Sailor of the Week: July 22 - 28
US Sailing Development Team member, Erika Reineke (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), has made quite the impression on her teammates, coaches, and competition for quite some time, especially during the month of July. Just 10 days after capturing a bronze medal at the 40th Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, Erika became the 2010 Laser Radial Youth World Champion with a convincing win in Largs, Scotland last weekend.
The victory was especially sweet for Erika. At the ISAF Youth Worlds, she was edged by gold medalist Michelle Broekhuizen (NED) and silver medalist Heidi Tenkanen (FIN). Erika turned the tables on her toughest competition at the Laser Radial Youth Worlds. She defeated Broekhuizen, who finished second, by a comfortable 27-point margin with a race to spare.
“This win showed me that hard work and discipline really pays off,” Erika said. “Knowing that I had already medaled against these girls was reassuring. I had a second chance in Largs to try and achieve what I did not get done in Turkey.”
Erika credited her success to good starts and downwind speed. “I was extremely aggressive on the line,” she added. “On the downwinds my technique was what allowed me to have an edge over my competitors.”
The junior at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School started sailing at 8-years-old in an Optimist. Erika wasn’t a big fan at first, but with her parents support she grew to love the sport.
Erika has been gracious in victory and grateful for her teammates and coaches. “I have learned that having friends and teammates by my side only makes it easier,” added Erika. “The sport has given me so much. I want to see other people enjoy it as much as me… It’s my life.”