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US Sailing addresses athletes in Europe following recent travel restrictions and event cancellations

by Brittney Manning 12 Mar 14:53 PDT
US Sailing Team © Will Ricketson

Due to the travel restrictions from Europe that were announced by the U.S. on Wednesday, March 11 amid the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and recent event cancellations and postponements, US Sailing has advised all American Olympic class sailing athletes who are training in Europe to return to the United States.

On Thursday, March 12, the 2020 470 World Championships were postponed by the International 470 Class and Club Nautic Arenal until authorities can conduct further re-evaluation in April. Event organizers and Club Nautic Arenal have also canceled the 51st Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar Regatta.

Chief Executive Officer of US Sailing, Jack Gierhart said, "Our priority is always the safety and wellbeing of the athletes. In this rapidly changing situation, the best recommendation we can make is for them to return home and resume training domestically."

According to Olympic Head Coach, Luther Carpenter, the U.S. athletes were prepared for sudden changes in their international competition schedule and are adapting quickly. "We have been living in a period of the unknown and have speculated that we would be faced with some change," he said. "So, we have been, and will continue to be, ready to react appropriately to whatever the situation calls for."

Upon returning to the States, the sailors will continue to prepare for the U.S. Olympic Trials and Olympic Games. Carpenter added, "We strategically kept training boats stateside, so we will go home to train efficiently on our own."

The postponement of the 2020 470 World Championships and possible changes to the 2020 Finn Gold Cup in May will impact the U.S. Olympic Trials. US Sailing will re-evaluate the selection procedures for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team.

"As the coronavirus situation continues to impact the athletes' international competition schedule, our Selection Committee will be reviewing current procedures," said Gierhart. "As always, the Committee's goal is to ensure a fair process that provides effective training opportunities for the selected Olympians."

US Sailing will continue to provide updates as official changes to selection are made and the COVID-19 situation progresses.

Information and resources organized by US Sailing on the COVID-19 can be found here.

Updates on the US Sailing Team and Olympic selection can be found here.

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