Dec. 5, 2019 -- Over the next two weeks, four members of the United States SailGP Team are competing at multiple world championship events as Wing Trimmer Riley Gibbs and Grinder Hans Henken look to advance their Tokyo 2020 Olympic dreams at the 2019 Hyundai World Championships in the Nacra 17 and 49er classes respectively; Helmsman Rome Kirby races at the 2019 Moth World Championship; and Flight Controller Taylor Canfield competes at the 2019 Stars Sailors League Championship.
Riley Gibbs & Hans Henken
Gibbs, Henken and their respective Nacra 17 and 49er teammates are battling it out in Auckland, New Zealand this week for the 2019 Hyundai World Championships. Gibbs and Henken are on a mission as part of the U.S. Sailing Team to fulfill their Olympic qualification dreams for Tokyo 2020.
The 2019 World Championships are the first of two Olympic qualifying regattas to determine which U.S. teams will represent in Tokyo next summer. The U.S. Nacra 17 Class has already secured its slot, thanks to Gibbs and teammate Anna Weis’s recent performance to officially qualify the United States for a berth. Now the duo hopes to secure valuable points in this World Championship to qualify and represent USA in 2020. Live broadcast here.
In the U.S. 49er Class, Henken and teammate, Skipper Judge Ryan, are among five American 49er teams that will compete at the make-or-break event to qualify the class for Tokyo 2020. By the end of the event, one of these teams must finish in the top four out of countries that have not yet qualified in order for the U.S. 49er Class dreams to continue. Live broadcast available here.
Kirby has arrived in Perth, Australia ahead of next week’s Moth World Championship where he is set to line up against 100+ of the best foiling sailors in the world, including SailGP sailors Tom Slingsby, Kyle Langford and the U.S. SailGP Team Wing Trimmer Coach Tom Johnson, among others.
Kirby, who considers the cutting-edge Moth Class to be one of the best training tools for SailGP’s supercharged F50, will look to use the intense competition and ideal foiling conditions to further push his skill level as he prepares for SailGP Season 2. The World Championships begin December 9th (Australia) through the 18th. Follow along from the official event site, here.
The Star Sailors League event began Tuesday for Canfield and his crew Arnis Baltins, and will run through Saturday in Nassau, Bahamas. The 23-boat fleet will race in an elimination format to determine who will be the 2019 ‘Star of the Sailing World’.
Canfield competed in the event in 2013 and 2017, and is charging forward for the trifecta but competition is fierce as they are up against former America’s Cup, Olympic and Match Racing World Champions. This event is also live broadcast at www.StarSailors.com, or via Facebook and Instagram.