49erFX Olympic Trial Selection for Tokyo 2020

New Olympic trials system embodies recent culture shift within the US Sailing Team — raising the bar and shifting the focus to being the best in the world. Read more about the entire US Team selection here.


The Olympic Sailing Committee sets forth the trials system that will determine which fifteen athletes who will represent Team USA at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The multi-stage Olympic Trials is designed to reward teams that finish on the podium at major international events.

First step: qualify the USA for a country berth at the Olympics. North America’s continental qualifier will be the Pan-American Games in Paracas, Peru July 26- Aug 11, 2019. In the 49erFX class, there will be 21 country berths allocated to the highest placing countries at the following events:

  • 2018 World Championships (8)

  • 2019 World Championships (6)

  • Continental Qualifiers (6) 

  • Host country- Japan (1)


Second step: Win the US Trials.

  1. First chance - accumulate seven or less points (based on overall finishes) at one of two events in Japan this summer plus the 2019 World Championship. The two events in Japan include the Olympic Test Event, Aug 15-22, and the Japan World Cup Series, Aug 25- Sept 1. The 2019 World Championship will be sailed in Auckland, New Zealand Nov 29 - Dec 8, 2019. In other words, the only American team to have seven or less cumulative points, e.g. finishing 2nd & 5th overall, at one of the events in Japan and the 2019 Worlds wins the US Trials.

  2. Second chance - the US team with the lowest combined score of overall finishes at the 2019 World Championship in NZL and the 2020 World Championship in Melbourne, AUS Feb 9-15, 2020.

As sailors, we have been motivated by the pressure to compare ourselves to the best in the world instead of focusing on the smaller, domestic fleet. We appreciate this outward focus because we understand it is necessary to reach the podium in 2020 and 2024. The higher the standards, the harder we push! 

Maggie Shea