Portsmouth, R.I. (May 7, 2013) – US Sailing’s Olympic Sailing Program named Mark Littlejohn (Auckland, NZL) as a coach of the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. Working directly with High Performance Director Charlie McKee, he will focus on accentuating the performance plan for sailors campaigning in Olympic singlehanded classes. From 2004-2008 Mark headed the Youth Olympic Project for Dutch sailing and then personally coached from 2008 to 2012 Marit Bouwmeester to an Olympic silver medal in the Laser Radial.
“As we dig deep into expanding the technical excellence of the U.S. Olympic Program, we aim to surround U.S. sailors with the best resources possible,” said McKee. “There are few coaches who can match Mark’s reputation and success, and we are fortunate to have him on our team.”
Littlejohn has spent his career in singlehanded dinghies, both competing and coaching. In the lead-up to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., he served as a full-time training partner to Ben Ainslie (GBR) when he won his first of five medals, a silver medal in the Laser. In the next Olympic quadrennium, Littlejohn was a full-time coach to Shirley Robertson (GBR), who won her first of two gold medals in the Europe Dinghy at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, AUS.
“I’m pleased to join such a vibrant team of coaches,” said Littlejohn. “My coaching philosophy is simple and one that has served well: Work hard, work smart and plan well. Everything that you do must underpin self-confidence and self-belief.”
About 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 supports these elite athletes with funding, coaching and training. The title sponsor of the team is Sperry Top-Sider; other sponsors include Harken Team McLube. Oakcliff Sailing is an official training center.
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.
Press contact: Dana Paxton, US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider, 401-683-0800 x615, firstname.lastname@example.org