But a close second is the fact that our sport always provides an intriguing path and goals to shoot for. It could be a campaign to win the club championships, to travel to your first big regional event, or, for many, a push to perform well at a National Championship.

Of course, for those fully hooked, their goals and “campaigns” grow into larger aspirations, such as becoming a collegiate All-American, winning a ladder event, or even attending a World Championship.

The allure of the milestones we strive for is fueled by the challenge, the fun, the community of helping each other, and the pure desire to become better sailors. Sharing a common big-picture goal, finding others that share the same vision and dedication, and putting in the focus and work in the lead-up period is what many of us cherish the most.

It’s not entirely about the end result; it’s about the opportunity and journey.

Today is an exciting time to be involved in one-design sailing. We are a country with a long history of great events and travel within the US, and have reveled in what I’m describing above. We all know that our sport needs to swing the pendulum back to emphasizing national “campaigns” and efforts, and we have started to lay a solid foundation of events across the country and schedule.

We encourage you to study the new one-design racing schedules, recognizing that with every major event, there is an empowering lead-up training cycle.

One of the absolute highlights of this schedule is the opportunity to campaign for and race in the 49er, 49er FX, and Nacra 17 World Championships, to be held here in North America TWICE in a three-year period.

In 2022, this combined Worlds will be held in Halifax, Canada, and shortly thereafter, in 2025, the Worlds will be held in Long Beach, CA, which is also the host city for the 2028 Olympic sailing event. Clearly, the best sailors in the world will be coming to these events, sailing in three of today’s most exciting one-design classes.

A unique component of these three class championships is that they require no qualification to attend. Of course, you want to build up competency in mastering the craft (the most fun and rewarding part of the journey), but all gender-eligible teams are encouraged to attend these World Championships (49er men, FX women, Nacra mixed).

When you meld together these championships with the “gender open” domestic circuit, the entry path into the game is easy. Before domestic events, there will often be clinics where more experienced campaigners share their wisdom and exude the passion that fosters camaraderie and fleet building.

Any young and ambitious sailors in America should perk up their ears at these opportunities. Community, a strong domestic schedule, top-notch training, “mini-campaign” opportunities, and brushing shoulders with the best is all available in our backyard.

It’s a great time to focus on tackling a new boat and new goals. It’s a great time to embrace the idea of the journey, meet sailors from other areas of our country, and be told “you’ve got talent – here are some tips for getting up to speed”.

I hope I’ve intrigued and excited you and urge you to consider these opportunities. Used boats are plentiful and usually come with a pile of advice. Included below are more details and contacts that will share the first steps. There are a host of links and helpful people ready to assist you.

Our community is your community, and we welcome you! I hope to meet you on the US tour!

See you out there!

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