Create an emotional connection >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

The effort to restore the American team to its Olympic significance requires depth and talent, two things that cannot happen without passion and dedication. But the team has been its worst enemy, failing to generate interest in its own agenda.

In the absence of league results, there was also an emotional disconnect. Athletes are afraid to share their story, preferring to do the work with the hope that support will follow. Fortunately, a better example occurs with Lucy Wilmot and Erika Reineke.

As a new team campaigning in the women’s single scull, they recognize how the impact of their efforts extends far beyond the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. By sharing their story, they are building interest in their campaign. while motivating the next generation to join the journey. Here is their latest update:

We hebben het gedaan! Which in Dutch means “We did it!” Our team finally made it to the Netherlands last month and we cannot thank you enough for your encouragement and support.

Our first stop on the trip to Europe was Medemblik where we met our coach Jorge Lima who placed 7th at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo. There we trained with our new international training partners in the Dutch, Belgian and German teams.

From the start we knew this trip was going to have a ton of “firsts” for us and we were excited to embark on the adventure.

Travel on board, check sails and a toolbox at the airport (expensive but necessary), work with Jorge, ride a charter boat, sail with international training partners, participate in an international event and share a very small bed together were all completely new experiences for us.

Of course, the first day of working with Jorge was nuclear. San Francisco had us prepared, so we felt pretty confident getting out of the port. Boom, we put the kite on, locked in the foot straps, threw a few gybes and ripped off downwind. After the watering, we stopped at the coach boat with a smiling coach Jorge. He was impressed and in fact… so were we. HA!

Our training partners joined us a few days later. The lake was bursting and the wind was howling again. As we left the dock, the excitement and a bit of nerves thrilled everyone. Immediately the kites were set up and we started our first downwind race.

Remember this was our first time sailing with this group and we weren’t sure what to expect, but we knew we wanted to win this awful downwind exercise. It was driving or death conditions. OUF!

The boats were squeezing through each other at high speed, the chop was huge and people were out of control. A few boats capsized and got buried in mud right out of the gate, but we managed to keep the hull upright to crush it. In the last part of the chaos downwind we had a nice jibe which I’m sure we won’t forget.

There was a starboard boat coming straight towards us, the pressure was there, the chop was aggressive, but we executed perfectly. In the end, this jibe allowed us to roll the starboard boat, send its crew into the water from our windward shade and reach the leeward buoy in first position.

Now passing the leeward mark was another story. Through the choke we ended up wing after wing and when we got through the “power zone” we wiped out. The Dutch coaches laughed and were probably thinking ‘shit, these American girls are thugs’. It was awesome.

With a plethora of “firsts” piling up in our back pockets, a second was bound to come at some point on this trip. This materialized at the Dutch Open Allianz Regatta where we won a silver medal!

While there were few boats at the event, there was no shortage of talent. The gold medalists, Odile van Annholt and Elise de Ruyter from the Netherlands, are the current European champions. Next, Isaura Maenhaut and Anouk Geurts of Belgium won bronze, which competed in the 2021 Olympics last summer.

It was a close race the whole way and our team is proud to say that out of the seven races we have passed the first mark five times in first place. LET’S GO!

After the event, we packed the boat and headed to The Hague for a few more days of training with the girls. Overall, we learned that all those hours of practicing boat handling in the interior of the country were paying off. Our maneuvers were first rate and allowed us to capitalize on the gains around the course.

Plus, competing in a smaller fleet was a great way to dip our toes into the engagement with other boats ahead of the 2021 49erFX World Championship kicks off this month. We had a great time working with Jorge and while he will not be joining us for this next event, we are delighted to have him on our team as a resource for the future.

On October 31, we flew to Oman for the 2021 Worlds! Stretched out on the seats, sleeping with blankets over our heads and quietly for seven hours, some might say we pulled off an effortless ghostly disguise. BOO!

Our plan on arrival is to take the first few days to assemble our boat and then get into the water with our trainer Luther Carpenter to begin our pre-regatta training. The event begins November 16 and we’ll be constantly updating our social media pages to keep you all up to date with the race. Thank you, we love our friends, family and supporters. GO TO THE UNITED STATES!

PS – Although we like to be side by side at all times together, we are delighted with the bed situation at the Worlds. Unlike Holland, we will each have our own mattress with a beautiful sea view over the Gulf of Oman. Who knows… we might even have a fight for the first time over who gets the bed closest to the window.

Photo above: Lucy is on the far left with Erika by her side.

Olympic sailing program Paris 2024
Men’s single-seater sailing dinghy – ILCA 7
Women’s single-seater sailing dinghy – ILCA 6
Mixed annex for two people – 470
Men’s single scull – 49er
Women’s single scull – 49erFx
Men’s kite board – Formula kite lessons
Kitesurfing for women – Formula Kite Class
Windsurfing for men – iQFoil
Windsurfing for women – iQFoil
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Location: Marseille, France
Dates: July 26 to August 11


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