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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Marni Lane, MarniLane@USSAILING.org, 617.671.8332

US SAILING Announces New Olympic Training Pipeline
Applications for New 2009 US Sailing Team – U18, US Sailing Team – U23 Now Being Accepted

Portsmouth, R.I. (November 18, 2008) – US SAILING’s Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) is proud to announce a new Olympic sailing training pipeline, which will help guide talented sailors from youth programs to the U.S. Olympic Sailing Program. As part of the new pipeline, the OSC will launch two new teams in 2009: The US Sailing Team – U18 (Under 18) and US Sailing Team – U23 (Under 23). As a long-time supporter of youth racing, LaserPerformance has signed on as the official sponsor of both teams. US SAILING will provide the teams with elite-level coaching, as well as educational, administrative and logistical support throughout the year. The country’s top youth sailors will gain invaluable experience by competing at major national and international regattas, learn how to campaign for the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team AlphaGraphics and choose, prepare and maintain equipment.

Formerly known as the Elite Youth Development Team, the US Sailing Team – U18 and US Sailing Team – U23 were created for athletes who have been identified as future Olympic prospects. The US Sailing Team – U18 will include the top sailors in the Laser Radial (boys), Laser Radial (girls), 29er (open) and I420 (boys or girls) classes, who were born after January 1, 1991. The OSC will accept up to five boats in each class for the U18 team. The US Sailing Team – U23 will consist of the top two sailors born after January 1, 1986 in each of the Laser (men) and Laser Radial (women) classes. Members of the U23 team may also compete concurrently at the college level.

US SAILING is currently accepting applications for the 2009 US Sailing Team – U18 and US Sailing Team U-23 from sailors who fit the age and class requirements and are current members of US SAILING. Team members will be selected by sailing resume, including regatta results and awards, as well as a proposed training plan for the 2009 season. Sailors who have qualified for the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) will not be eligible for the U18 or U23 teams.

Team members must be available to train and compete for a minimum of 65 days a year. Applicants should also specify which regattas they are available to compete at in 2009:

· USSTAG Training Camp, all classes except Laser Radial, Miami, Fla. (February 14-16)

· Laser Radial Women’s North American Championship, Radial girls, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (February 12-15)

· Laser Midwinters East, Laser and Laser Radial girls and boys, Clearwater, Fla. (February 19-22)

· USSTAG Physical Training Camp, all classes, Chula Vista, Calif. (March 12-15)

· California International Sailing Association (CISA) Clinic, all classes, Long Beach, Calif. (April 4-7)

· USSTAG Training Camp, all U23 classes, Kiel, Germany (June 13-16)

· USSTAG Training Camp, all U18 classes, Kiel, Germany (June 22-24)

· Kiel Week, 420 and 29er, Kiel, Germany (June 19-25)

· Kiel Week, Laser and Laser Radial girls and boys, Kiel, Germany (June 25-28)

· USSTAG Training Camp, all classes, Kiel, Germany (June 29 – July 4)

· European Laser Radial Youth Championship, Laser Radial girls and boys, Charlottenlund, Denmark (July 1-8)

· European Laser Radial Women’s Championship, Laser Radial all ages, Charlottenlund, Denmark (July 9-16)

· 29er World Championship, 29er, Riva, Lake Garda, Italy (July 19-25)

· I420 Worlds Championship, I420, Lake Garda, Italy (July 27 – August 5)

· I420 Junior European Championship, I420, Lake Balaton, Hungary (August 10-18)


Sailors interested in being considered for the team should e-mail a cover letter, sailing resume, training and regatta plan and headshot to US SAILING’s High Performance Director Kenneth Andreasen and US SAILING’s Olympic Director Katie Kelly at Olympics@ussailing.org. The deadline for applications is Sunday, December 7, 2008. Team members will be announced by Friday, December 19, 2008.

About LaserPerformance
LaserPerformance (formerly Vanguard Sailboats) is the steward of some of sailing’s most recognized brands including Laser, Sunfish, Club 420, and the SB3. LaserPerformance products are actively sold and sailed in over 40 countries worldwide. For more information on the events which LaserPerformance sponsor and support please visit: www.laserperformance.com

About US SAILING
The US Sailing Team – U18 and US Sailing Team – U23 are managed by US SAILING, the national governing body of the sport. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. The organization provides leadership for the sport of sailing in the United States. 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 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Teams. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.

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