Radial Europeans Preview: World’s Best Gather, U.S. Olympic Team Selection On The Line

27147740  ©Onne van der Wal / Sea&Co /OSM .   NEW YORK CITY - NEW YORK- USA. 1st June 2014.  Start of  IMOCA OCEAN MASTERS NY-BCN Race ( 3700NM), double handed sailing race.

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


February 27, 2016

Portsmouth, R.I. –  The 2016 Laser Radial European Championship (February 28-March 4) is set to begin in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain, and the event will also serve as the second and final Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Team selection regatta for the Laser Radial. The event will feature perhaps the toughest international fleet assembled in this class in 2016, other than the World Championship and the Olympic Games.

Four American Radial sailors will compete in Las Palmas. US Sailing Team Sperry athletes Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) and Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) were the top U.S. boats at January’s Sailing World Cup Miami Presented by Sunbrella, the first Olympic selection event, with Railey finishing 7th overall, and Reineke 17th. This gives Railey a ten-point lead in the selection series heading into the Europeans.

“I am definitely treating this like any other regatta,” said Railey, an Olympian, World Champion, and Rolex World Sailor of the Year. “I’ve been having a really nice time with my training partner, Henry Marshall, and feel confident with the work we have put in.” Railey experienced a significant setback in 2014, as a training accident nearly ended her competitive career. Nevertheless, she bounced back to win gold at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, and finished 4th at the 2015 Rio Olympic Test Event. “I am physically ready, but what body doesn’t love to go get challenged by 25 knots and big waves,” said Railey with a smile. “That’s what we have here so far this week. I’m a glutton for punishment, I guess!”

Sailing World Cup Miami presented by Sunbrella Day 3

Pictured: Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Laser Radial, US Sailing Team Sperry.

Although younger than Railey, fellow Floridian Erika Reineke is already a veteran of the highest levels of international competition. A Laser Radial Youth World Champion and three-time College Sailing Singlehanded Champion, Reineke has also been the top U.S. finisher at the past two Laser Radial World Championships. In a 99-boat European Championship fleet comprised of the world’s best, she will be a serious challenger for the both the U.S. Olympic Team berth, and the overall podium.

Also competing at the Europeans for the United States will be Hanne Weaver (Seattle, Wash.), considered to be one of the country’s brightest young talents, and US Sailing Singlehanded National Champion Christine Neville (Newport, R.I.).

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.

Rio 2016 Selection Series, Current Standings, Laser Radial:

Screenshot 2016-02-05 19.43.39

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

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 www.ussailing.org/olympics

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 www.ussailing.org

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