Meet Kyle Rogachenko, New USSTAG Member
One of the many American standouts from last month’s US SAILING's 2010 Rolex Miami OCR was up-and-comer Kyle Rogachenko, 21, a new member of the 2010 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG). Rogachenko had the break-out performance of the regatta by winning a bronze medal in the deep and talented, 104-boat Laser fleet, which earned him a spot on the 2010 USSTAG.
The top American Laser competitor finished just two points overall behind silver medalist Jean-Baptiste Bernaz of France. Rogachenko sailed consistently well throughout the regatta, punctuated by a bullet on the last day before the double-point Medal Race. He also finished third in Race 6 and fourth in Race 8.
“Going into the final race I felt relaxed and focused,” said Rogachenko. “The conditions were exactly the same as the previous race that day. I modified my game plan from the first race and took advantage of what I learned. It seemed like everything fell into place.”
Rogachenko arrived in Miami prepared both mentally and physically to sail at his best. One of his goals for this regatta was to reach an optimal weight and fitness level to compete successfully against elite international competition. “In the past I have been one of the smallest guys in the fleet, and for this event I was bigger and stronger than I have ever been. Each day I get into the boat I am learning ways to use fitness to my advantage.”
His results at Rolex Miami OCR proved his intense training has paid off, and he is eager to work with USSTAG coaches and trainers to help evaluate his performance: “The support of an organized team is an important part of taking sailing to the next level.”
The college senior from Collegeville, Pa. is a mechanical engineering major at Old Dominion University. When Kyle gets out of school in May, he plans to continue competing in International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Sailing World Cup events throughout Europe this summer.
“Seeing myself improve after training hard or working on a specific part of my race motivates me to keep racing,” he said. “To me, it means I still have room to improve in other areas.”
Fitness is also important for Rogachenko who knows being in terrific shape will help his endurance over a long event, so he will continue to focus on fitness in order to be in the best physical condition for sailing. As for long-term goals, Rogachenko hopes to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Team and compete at the Games in England.
“Winning an Olympic medal would be the ultimate reward for me and would make all of the hard work well worth the effort,” he said.