The US Sailing Team is composed of the nation’s top performing athletes competing in the selected Olympic classes. These athletes are ranked by their performance and receive tiered support from US Sailing, the national governing body of the sport.
Qualification for the 2021 US Sailing Team
To qualify for the 2021 US Sailing Team, athletes/teams must meet the requirements below while training & competing in a 2020 Olympic-class boat. Based on their performance, athletes/teams will qualify for a specific Tier, with corresponding levels of US Sailing Team-provided support. The US National Team is comprised of Tiers 1 and 2.
USST Tier Principles:
- When an athlete/team qualifies for a Tier, they maintain this Tier status for two World Championships provided they meet all requirements outlined here
- If an athlete/team qualifies for a Tier and subsequently qualifies for a higher Tier at the following World Championship, they will move to the higher Tier.
- US National Team athletes and all nominated Olympians, are required to sign an Athlete Agreement, Code of Conduct and adhere to WADA and USADA anti-doping protocols, policies and procedures
- With the guidance of USST staff, US National Team athletes and all nominated Olympians are expected to structure their training and competition schedule to perform successfully at their Class World Championships and/or Olympic Games.
- If an athlete/team earns Tier status and then changes partners and/or boat class, athlete(s) may be allowed to retain their Tier status with a new partner or in a new class at the discretion of the Olympic Director and Head Coach.
- In an Olympic year, US National Team athletes and all nominated Olympians must commit to training in the boat class in which they earned Olympic Qualification and/or US National Team status in order to remain eligible for support.
TIER 1: TOP 10 IN THE WORLD
To qualify for US Sailing Team Tier 1, athletes/teams must achieve a top 10 finish at their most recent Class World Championship or the 2020 Olympic Games, as long as their equipment is retained for the 2024 Olympic Games.
TIER 2: TOP 25 IN THE WORLD
To qualify for US Sailing Team Tier 2, athletes/teams must achieve a top 25 finish at their most recent Class World Championship.
TIER 3: DOMESTIC PROGRAM ATHLETE
There is no event-specific qualification for Tier 3. Instead, athletes achieve this Tier level by committing to train domestically in an Olympic discipline to improve their skill sets.
- US Sailing’s Olympic program and/or Olympic Development Program (ODP) will support Tier 3 athletes domestically and will encourage these athletes to work with our best sailing coaches to develop the skills required to succeed internationally.
- Additionally, if approved by Olympic Development Director, any Tier 3 athlete can join organized training if they have their own coach.
- US Sailing-provided support for Tier 3 athletes is based on available resources and deliverable impact to the athlete. It is determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on available resources.
TIER 4: OLYMPIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (ODP) ATHLETE
While there is no event-specific qualification to receive ODP support, participation in ODP Training Camps and Travel Teams is by invitation only. Invitations are based on the following criteria:
- desire and commitment
- age and physical size
- results at evaluation regattas
- demonstrated potential vs. rate of improvement
- fitness and athleticism
- “coachability” and willingness to follow a training plan
Additionally, Regional Programs are invited to attend ODP clinics with a group of sailors and a coach to work alongside the ODP coaches and invited sailors.
Note: US Sailing will release team selection criteria for the new 2024 classes (Mixed Kiteboarding (Formula Kite) and the Mixed Two Person Dinghy (470)) in early 2021.
At the December 7, 2020 International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board meeting, the IOC announced that they would like to further review the Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat Event in order to properly assess the key considerations around safety and security of the athletes. The specific event proposal will be decided as soon as practicably possible but no later than 31 May 2021. As a result, team selection criteria for Offshore sailors is on hold until the IOC makes a final decision on the Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat Event.
Funding from the USOPC and US Sailing is earned through a combination of on-the-water performance and adherence to the signed Athlete Agreement. 2021 support funding will be announced after the 2021 budget is approved and the USOPC contract is signed, estimated early 2021.