LONG BEACH, CA (July 9, 2021) – Olympic energy filled the air for day one of the US Open Sailing Series in Long Beach. The event, which takes place at the venue of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games sailing venue, features 124 teams across 8 classes – 6 Olympic classes (Finn, Formula Kite, iQ Foil, ILCA 7, ILCA 6 and Nacra 17 ) Youth Olympic Development Classes (29er and ICLA 4).
On the water, elite Olympic coaches helped prepare competitors for the West Coast stage of the series with three days of pre-event sessions hosted by the Olympic Development Program (ODP). Two-time Olympic bronze medalist Charlie McKee (Bend, Oregon) coached Formula Kite sailors during the week and was impressed not only with the depth of developing talent, but also how the talent grows together in as a team in the most recent class on the Paris 2024 program.
âWe are very happy with everything that has happened here,â McKee said. âWe had a great training camp prior to this event. This is the first time we’ve had the kites at the West Marine US Open Series here in California. We have 23 kites on the line and the level of racing is really high. There is a good mix of super talented teens and adults with experience in kite foilers, and everyone works together collaboratively to improve.
Bringing an international, technology-driven approach to our US program, Yaniv Meir (Israel) worked with the iQ Foil Group in Long Beach. His proven track record of working with dominant Israeli windsurfers is helping to reinvigorate the discipline in the United States and reignite American efforts for the 2024 and 2028 Games.
âThere is no doubt that the world of windsurfing has changed because we have changed the discipline to IQ Foil,â said Yaniv. âNaturally, for a country as large as the United States, the benefit of changing the discipline gives young sailors the opportunity to step into an exciting new class and pursue their dreams. I bring the experience of training windsurfing, but what I get from sailors is the excitement. What I have seen these last 4 days is the combination of my experience and knowledge of windsurfing with their ambitions. There is no doubt that this opens the door for the United States to do great things in the near future, where young American talent is showing real results.
The eight classes compete in three separate sailing circles off Long Beach and everyone is on deck to make the event a success. Southern California has activated a volunteer team of over 100 dedicated people from the local sailing community. Members of the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, Long Beach Yacht Club and US Sailing Center Long Beach worked together to host the 2021 event, laying the groundwork that will continue to build over the next seven years until Los Angeles 2028.
“With 124 teams racing here in Long Beach, the West Marine US Open series continues to gain momentum,” said Paul Cayard, Olympian, world champion and current executive director of the US Olympic sailing team. âAlong with enjoying the conditions, the support of top coaches and the local sailing community at large, these athletes show the depth that we cultivate in the United States. The future of American Olympic sailing is bright!
Later that day, Cayard (San Francisco, Calif.) Joined Olympic bronze medalist Pamela Healy (San Francisco, Calif.) On-site at the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club to host the Tokyo Olympic Team’s virtual consignment. . They were joined virtually by US Sailing CEO Alan Ostfield, US Sailing Team’s first partner John Kilroy, and every athlete heading to Tokyo. Details for watching the archived broadcast can be found below.
The Long Beach component of the West Marine US Open Sailing Series is an exceptional additional benefit for competitors who take advantage of the six-regatta series, as it provides sailors with high-level racing and training in future Olympic waters. On a larger scale, the US Open is delivering on its promise to deliver top-level annual racing on a national platform, all with the goal of racing towards excellence together on US waters in 2028.
Watch the start of the Tokyo 2020 athletes here: Let’s go to Tokyo! Athlete departure celebration
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CONTACT WITH THE MEDIA:
Jake Fish, US Sailing Communications