What happens when you combine youth, enthusiasm, passion, determination, a love of sailing, and a new attitude by the US Sailing Team. You end up with two talented sailors like Nikki Medley and Lara Dallman-Weiss deciding to take on the world and join in the fun of a 470 Olympic campaign journey.
The earlier article this week by Campbell Woods about his experience in the 49’er held true for Nikki and Lara last week in Miami. Where the prior US Sailing Team administration crushed the soul of anyone other than the chosen few, Josh Adams and Charlie McKee have instantly changed tacks and brought back the spirit of what made our country a great Olympic sailing program. Nikki and Lara just started sailing together a month ago, they have an old boat, and they need help in every respect. Gone seems the attitude of ultra-selective support, replaced by a renewed spirit of cooperation and support by the leadership. Even behind the scenes help by 470 ace Larry Suter was welcomed and encouraged, who was far more mentor than coach to Nikki and Lara. We need more mentors and less instance on paid coaches.
Nikki and Lara didn’t tear up the race course with great results last week, but they had moments of brilliance, and most importantly, constant improvement. Everyone has to start somewhere, and with only two other women’s 470 teams in the US right now, this country needs every team in every Olympic class we can put on the starting line. We need a deeper pool of talent, we need dozens of other Nikki’s and Lara’s to breakout of the constraints in the cookie cutter low tech programs we in the US have lulled ourselves into believing matter. The declining results on the international stage prove the US Sailing “track” is a train wreck.
Like all prospective Olympians, Nikki and Lara need help of kinds. But this isn’t just about them, they are only a shining example of what this country can do when it puts its mind to being better than we thought we could be, than what we have allowed ourselves to become. Support Nikki and Lara with money or mentorship, and if not them, then find other talented young sailors and help them, just like someone helped you in the past. – Anarchist Misc.