Pictured: Erika Reineke, Laser Radial.
September 12, 2014
Santander, Spain – After over a year of planning and preparention, US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider athletes began racing at the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander, Spain. The only two classes to have races scheduled on Day 1 were the Men’s Laser and Women’s Laser Radial, and a young and talented group of American sailors enjoyed a strong showing.
ISAF Youth World Champion Erika Reineke (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) wasted no time in demonstrating her considerable skills, as she won a light and difficult first race in the Laser Radial fleet. “[Coach Luther Carpenter] and I were good about doing our homework before the start,” said Reineke. “We looked at the wind and compass readings, and analyzed the current. [We also] did a bunch of warmups before the start and accelerations. I think it gave me confidence to go out and try to do the best I could that race.” Reineke, who finished 6th overall at last month’s highly competitive Rio de Janeiro Olympic Test Event, is steadily proving that she belongs at the top end of the international fleet. “I was really happy with my boat speed today, so I guess you could say I felt strong [in the light conditions].” Regarding her overall strategy, the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider athlete noted that it was important not to take too many big risks early in the event. “[We were] just being conservative today. If you happen to get the “1” while being conservative, I’ll take it!” While the second race of the day proved to be more of a challenge, Reineke currently sits in 28th overall out of 120 competitors. ICSA Collegiate Singlehanded National Champion Claire Dennis (San Francisco, Calif.) is just behind in 32nd.
Pictured: Chris Barnard, Laser.
On the men’s side, the most consistent US performance of the day was delivered by the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider’s Chris Barnard (Newport Beach, Calif.), who recorded a 7,11 scoreline. “It’s a really short qualifying series, only two days and four races, so I knew I needed to come out of the gate hot,” said the ICSA College Sailor of the Year. “It was a balance of getting solid finishes and being aggressive so I could get into the top group.” Barnard also noted that the first day of a high-profile event typically brings with it an unusually charged atmosphere on the water. “You could tell on the line that everyone was a bit hesitant or nervous, and people seemed a little bit bow-back today. I knew success for the day would come down to getting off the line clean and using my boatspeed.” Barnard is currently in 19th overall in a fleet of 147 Lasers.
The best single-race performance by an American Laser sailor was in Race 2, when US Sailing Development Team athlete Erik Bowers (Excelsior, Minn.) took 3rd. “I feel like I have much better speed this year, especially upwind and off the starting line,” said Bowers. “Another big difference from the 2013 Worlds is that I’ve been working to better understand the wind and weather conditions.”
The top American at the previous two Laser World Championships, the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider’s Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) started the day with a 6th, and then took a 23rd in race two. “It was light and tricky today, with a lot of current,” said Buckingham. “With the short qualifying series, there is a little added pressure not to make any huge errors.”
The qualifying series for both the Laser and Laser Radial fleets will conclude on Saturday, September 13, after which the fleets will split into gold, silver and (in the Laser) bronze divisions. Saturday will also mark the start of racing in the RS:X windsurfing events at the ISAF Sailing World Championships.
Pictured: Charlie Buckingham, Laser.
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About the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider
The US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. The top boats in each Olympic and Paralympic class are selected annually to be members of the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. US Sailing helps these elite athletes with with financial, logistical, coaching, technical, fitness, marketing and communications support. The title sponsor of the team is Sperry Top-Sider; other sponsors include Harken and Team McLube. Yale Cordage is a team supplier. The US Sailing Center Miami is an Olympic training site. Oakcliff Sailing and Clearwater Community Sailing Center are US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider training centers. Chubb Personal Insurance sponsors US Sailing’s National Team Tour, a nationwide presentation program for US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider athletes.
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org
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Press contact: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager, US Sailing. email@example.com, +1 978 697 2384