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US Sailing Olympic Trials begin with Laser World Championships

by Brittney Manning 2 Jul 19:34 PDT
Laser World Championships © US Sailing Team

This week, the first event of the 2019 Olympic class World Championships begin, marking the opening of the U.S. Olympic trials for the sport of sailing. Racing begins Thursday, July 4, with the world's best Laser sailors lining up in Sakaiminato City, Japan.

Nine competitors in the 159-boat fleet will be representing the United States. American favorites, Chris Barnard (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.), both had strong finishes earlier this spring. Sailing against many of the competitors they will see on the water this week, the pair placed first and fifth, respectively, at the 50th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar regatta.

Barnard, Buckingham, and the rest of the U.S. Men's Laser sailors will be doing everything they can to place well this week, as the results from this event will set the stage for the U.S. Olympic trials, in the Laser class.

The US Sailing Olympic Trials System proceeds in three phases: Early, Middle, and Late Selection. The three-tiered system was designed to better serve the athletes competing for selection to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. "The reframed selection criteria allow for certainty earlier in the cycle for athletes that are performing at the highest level," said Malcolm Page, US Sailing's Chief of Olympic Sailing. "Simultaneously, the later selections allow greater opportunity for other well-performing athletes to qualify and compete at the Olympic Games."

Under this system, athletes may qualify for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team as early as September, upon conclusion of the Hempel World Cup Series Enoshima or as late as next spring, upon conclusion of the 2020 World Championships. In either case, the results from the 2019 World Championships will be a deciding factor in the 2020 trials.

2019 Laser World Championships - U.S. Competitors

  • Christopher Barnard (Newport Beach, Calif.)
  • Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.)
  • Paul Didham (San Diego, Calif.)
  • Peter Hurley (Mantoloking, N.J.)
  • Malcolm Lamphere (Lake Forest, Ill.)
  • Henry Marshall (Newton, Mass.)
  • Ford McCann (Kemah, Texas)
  • Marshall McCann (Kemah, Texas)
  • Marek Zaleski (Norwalk, Conn.)
More information about the 2019 Laser World Championships: As the primary sponsor of the US Sailing Team, Kilroy Realty provides direct support to the national team athletes at all Selection Events, including the 2019 Class World Championships.

For more information about the US Sailing Olympic Trials System, click here.

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