Ian Barrows and Hans Henken thrive in torturous qualification process to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics. Over 7 days of racing and 19 races, the regatta played out primarily among the three elite 49er teams that have extensive experience.
Ian Barrows and Hans Henken Qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics:
The top three 49er teams battled for the lead all week, with everything coming down to the last few races on Saturday. Ian Barrows (St. Thomas, USVI) and Hans Henken (Coronado, Calif.) took the win over Andrew Mollerus (Larchmont, NY) and Ian MacDiarmid (Delray Beach, Fla.) by three points. Nevin Snow (San Diego, Calif.) and Mac Agnese (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) came in third with an impressive final day, winning two of the last three races.
“It could have been anyone’s regatta any day, so we’re really honored to have won in the end,” said Ian Barrows. “We can all take credit as a group for what will hopefully be a good Olympic result in the 49er for the US.”
“It’s a huge relief to be able to say that we’re going to go represent the United States at the Olympic Games,” said Henken. “We’ve been working towards this for a very long time and to be able to accomplish this is huge for us.”
The regatta was atypical from international 49er racing, due to the small fleet size. It was much more like an extended three-way match race. For half the sailing Events US Sailing decided to revive the ‘trials’ process they used from the 70’s through the 2000’s before adopting the more typical modern standard of evaluation at international regattas.
The three top teams only kept a single score outside the top 3 over all 19 races reinforcing the odd style of racing. The trials system is meant to add an element of extended stress to simulate the mental challenges of an Olympics, and it delivered.
2008 was the last US trials in the 49er, where Tim Wadlow with Chris Rast held off Morgan Larson with Pete Spaulding and Dalton Bergan with Zach Maxam over a similar style regatta.
For more information on the US trials visit: https://www.ussailing.org/