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5th at the 2023 World Championship!

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

After 8 long days of racing, the 2023 Combined World Championships come to a close in The Hague, Netherlands. Solidifying a spot for the United States at the 2024 Olympic Games and a career personal best!

Background - The Combined World Championship, a quadrennial event that brings together top sailors from all Olympic classes, is a highly competitive stage second only to the Olympics themselves. In 2023, this event was especially significant, as it served as the primary opportunity for countries to secure spots in each class for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics. With 110 ILCA 6 sailors total, 16 country spots were up for grabs.

As a first-time participant in a Combined World Championship with country qualification on the line, I couldn't help but feel a mix of excitement and nervousness. The event came with a multitude of rules and regulations, and the boat park was a bustling hub for top-tier talent. However, one of the most daunting challenges we faced was navigating the complex North Sea current - a signature feature of The Hague waters, with currents ranging from 1 to 3 knots, which varied depending on the time of day. The Hague is renowned for its extreme tides and current, adding an extra layer of complexity to the racing conditions. Despite the initial apprehensions, I realized that I wasn't alone in feeling the pressure of country qualification; it weighed on every competitor's mind. To stay focused and calm, I adopted a simple mantra: control what I can control. Drawing from my collegiate sailing experience at Jacksonville University, where I regularly practiced in challenging current, I had a valuable advantage. This experience allowed me to confidently position myself on the starting line and anticipate the intricacies of each mark rounding, among other critical aspects of the race.

Day 1: On the regatta's opening day, we confronted a series of challenges, primarily stemming from the tricky current conditions. General recalls and Black Flag Penalties (BFD) were a constant occurrence, delaying our racing until later in the day. Fortunately, we, managed to complete two races, starting the competition on solid ground, securing 6th place overall with a 4th and 9th place finish in a fleet of 55.

Day 2: Day 2 brought a new set of challenges as a Northwest offshore breeze introduced shifty and unpredictable wind patterns across the race course. These conditions, coupled with increasing current throughout the morning, led to higher point finishes for many sailors, myself included, pushing me down the rankings to 24th overall.

Day 3: The schedule for Day 3 was reshuffled due to complications with anchoring the RC boat and general recalls in the ILCA 7 fleet. Ultimately, canceling the day for the ILCA 6 class, necessitating the use of our first reserve day. Furthermore, the race committee decided to dive straight into the final series of gold and silver splits with only four races completed so far. Thankfully, I held my position in 24th, allowing me to advance to gold fleet.

Day 4: Day 4 began with all Olympic Classes under postponement due to lack of wind, creating a day of anticipation. However, by 2 p.m., we finally hit the water, completing two races. Sailing in 10-15 knots of wind and facing 3 knots of up-course current, brought challenges across the entire race course, proving to be one of the most intense days of racing for me. Tight mark rounding, difficult starting, and lengthy downwind legs characterized the high-stake battles in the Gold Fleet. I managed to climb up 12 places, securing 12th overall with the medal race spots in sight.

Day 5: With ideal conditions featuring 12-15 knots of breeze, swell, and picture-perfect weather, Day 5 became a pivotal moment for me. The strong down-course current led to extended upwind beats and short downwind stretches. By securing two solid starts and demonstrating strong upwind technique, I wrapped up the day with 5th and 1st place finishes, significantly improving my standing to 6th overall.

Day 6: Unfortunately, Day 6 proved to be a day full of waiting and no racing due to significant breeze and strong current. Consequently, the final series extended into our second reserve day.

Day 7: A Day of Determination

Day 7 dawned with lighter breeze and current pushing up-course at an angle, gradually building in intensity as the day progressed. My goal was clear; put up two strong scores and secure my spot in the coveted medal race.

In the first race, we encountered a complex challenge during the upwind mark rounding, which completely shuffled the fleet's positioning on the first downwind leg. A less-than-ideal top mark rounding forced me into a catch-up mode, battling fiercely to regain a solid position. Despite the initial setback, I managed to finish the race in 15th place, a score I could rely on.

As the day continued, the wind increased to a brisk 15 knots. The anticipation in the fleet was palpable, with numerous general recalls preceding the final race. Fortunately, we finally got a clear start, and I sailed a near-perfect race with excellent speed around the course. Crossing the finish line in 2nd place, I punched my ticket to my second-ever medal race in 5th place overall, and, more importantly, secured a spot for the USA at the 2024 Olympic Games in the ILCA 6 class!

Day 8: The Medal Race:

Going into the Medal Race, I found myself in a unique position. Given the way the points were stacked, the worst possible outcome for me in the overall event was 6th place. This meant I had everything to gain and nothing to lose; my only trajectory was upward on the leaderboard.

With all points up for grabs, I sailed the final race aggressively despite the challenging, very light conditions. Crossing the finish line in 9th place in the medal race, I came ashore feeling more than content with my result, regardless of my performance in the decisive race. My goal has been crystal clear: go out, have fun, and give it my all.

Closing the World Championship in 5th marked a personal best for me, and it was a perfect way to conclude the season on a high note.

Momentum Forward

Coming home from the World Championship, proved to be one of the toughest challenges I've faced, both physically and mentally. It wasn't until I returned home that I fully realized the extent of its impact on me. Taking the remainder of September to rest and review my performance over the past season, I find myself eagerly anticipating the final push towards the Olympic Trials in February.

One aspect of this event that fills me with pride is the way my coach, Alex, and I managed our day-to-day operations and communications. We made a conscious effort to approach the Worlds with a mindset of "business as usual" - to have fun and not take things too seriously, all while executing our race plans consistently. This approach helped me maintain a level head, keeping things simple and focused on the present moment.

Sailing alongside World Champions and Olympic medalists initially felt intimidating, and I struggled to believe I belonged among them at the beginning of the season. However, Alex reminded me that I belong at the top, bolstering my confidence and helping me realize that I deserved to be there.

I am tremendously proud of the performance our squad delivered this season, and this result wouldn't have been possible without the unwavering support that surround me. Like one of my teammates aptly put it 'There is no "I" in team but there is an "us" in USA."

I want to thank the US Sailing Team, America One Racing, US One Design, Devoti Sailing, Windmark Sailing Foundation, and St Francis Sailing Foundation for your exceptional support of my dreams. I wouldn't be here without all of you!

As September draws to a close, I eagerly anticipate the upcoming months of coaching and training, leading into the 2024 World Championships in Argentina and the U.S. Olympic Trials in Miami. These crucial events necessitate substantial expenses, such as covering travel, housing, coaching, and equipment for the following:

  • Miami Training - September

  • Cagliari, ITA - October

  • Miami Training - November

  • Vilamoura Training - December

  • 2024 World Championship - January

  • U.S. Olympic Trials - February

To strive for excellence requires top-notch equipment, coaching, training, nutrition, physical therapy, and more. However, our organization faces limitations in resources to meet these substantial costs.


Join my team and help support my journey towards Paris 2024! Every contribution matters, and anything you can offer is greatly appreciated. If you someone who might be interested in supporting me or learning more about me, please share this with them!

You can make a quick donation of any size at my GoFundMe by clicking here.

Alternatively, I am set up with the Windmark Sailing Foundation - a nonprofit 501 (C) (3) organization. Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to:

Windmark Sailing Foundation

P.O Box 638

Oyster Bay, NY 11771

Memo : "For Sailors Like Charlotte Rose"

Thank you immensely for considering joining me on my journey to represent the USA at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. I wouldn't have reached this point without the tremendous support of my donors, partners, friends, and family! Stay tuned for more updates

Warm Regard,

Charlotte Rose

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