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Showtime for US skiff program

Published on March 29th, 2022

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
Each of the ten Olympic events have entry limits, and never in memory had the USA failed to qualify for an event. Yet, that was what happened for Tokyo 2020 in the Men’s Skiff (49er).

While it is easy to say the US Sailing Team is underfunded, because it is, the use of these limited resources is wasteful when they are spent teaching people how to sail. However, that is the situation when prospects emerge from university to embrace their Olympic dream.

This situation is multiplied when the investment made in that first campaign does not see the fruits of that labor during a second quad. Truth is, the US Team could have twice the funding, but the results won’t significantly change unless sailor’s increase their commitment.

Thomas Barrows III and Joseph Morris were in their first campaign, and when they disbanded after getting 19th out of 20 at the Rio 2016 Olympics, the US 49er program had to begin new again. The result was how they did get good enough to qualify for Tokyo.

However, the road toward Paris 2024 has improved as Ian Barrows and Hans Henken are building on their past experience. While Tokyo was the first effort for Ian, he benefits from the tutelage of his brother Thomas. Henken is on his third quad, and while this is a new pairing for Paris, they appear to be all in. Here’s an update from this duo:

Since competing in Oman at the 2021 49er World Championships, we have been preparing for the 2022 European Season and are stoked to finally kick it off at the 51st Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia Regatta on April 2-9 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

For most of the early winter, we trained domestically in Miami, Florida. In January, we participated in our annual US Sailing Team Camp and took advantage of the wide array of expert advice and technology available to us to kick start many of our project goals. We ended the month on a high noted by winning the 2022 West Marine Miami US Open.

In February, we devoted our time to fundraising and strength and conditioning to put ourselves in the best position possible to tackle the 2022 European racing season and eagerly looked forward to getting back on the international stage.

Since the beginning of March, we have been training and racing in Palma. We have had a range of conditions varying from sunny, steady south westerlies to cold, rainy and windy north easterlies.

We completed in the 2022 Mallorca Sailing Center Regatta from March 10-13, the precursor event to the annual Princesa Sofia Regatta, taking home 4th place in the 50 boat fleet, while finishing within the top 3, in 5 of the 8 races.

As more and more competitors begin to fill up the beach in preparation for the main event, we look forward to our last week of training and are hungry to get back into the swing of racing. It’s Showtime!

Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 7
Women’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6
Mixed Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class
Women’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class
Men’s Windsurfing – iQFoil
Women’s Windsurfing – iQFoil
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Venue: Marseille, France
Dates: July 26-August 11


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