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470s return to Vilamoura for European Championship

by US Sailing Team 30 Apr 23:11 PDT
2021 470 European Championship © Uros Kekus Kleva

The 2021 470 European Championship is officially under way at Vilamoura Sailing (April 30 - May 7), a venue that has become the sailing world's go-to location amidst the pandemic thanks to their expert regatta management paired with their well-practiced Covid safety policies and procedures. Vilamoura Sailing and the surrounding marina area has been the nucleus of Olympic sailing activity with Finns, Lasers, Radials, and 470s logging the hours on the water through a collection of training days, coach-run regattas, and official events.

Vilamoura Sailing's formula for safe organized racing spurred sailors from all over the world to flock with appetites for conditions that Olympic sailors are likely to experience in Enoshima at the 2021 Summer Games.

On the starting line from the United States are the nominated Tokyo 2020 representatives in the Men's and Women's 470, Stu McNay (Providence, RI) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.), and Nikki Barnes (St. Thomas, USVI) and Lara Dallman-Weiss (Shoreview, Minn.). Both teams recently raced in Vilamoura for the 470 World Championship, which served as the final qualification event for the last remaining spot to represent the USA at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the Women's 470. This position was secured by Barnes and Dallman-Weiss. Carmen and Emma Cowles (Larchmont, NY) will also be in competition in the Women's 470.

US Sailing Team's Head Coach, Luther Carpenter, said "Stu, Dave, Nikki, and Lara are ready to test their lessons learned over the last few weeks and are looking forward to another event to focus on starting, boat speed, tactics, and consistency over the length of the regatta. Conditions here can have Japan-esque flavor at times and are good reminder of what each competitor is working for."

Louisa Nordstrom (Sarasota, Fla.) and Trevor Bornarth (Martin County, Fla.), and Shawn Harvey (Miami, Fla.) and Augie Dale (Pewaukee, Wis.) of the Oyster Bay 470 team coached by Yevgeniy Burmatnov and supported by Hunt Lawrence will also be representing the USA in Vilamoura.

"The US is also proudly represented by those sailing for the same trophy and goals, with just as much focus and determination" continued Carpenter. "Carmen and Emma Cowles have been here since early February, are excited to show their swagger and skills, and aren't phased at all by the competition. The Oyster Bay 470 Team is also here, extending their residency in a similar fashion, with coach Yevgeniy. Nordstrom and Bornarth are aiming at the impressive mixed fleet title, while Shaun/Augie Dale are battling hard in the men's fleet."

"No matter what fleet they are in," said Carpenter, "this is Olympic 470 sailing at the highest level, as everyone is gaining skill and momentum for Tokyo. It will be an exciting week and is sure to deliver some great racing. Fleet camaraderie and respect is high, as all of the competitors cherish the opportunity to race and are thankful for Vilamoura's safe environment and conditions."

All boats are eager to sail in familiar waves and waters and against some of the strongest 470 sailors in the world, and supporters from home can get front row seats to the racing thanks to Vilamoura Sailing / Prow Media's livestream starting May 2nd.

For more information visit event website.

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