In search of dinghy doublehanded sailors

Published on September 13th, 2022

There is excitement within the US Olympic Sailing Program. National Sailing Hall of Famer Paul Cayard is now the Executive Director and is determined to return the country to prominence by Los Angeles 2028. He’s initiated a lot of change, has attracted more money than his predecessors, and is very present.

But nothing is accomplished without commitment from the sailors, and that has been a problem in the USA. Success at the Olympic level may require a ten year plan, but too often sailors tap out after one quadrennial campaign. That doesn’t get the job done.

The Event Program for Paris 2024 offered an opportunity for the USA when the Two Person Dinghy event changed from a Men’s and Women’s divisions to a Mixed division. Turning two events into one should have kept the pot full but there is no sight of the campaigners from Tokyo 2020.

While the men had effectively aged out, the dominance by helm Stu McNay through four Olympics had stifled much national interest. However, there was depth among the women but they’ve all gone separate ways. Worse, one of the crews now is using the other half of her dual citizenship to sail with Spanish Olympic medalist Jordi Xammar.

The best USA team appears to be Louisa Nordstrom/ Trevor Bornarth who are 24th out of 52 boats after day one at the 2022 470 European Championship. In an effort to restock for Los Angeles 2028, the US Sailing Team is casting a net for applicants to enlist in its new Mixed 470 Development Program.

The Mixed 470 program will gather up to 12 sailors (six teams) and connect them with boats, coaching, and logistical support in exchange for a commitment to the domestic training and racing schedule (up to and including the Olympic selection process).

Once the initial application deadline on September 30 has passed and the squad is formed, there will also be the possibility for later additions to the squad, either through the approval of a plan by submitted by a newly-formed team, or through strong sailing resume. Teams not initially selected may still be invited to training camps.

For additional details, click here.

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