A1R: USA update for Paris 2024
Published on February 8th, 2024
America One Racing, as the largest private financial supporter of US sailing athletes campaigning for the Olympic Games, provides this 60-day Performance Report for December 1, 2023 to January 31, 2024:
1. Executing textbook preparation for the 2024 ILCA 6 World Championship January 5-10 in Mar Del Plata, ARG, America One Racing (A1R) Performance Director Leandro Spina took a small group of athletes to train on site and race in the Argentine National Championship, in early December 2023.
On the water training, racing, and coaching, along with familiarization of the venue, housing, food, etc. was all part of the mission. A1R Athlete Christina Sakellaris finished a strong 4th out of 95 boats in the Argentine National Championship.
Returning on January 2, 2024, A1R training partners Charlotte Rose, a two-time youth world champion under Spina’s guidance, and Sakellaris, immediately acclimated to their housing and routine and were able to efficiently conduct on-the-water training in the days before the World Championship.
Leandro Spina was on-site again for this lead-up to the event along with ICLA 6 coaches Alex Saldanha and Nic Baird.
Charlotte Rose finished 2nd in the World Championship and positioned herself as a medal contender for Paris this summer. She and Sakellaris will now compete in the ILCA 6 US Olympic Trials in Miami February 17-24.
2. In late December, America One Racing awarded 30 USA athletes cash grants totaling $81,000 for their special Olympic Trials. This grant was in addition to $1.3M in sponsorship support A1R has provided to USA athletes in the 9 months since our inception last April.
Over a third of the entrants that competed at the US Olympic Team Trials in January listed America One Racing as a sponsor. Three of the five winners in the January Olympic Trials are A1R athletes.
3. A1R athletes Ian Borrows and Hans Henken won in the 49er class trials with A1R staff coach Charlie McKee. Barrows/Henken were pushed hard by Mollerus/MacDiarmid, only winning by one point. A1R’s Snow/Agnese were a close 3rd. These teams embraced squad training, which included extensive racing and training together over the past few years.
The positive results are tangible, and collectively, they have moved the USA into medal contention for Paris. The winners are requesting funding and resources to keep the squad together for the next few months of training in the lead up to Paris – and A1R is committed to providing support as a sponsor.
4. A1R athletes Noah Lyons and Dominique Stater won the men and women’s iQFOiL Trials. At the recently completed iQFOiL World Championship in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Lyons finished a credible 20th and fellow A1R athlete and training partner Geronimo Nores finished 23rd, out of 120 competitors. Stater finished 32nd out of 92 in the women’s iQFOiL.
With these results, the USA men placed 10th as a country, and as they have not yet gained entry to Paris 2024, they must do so at the “last chance” regatta in Hyeres, France in May. Stater has already qualified for Paris.
Lyons and Stater both requested support preparing for the Olympics and A1R is committed to providing sponsorship support to them as well.
5. Squad Culture: With the first part of the US Olympic Trials concluded, A1R received requests from the following 2024 Olympians to provide sponsorship support for their Paris preparations.
Formula Kite F: Daniela Moroz/Evan Heffernan
iQ Foil: Noah Lyons/Pedro Pascual
Formula Kite M: Edegran/Runciman
While having a training partner is a fundamental and obvious benefit to an Olympian, the added benefit is improved depth, which bodes well for USA’s prospects for the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics. By keeping multiple athletes involved and pushing as hard as we can in the lead-up to Paris, we continue to build the “squad” which will form the foundation for the USA’s future successes. A1R is a big believer in the “power of the squad” and will support these requests.
6. Following the 49er trials, Charlie McKee headed straight to Lanzarote, to coach Paris Henken and Anna Tobias, as they prepare for the 49erFX World Championship. Charlie was soon joined by Luther Carpenter, who serves as the dedicated A1R coach to the Henken/Tobias Team.
Carpenter will coach their team at the Worlds, and then Princess Sofia Regatta in late March, with each event constituting half of their two-part Olympic trials. The 49erFX and the Nacra 17 are having their trials abroad as there simply aren’t enough teams in the USA to hold a proper trials event. The goal is to have the sufficient depth to hold the Olympic trials in all classes in Long Beach for 2028.
7. The ILCA 7 World Championship was held in Adelaide, AUS January 22-30. Seven USA men traveled to Australia for the event — all were sponsored by A1R. They competed in the Australian Nationals and the Worlds over the Month of January.
While the men did not win or qualify yet for Paris, they are working well as a squad and will stay committed to each other for LA 2028. The ILCA7 is widely considered the most competitive class in the Olympics today.
8. The second half of the US Olympic Trials is coming up February 17-24. This series will feature only the ILCA 6 and ILCA 7 classes out of the Miami Yacht Club. Holding the trials back on U.S. waters, after a 12-year hiatus, is a key component for returning the USA to the top of the podium. St. Francis Club member, Olympic bronze medalist, and former St. Francis Sailing Foundation President, Pam Healy, is chairperson of the 2024 US Olympic Trials.
9. Prior to the February US Olympic Trials, A1R partner, Quantum Racing, will offer all athletes a Zoom meeting with seven-time Olympian and two-time Gold Medalist, Robert Scheidt (BRA). The meeting will focus on how to attain peak performance when it matters most. It is an honor and privilege for the USA to have Robert Scheidt supporting American sailors. Robert’s Olympic coach, Alex Saldanha, is now coaching Charlotte Rose for the ILCA6 trials.
10. America One Racing is supporting the “Marseille Playbook,” a strategic racing document based on weather and current data acquired on the Olympic racecourse in Marseille. The “book” is nearing completion and will be presented in written form. Chelsea Freas of Sea Tactics is leading this effort.
Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Program*:
Men’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 7 (41)
Women’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6 (41)
Mixed Two Person Dinghy – 470 (19)
Men’s Skiff – 49er (20)
Women’s Skiff – 49erFX (20)
Men’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class (20)
Women’s Kiteboard – Formula Kite Class (20)
Men’s Windsurfing – iQFOiL (24)
Women’s Windsurfing – iQFOiL (24)
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17 (19)
* Quota per event in parenthesis but does not include Universality Places (2 men, 2 women)
Venue: Marseille, France
Dates: July 28-August 9
• Paris website: https://www.paris2024.org/en/the-olympic-games-paris-2024/
• World Sailing microsite: https://paris2024.sailing.org/