Laser Radial Europeans: U.S. Olympic Team Selection to be Decided Friday


Pictured:  Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), Laser Radial, US Sailing Team Sperry.


March 3, 2016

Portsmouth, R.I. –  The 2016 Laser Radial European Championship (February 28-March 4) will come to a close in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain, on Friday, March 4 (tomorrow). In addition to being one of the toughest events of the year in this class from a competitive standpoint, the event serves as the second and final Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Team selection regatta for the Laser Radial.

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Paige Railey

US Sailing Team Sperry athletes Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) and Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) are the top American contenders battling for the Rio 2016 berth. The first event in the two-regatta series was Sailing World Cup Miami (January 25-30). Olympian, World Champion and Rolex World Sailor of the Year Railey emerged from Miami with a 10-point lead in the series over Reineke, a Laser Radial Youth World Champion and the top American athlete at the last two Laser Radial World Championships.

“We are plugging away one race at a time,” said Railey. “I am trying to sail smart while not doing anything crazy.”

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Erika Reineke

In order to overtake Railey and qualify for Team USA on Friday at the Europeans, Reineke will need to beat her fellow Floridian by ten positions overall. “The focus is on starting, and executing Erika’s game plan with confidence,” said Reineke’s coach, US Sailing National Coach of the Year and Boston College Head Coach Greg Wilkinson (Rockport, Mass.).

After nine races at Europeans, Railey stands in 27th overall, while Reineke is in 43rd, with 32 points separating the pair. Railey had risen as high as 10th after the third day of racing, but fell in the standings on Thursday. “The huge waves we’ve had are pretty tough,” said Railey. “It takes tons of sheeting, and lots of physical work.”

Three races are scheduled for Friday, which will bring the regatta to a close. Scores from the event are being posted on the event website (see the “Laser RDW Gold” link), as well as notices from the race committee.

Note: All athletes named to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team are subject to approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC). For more information on the 2016 Laser Radial European Championship, visit the event website.

See Also: Full U.S. Olympic Team Selection Tracker (All Classes)

Previous Event Report:

About the US Sailing Team Sperry

The US Sailing Team Sperry 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. US Sailing helps these elite athletes with financial, logistical, coaching, technical, fitness, marketing and communications support. The title sponsor of the team is Sperry; other sponsors include Gold-Level partner Sunbrella and Silver-Level partners Harken, Team McLube and Groupe Beneteau. 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 Training Centers. Chubb Personal Insurance and the Gowrie Group sponsors US Sailing’s National Team Tour, a nationwide presentation program for US Sailing Team Sperry athletes. For more information, please visit

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. For more information, please visit

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Press Contact: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager, US Sailing., +1 (978) 697-2384.