Youth Olympic Games: US Sailing Announces Athlete Selection System

Pictured: Nacra 15’s racing at the recently-completed 2017 U.S. Youth Sailing Championship in Corpus Christi, Texas.


July 28, 2017

Portsmouth, R.I. – US Sailing has released details of the athlete selection process for the 2018 U.S. Youth Olympic Sailing Team. Held every four years, the Youth Olympic Games (Buenos Aires 2018) will be the third edition of the event, and is expected to include nearly 4,000 athletes from over 200 nations. The sailing events are expected to include 100 athletes aged 15-18, and will run from October 6-18, 2018.

The sailing competition will include three disciplines and five fleets:

  • Kiteboarding (Boys and Girls) – IKA Twin Tip Racing (Slalom and Boardercross disciplines)
  • Windsurfing (Boys and Girls) – Techno 293+
  • Two-Person Multihull (Mixed) – Nacra 15

Prospective sailors hoping to compete in the event on behalf of the United States will need to be U.S. nationals, and must have been born between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2003. World Sailing, the world governing body of the sport, has determined that the maximum quota of sailors allowed to compete per nation is three males and three females. The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has determined that a maximum of four athletes, regardless of gender, will represent the United States at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in the sport of Sailing.

US Sailing has posted the complete athlete selection procedures and country qualification system here: US Sailing Selection Procedures (Link)

World Sailing has also announced that each athlete will qualify his or her country for the Youth Olympic Games at specific qualification events. Quota slots are awarded in accordance with the procedures outlined in section D of World Sailing Qualification System (Attachment A of the selection procedures). If the United States can qualify in one or more classes, US Sailing will select the athletes that will attend the YOG.

US Sailing intends to nominate four athletes, from a pool of eligible athletes, to the 2018 U.S. Youth Olympic Sailing Team through the use of a discretionary selection system based on recent racing results at key events. All nominations to the 2018 U.S. Youth Olympic Team are subject to USOC approval. These events include:

  • Place finish at the 2017/2018 North American and Caribbean Continental Qualification Tournaments
  • Place finish at the 2017/2018 World Championships
  • History of competitive performances within the last 12 months

Notes on Key Events:


  • July 15-20, 2017: World Championships (Brittany, France)
  • (Date TBD), 2018: North & South American Qualification Tournament (venue TBD, Mexico)


  • November 18-20, 2017: North and South American Qualification Tournament and Nacra 15 North American Championship (Miami, USA)
  • April 22-28, 2018: Nacra 15 World Championships (Barcelona, Spain)


  • January 15-20, 2018: North American Qualification Tournament (Cabarete, Dominican Republic)
  • April 10-15, 2018: World Championships (Shanwei, China)

Please note: Event details listed above are subject to change after the date of this announcement.

Notes on Equipment:

Kiteboarding: For competition at the Youth Olympic Games and the qualification events, only registered series production hulls (boards) and registered series production “Leading Edge Inflatable” (LEI) kites are allowed. For more information on what LEI equipment will be used, visit Twin Tip Racing’s website. Twin Tip Racing also recently clarified the class racing rules, which can be found here. The racing will include short-track “boarder-cross” courses featuring intentionally-placed obstacles that athletes will encounter in the racing area. For more information on LEI equipment and how to get involved with kiteboarding, contact Brendan Healy, One Design Administrator at Pryde Group Americas.

Windsurfing: The Techno 293 Plus is a one-design windsurfing class manufactured by Bic Sport. Competition the 2018 Youth Olympic Games will include both fleet racing and slalom courses. Basic information about the equipment can be found on the Bic Sport website, and by contacting U.S. class representative Nevin Sayre.

Multihull: The Nacra 15, which already serves as the multihull class for the Youth Sailing World Championships, will also be the class used at the Youth Olympic Games. However, there will be some key differences in the equipment provided for the YOG and the current standard Nacra 15 configuration. In Buenos Ares, the boat will not include a standard rudder and daggerboard set, nor will it be fully foiling. According to World Sailing:

The “Flying Nacra 15” configuration, which will be used at the event, will slot between the standard boat and a fully foiling boat. Teams that qualify for the YOG will be able to train in the Flying Nacra 15, and receive coaching, in Buenos Aires between the opening of the YOG Athlete Village and the start of the competition. The boat will not be available for teams to train on before the YOG itself.

For the qualification events, the standard Nacra 15 foil configuration (non-foiling) will be used. Immediately prior to the YOG, coaches will be provided to all competitors by World Sailing to help athletes learn to race on the Flying Nacra 15. Information about the Nacra 15 can be found on the Nacra website, and by contacting U.S. Nacra representative Todd Riccardi.


About US Sailing

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. For more information, please visit

Contact: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager, US Sailing
Phone: +1 978 697 2384 (USA)

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