Making lemonade on the way to Paris 2024 >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News
For the new teams pursuing the Paris 2024 Olympics, the obstacles remain high to acquire the necessary experience. With the Tokyo 2020 postponement flying a year and the pandemic still impacting travel and the calendar of events, there are plenty of lemons being served.
One of the teams making lemonade is Americans Lucy Wilmot and Erika Reineke, who are working hard to master the 49erFX boat for the women’s single scull event. Here is their latest report:
Our team continues to triumph over unforeseen challenges.
Shortly after sending our September Bulletin, we received an email notification that the Princess Sofia Regatta has been canceled due to COVID-19 and lack of registrations.
Absolutely crushed by this news, our hearts squeezed. For the third time, we will have to wait for the opportunity to compete internationally. Once the initial wave of emotion passed, we immediately mapped out our next course of action. There was a good chance that twenty-five other teams were in the same position as us.
Refusing to ruin this trip, we tracked down the entry list for the Palma regatta and what we found was interesting. In the sailing world, finding passionate training partners seemed similar to today’s online dating culture. Although we didn’t personally know any of the teams we contacted and our only tie was wanting to take part in the Palma event, we took the first step and slipped into their DMs (direct messages).
Hoping not to be left “reading”, we eagerly awaited the computer with butterflies. Within an hour of receiving the heartbreaking news and sending messages, we not only made new friends, but also had a ton of different training opportunities! Sometimes you have to take a shot (wink, wink).
Excited by the number of responses, we scheduled phone calls with coaches and international teams to learn more about training abroad. Finally, we re-booked our flights to Medemblik, the Netherlands, to train with the Dutch and Belgian teams for the next three weeks.
There, we will train with some of the best teams ahead of the 2021 World Championships in November and compete in the Dutch Allianz Regatta October 8-10. In addition, we hired Jorge Lima who placed 6th at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 for Portugal in the 49er men category. It is nothing less than a dream come true!
Since learning of the cancellation of the Princess Sofia regatta, we have also been rushing to revamp our training schedule nationally last month to keep the momentum going. San Francisco seemed like a great option since Miami was still experiencing summer storms, however, the bay teased us for ten straight days. Strange weather conditions and a system of looming storms off the coast of Canada made the forecast odd and uncertain.
One day in particular, we left with the greatest confidence. We had just re-grabbed the boat after having skated like Bambi on the ice during the maneuvers the day before. What seemed like a glamorous 12-15 knot day turned into 25-30 knots in maximum ebb in five minutes.
Shooting down between Alcatraz and Point Blunt was no longer an option. Flying to the coach boat to lower the mainsail was no longer an option. We were forced to lower the sails solo. It took a bit of teamwork, but eventually we lowered the sails, winged up to the coach boat, and hung on for a tow. We reached the sunny dock at the Richmond Yacht Club and it was as if the whole scene had never happened. Savage!
Looking back on September, we pride ourselves on our team’s ability to remain objective in the face of adversity. Experiences like these strengthen our team on and off the water. Together and with our support system, there is very little that we cannot resolve. Thank you and don’t forget to follow us on social media. We’ll be updating our feed regularly with photos, videos and overseas training bloopers!
To find out more about this team: https://www.wilmotreinekefx.com/
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-August 11