Please select your home edition
Edition app (top)

Team USA top-10 in four classes; Big waves and wind for NBC TV audiences

by US Sailing Team 28 Jul 14:48 BST 25 July - 4 August, 2021
Nikki Barnes (St. Thomas, USVI) and Lara Dallman-Weiss (Shoreview, Minn.) battle it out on their first day of racing. © Sailing Energy / US Sailing

Four days into the 11-day Tokyo 2020 Olympic sailing regatta, all US Sailing Team athletes competing across nine classes have now logged at least two races in their event.

Americans finished the day in the top 10 overall in four events as large swells and varied winds from 5-15 knots returned to Enoshima.

In the 49erFX, Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wis.) and Maggie Shea (Wilmette, Ill.) entered the day in 2nd overall and fell to 8th after a scoreline of 7, 10, (16). "Today had some gnarly conditions, big waves, big breeze, but was really fun," said Roble, a two-time collegiate All-American. "We've been training a lot in these conditions and we've improved a lot as a team. We're proud of that, and we put up two keeper scores, but had a bit of a digger in the third race. We had an unfortunate capsize coming into the finish line, but was a fun day overall. We're looking forward to 'resetting' on our day off tomorrow and coming back recharged on Friday."

While the capsize was a setback, Shea noted that being prepared to overcome with such events is an essential part of campaigning for the Olympics. "When in doubt, we fall back on the routines that we've developed, and we're really disciplined about that," said Shea, a two-time U.S. Match Racing Champion. "After today, I'd rather go home and curl up with [a movie], but we're going to go back and check the mast because that's part of the process. And these routines help us in moments where we get nervous, when there are helicopters, when there's a lot going on, and when it's chaotic. We take a step back to help bring us back to the moment."

RS:X board sailor Pedro Pascual (Miami, Fla.) retained his position in the standings with scores of 7, 5, (14), and sits in 9th overall. Pascual reported that maintaining solid upwind speed in the big waves was key to competing with the leaders, along with pumping technique. "With heavier winds and especially with the waves, you're pumping with the legs the whole time, unlike in the light air,' said Pascual. "You're trying to absorb the shock of every wave, and trying to take pressure off the fin so that you don't spin out or stop accelerating. My goal for tomorrow is just to focus on the starts. I just need to be able to have a clear lane after the start and build the speed that I'm capable of."

In the Women's 470, Nikole Barnes (St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.) and Lara Dallman-Weiss (Shoreview, Minn.) made their Olympic debuts with a 14, 7 scoreline and are in 10th overall. "We've gotten the first two races under our belt, and we're just excited for the rest of the regatta," said Barnes, who won bronze in the I420 at the Youth Worlds in 2011. "There's always something to improve on, and it's easy to make mistakes. So with that, you're just finding ways to make the boat faster and push harder."

Barnes said that her first day of Olympic competition elicited a wide range of emotions, and that part of the day's challenge was managing the culmination of years of hard work. "I was a bit nervous going into the first race, and tried to fool my coach into thinking I wasn't," said Barnes. "We just kept it light on the coach boat though. We just tried to have fun with it and performed better in the second race. We're happy when we sail happy, and when you're on a sweet wave it's awesome to remember that 'this is my job, and it's awesome.'"

Nacra 17 sailors Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.) and Anna Weis (Fort Lauderdale, FL) also experienced their first Olympic races on Wednesday. Gibbs and Weis consistently battled in the front half of the foiling multihull fleet on their way to a 9, 7, 12 scoreline and a 9th overall ranking. Four-time Olympian Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and two-time Team USA athlete Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) finished 8, 12 on their first day of racing, which places them in 11th overall. In the Finn, Luke Muller (Ft. Pierce, Fla.) finished 12, 15 in two races and fell to 12th overall. RS:X board sailor and two-time Olympian Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) went 16, 15, 8 in her three races, and is in 15th overall.

Racing will continue on Thursday, July 29, with all classes competing except for the 49er and 49erFX fleets, which will have an off day. The NBC Olympics website is hosting the Tokyo 2020 sailing event for U.S. audiences starting at 11:00 PM EDT (8:00 PM PDT) during the event. There are two televised race areas per day, the "Enoshima" and "Kamakura" courses. As the classes rotate through each course daily, different athletes will be featured on the broadcast.

See more information here

Related Articles

Open letter from Paul Cayard
The Executive Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing writes from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing venue I am departing Japan today after absorbing the Olympic environment, observing our team in action and getting pointers from old friends who have been running teams in this game for decades. Posted on 5 Aug
Hempel Worlds: New Doublehanded Offshore event
Mixed two-person offshore keelboat event will be on the program at the Paris 2024 Olympics For the first time in Olympic history, a Mixed Two-Person Offshore Keelboat event will be on the program at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition. Posted on 7 Dec 2019
US Sailing team leadership statement
A statement from US Sailing regarding the U.S. Olympic Sailing Program US Sailing and Malcolm Page, Chief of Olympic Sailing, announced that they have agreed to part ways. Page will be leaving US Sailing and returning to his home in Australia. Posted on 20 Sep 2019
2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami preview
30th anniversary of elite-level Olympic class sailing on Biscayne Bay Racing will soon begin at the 2019 Hempel World Cup Series Miami (HWCSM). This year marks the 30th anniversary of elite-level Olympic class sailing on Biscayne Bay. Posted on 25 Jan 2019
2024 Olympic Events: Open letter from US Sailing
After request to submit proposals from World Sailing Recently, all World Sailing Member National Authorities (MNA's, such as US Sailing) were requested by to submit proposals for what events should be used at the Paris 2024 Olympic sailing competition. Posted on 4 May 2018
With one year on job Malcolm Page looks ahead
It was almost exactly a year ago that Malcolm Page took reigns of US Sailing Team It was almost exactly a year ago that Malcolm Page, a double gold medalist in the 470 class for Australia, took the reigns of the US Sailing Team. With winds in excess of 30 knots keeping all 10 classes on shore for the entirety of Day 4 Posted on 27 Jan 2018
Familiar faces return for World Cup Series Miami
Anna Tunnicliffe Tobias returns in the 49erFX class The 49erFX class is one of 10 sailing disciplines that will compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Regatta. Medal contenders in all 10 will be competing at the World Cup Series Miami, the second stop, of four, on World Sailing's 2017-'18 World Series Cup tour. Posted on 23 Jan 2018
U.S. Adult Championship at St. Petersburg
Northeast Sailing Association (Sail Maine) win the title The action was fast and furious on Tampa Bay this week. Twelve teams in J/70s representing their respective Regional Sailing Associations (RSA) enjoyed the speedy and highly entertaining racing format. Posted on 13 Nov 2017
Enoshima Olympic Week
Views from USA and AUS teams US Sailing Team Laser Radial athlete Erika Reineke (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) won gold at the conclusion of a stormy Enoshima Olympic Week, the first large multi-class regatta to be held at the site of the Tokyo 2020 sailing competition. Posted on 30 Oct 2017
U.S. Match Racing Championship
David Storrs wins Prince of Wales Bowl David Storrs and his international team won the Prince of Wales Bowl but it was second place finisher Pearson Potts and the Yankee Creole Racing team who walked away with the title of U.S. Match Racing Champion. Posted on 16 Oct 2017