8th for Mollerus / MacDiarmid and Halfway to Paris 2024 49erFX Selection

2024 Lanzarote 49er and FX Worlds
© Sailing Energy / Lanzarote Sailing Center
09 March, 2024

Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain (12 March 2024) – Six days of racing at the 2024 49er and 49erFX World Championships have wrapped in a range of challenging conditions with a dramatic volcanic island backdrop. The USA is coming away with a Top 10 world ranking in the 49er for Andrew Mollerus and Ian MacDiarmid, and we’ve reached the halfway point of selection for the Paris 2024 49erFX representatives.

Final USA Results of 49er & 49erFX Worlds:

11 – Steph Roble & Maggie Shea, US Sailing Team & Tokyo 2020 + Tokyo 2020
26 – Paris Henken & Anna Tunnicliffe Tobias, Rio 2016 + Beijing 2008 / London 2012

8 – Andrew Mollerus & Ian MacDiarmid, US Sailing Team
16 – Ian Barrows & Hans Henken, US Sailing Team + Paris 2024 Nominees

One event down, one to go for Paris 2024 49erFX Selection

Country qualification was achieved last August at the Sailing World Championships in The Hague, The Netherlands, and the American FXs have since been training hard for athlete selection. The American team with the best combined overall regatta scores from this week’s 2024 World Championship and the Princess Sofía Trophy coming up April 1-6 will represent the United States at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Per US Sailing’s Athlete Selection Procedures Olympic Games, Paris 2024, “Final finishing position, not net points, will determine a team’s points from the regatta and count towards series standing, i.e., 3rd and 5th place finishes adds up to 8 points in the qualification system… The team with the lowest combined series score at [the World Championships and the Princess Sofia Trophy] who also meets all eligibility requirements stated in Section 1.1 (of US Sailing Athlete Selection Procedures), will be declared the winner of the Late Selection for that class.”

What does this mean for the American 49erFX spot?

Team Roble / Shea now have 11 points for their 11th overall finish at Worlds team Henken / Tunnicliffe Tobias are at 26 points for their 26th overall finish. The two teams will take the field in Mallorca April 1-6 for the final event of two to select the athletes who will go on to represent the United States at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

2024 Lanzarote 49er and FX Worlds
© Sailing Energy / Lanzarote Sailing Center
09 March, 2024

“We had our sights set on a better result overall on the world stage, and while we fell short of that goal we had a lot of great moments on the race course,” said USST athlete Stephanie Roble, 11th overall with Maggie Shea and in pursuit of Paris 2024 49erFX selection. “We have some things to polish up for the second half of our Paris 2024 selection coming up in Palma next month and a rematch against many of the same international competitors. Maggie and I are heading home to Chicago and Miami and are looking forward to some rest and reflection before we charge again at the Princess Sofia Trophy.”

A 28th place standing at the end of the qualifying series on day three kept team Henken / Tunnicliffe Tobias from making the top 25 cutoff for gold fleet in the finals, but the pair went on to climb to the highest place possible and finished in 26th, winning Silver fleet with five top-3 race finishes including two race wins.

It was a strong start for the US Sailing Team 49ers with team Mollerus/MacDiarmid sitting in first out of 70 after day one and Barrows/Henken just behind in 3rd until a protest in the late evening disqualified them from race three and took them into the 20s.

“Being the top American 49er at both the 2023 and 2024 World Championships is a good reference point and making sure we represent the USA well is important, but it’s all about looking forward so we’re proud to keep a single digit world ranking,” said USST athlete Ian MacDiarmid, finishing 8th overall with Andrew Mollerus in the 49er.

“Starting Worlds leading the fleet on the first day was important coming off of Trials in Miami,” continued MacDiarmid. “The speed was there so that was a confidence boost. I also think my time spent on the AC40 the week before with the Youth America’s Cup Team really helped bring a focus to performance under pressure. Andrew and I had some great fights this week – our duel with GBR was epic on the penultimate day, but we didn’t get quite where we need to be. Time to crunch the data and come back firing at Palma.”

2024 Lanzarote 49er and FX Worlds
© Sailing Energy / Lanzarote Sailing Center
10 March, 2024

“From a results point of view, we under performed at the Worlds,” reflected US Sailing Team athlete and Paris 2024 nominee Hans Henken. “When you sail your discard so early in the series, especially from a disqualification, it makes the margin for error significantly tighter than normal and requires more attention to detail.

We had planned to take 3 weeks off post Trials, but that quickly turned into 4.5 weeks off due to a major shipping delay with all our equipment. We didn’t have the most optimized lead up going into the Worlds to perform, but we didn’t let that bother us. Overall and most importantly, our mindset at the Worlds and all the other events coming up is entirely based on a growth mindset.

We focused on peaking in January at the Trials and are focused on peaking again in July for the Games. The result-based goal that we are looking for is going to come at the Games and not before, so with our Trials finished, we have complete flexibility to use events to practice, rehearse and use new equipment, strategy, tuning and technique ideas as we need to, to improve.

We began to implement some of those ideas at the Worlds and look forward to debriefing the aspects we are going to be adding to our program as we prepare to begin training in Marseille in a couple weeks.”

Next up: the Princess Sofía Trophy April 1-6. View the entry list here, and sign up for The Medalist newsletter to receive daily updates straight to your inbox.

For media inquiries: Allison Chenard, US Sailing Team Media & Communications – allisonchenard@ussailing.org, +1 (401) 342-7962