Wednesday, February 07, 2007

From Five to Three

When I met with Dean Brenner, Chairman of the US Olympic Sailing Committee, last October, he told me how much grief he received after the committee decided to change the 2007 US Sailing Team from five members down to three members in each class. The sailing team is something US sailors work toward, and making the team is one way the up and coming teams can gain some credibility.

Our review this week of America’s Olympic Contenders has revealed a fact that the USOSC already knew… the US isn’t very deep in any class. Most classes have one, or maybe two representatives that can compete on the international level. Only the Star class can go deeper (once everyone returns from the America’s Cup). The windsurfers don’t have anybody.

If the US Sailing Team is to really mean something, it makes total sense to raise the bar. Maybe there needs to be a second tier, like the US Sailing Developmental Team, so it is not all or nothing. Labels do mean something, and it would help that the aspiring teams had something to hang their hats on. Heck, with the way the top teams have their own personal coaches, maybe the US Olympic Sailing team coaches can work just with the developmental group.

It has been interesting doing the review, and we look forward to revisiting the list prior to the US trials this fall. - Craig Leweck

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