JU student Charlotte Rose closing in on Olympics sailing berth
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University could have its very first sailing Olympian very soon.
When sophomore Charlotte Rose competes in the Radial World Championships beginning Feb. 21 in Melbourne, Australia, she’ll do it with an Olympics berth in Tokyo on the line.
The formula is about as simple as it gets: Win the final qualifying regatta or stay in front of her nearest competitor and Rose is in.
That would be a huge boost for a still relatively young JU program. The Dolphins have fielded a sailing team since 2012.
Rose, 19, a Houston native, enters the Radial championships in Melbourne ranked No. 1 in the United States and ninth in the world. She holds a three-point lead over Paige Railey of Clearwater in an event where only one sailor gets an Olympics berth.
Qualify for Tokyo and Rose will race in the July 26-31 window in Enoshima, with the potential to qualify for the medal round from Aug. 1-5.
The Laser is a single-person racing dinghy with different classes — the Radial, Standard and 4.7. The Radial, which Rose competes in, has a smaller sail and a different cut than the Standard. The Laser Radial has been an Olympics class since it replaced the Europe Class in 2008.
Rose has been one of the country’s best Laser Radial sailors for years. She won back-to-back gold medals in the Youth World Sailing Championships in 2017-18 and won silver in the Pan American Games last year.
“I started recruiting her about five years ago,” said JU sailing coach Jon Faudree. “She was 14th, 15th at these big regattas. I thought she was older. She’s always just been more mature. I was saying yesterday, for someone that’s 19 years old to have this [opportunity], it’s pretty impressive. Usually, in the sailing world, you have guys starting to peak in their late 20s, early 30s. She’s way ahead.”
Last September, Rose won the South Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association’s conference championship by beating the College of Charleston. It marked the first time a JU sailor has won a conference title.
Faudree said that traditional peak for sailors would have put Rose on a path towards qualifying for the 2024 Olympics in Paris rather than 2020 in Tokyo.
“I don’t think the average kid in her class knows she’s an Olympic-caliber athlete,” Faudree said. “She’s got a 3.74 GPA and she travels nearly every weekend. It’s pretty impressive she’s able to maintain that.”
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