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Contact: Marni Lane, marnilane@ussailing.org, 617-671-8332

Success Stories: US Sailing Development Team Brings Home Impressive Medal Haul from Top International Events

Portsmouth, R.I. (August 4, 2010) – The old adage of practice makes perfect isn’t lost on the next generation of Olympic sailing hopefuls, who have shown the sailing community that tough training and commitment can pay off on the world’s stage. This new crop of talented sailors on the US Sailing Development Team (USSDT) and the U.S. Youth World Team, who have aspirations to make the 2016 Olympic Team and beyond, have stood high on the podium at several international events this summer, collecting six coveted medals. Even more importantly, they gained the confidence to perform in big, deep fleets and learned first-hand that discipline and hard work pay off.

“We have put a big effort into development in the past few years, and these world championship medals are a collective sign that we are on the right track,” said Olympic Sailing Program High Performance Director/Head Coach Kenneth Andreasen (Tampa, Fla.). “While we work hard on raising the level of the many talented sailors around the country, we also put a lot of effort into making the transition from development classes into the Olympic classes as smooth as possible. The fact we medaled in all of the non-Olympic classes this summer is impressive.”

VYW10_0749_Screve Moody_Credit Dave KnealeIn the Laser Radial, up-and-comer Erika Reineke (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) is on a successful sailing streak, exemplified by becoming the 2010 Laser Radial Youth World Champion in Largs, Scotland, only 10 days after winning a bronze medal at the 40th Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Istanbul, Turkey. Two more boats on the U.S. Youth World Team won bronze medals in developmental classes: Antoine Screve (Kentfield, Calif.) and James Moody (Tiburon, Calif.) in the 29er and Taylor Palmer (Miami Shores, Fla.) and Mac Agnese (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) in the Sirena SL16.

USSDT’s Morgan Kiss (Holland, Mich.) and Katia DaSilva (East Greenwich, R.I.) won a silver medal at the International 420 World Championship, which ended Saturday in Haifa, Israel. [Read US SAILING's interview with Kiss and DaSilva about their silver medal here.] Kiss’ brother, Mitchell Kiss (Holland, Mich.), won a bronze medal at the Laser Radial World Championship in the men’s division and fifth in the youth boys division in Largs, Scotland, last month.

“We want medals, but overall team performance is very important for us, because it shows we’re on track and developing a strong base for the future of Olympic sailing in the United States,” said Olympic Coach Leandro Spina (Miami, Fla.).

Kiss ReinekeBefore competing overseas this summer, these youth sailors and their teammates sailed in training camps run by Olympic Sailing Program coaches in Miami, San Francisco, Annapolis, Barcelona and Kiel, Germany. In addition to on-the-water drills and racing, athletes participated in off-the-water seminars about fitness, nutrition and technique. Guest speakers, including US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) members and Olympians, shared knowledge and insight about how to run successful Olympic campaigns. The goal of these clinics are to provide young athletes with the tools they need to take their sailing to a new, elite level and achieve top, international results.

In the fall, the Olympic Sailing Program will host three more training camps in Miami for youth sailors competing in the Laser, Laser Radial, I420, 29er, 29er, 470 and 49er classes. The dates are: October 9-11, November 26-28 and December 18-21, 2010. Sailors interested in participating in one of these camps should email clinic organizers at development@ussailing.org with their plans for competing and training in 2011.

For more information about the USSDT, including its mission, benefits, training/competition schedule and selection guidelines, please visit: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Teams/2010USSDT.htm

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About the US Sailing Development Team
The US Sailing Development Team (USSDT) is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. Selected annually, the USSDT is supported and administered exclusively by the US Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) of US SAILING. The OSC’s mission is to develop sailors for Olympic-caliber competition and to prepare them for qualification to the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) and the Olympic Sailing Team. The OSC supports these athletes with coaching and by facilitating training and racing with and against the best national and international competition. 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. For more information about US SAILING, please visit: www.ussailing.org. For more information about the US Sailing Development Team, please visit: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org.

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Photo credits: David Kneale and Larry Kennedy