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Looking Forward

With the end of the 2024 season coming to a close as the 2024 Olympic Games nears, I have some time to reflect on these past two months and look forward to the next 4 years.

U.S Olympic Trials - Sailing / Lexi Pline

Reflecting on the past two years leading up to the 2024 Olympic Games has been a journey filled with highs and lows that have left a profound impact on my career as a sailor. The experience of underperforming at the Olympic Trials shook me to my core, leading to a period of questioning and self-doubt. Thoughts like "Did I prepare enough" and "Where did I go wrong" haunted me as I replayed every race and scenario.

In the aftermath of the trials, I found myself grappling with a range of emotions, cycling through stages of grief as I mourned the delay of my dreams. Anger, frustration, and disappointment consumed me as I struggled to come to terms with the outcome. However, after nearly a month of feeling lost and uncertain about the future, I stayed committed to pushing forward and finishing out the season strong.

Trofeo Princess Sofia Palma by Lexi Pline / Allison Chenard

Returning to the international stage in Palma was a daunting experience clouded by exhaustion and fear of judgment. Despite my best efforts to finish in the top 10, I was unable to perform yet again. With such a difficult week of on-the-water racing troubled by a lack of motivation, exhaustion, and trying to get closure, I went home disappointed. But the experience taught me a valuable lesson in resilience. I realized that I am far stronger mentally than I had ever imagined and that one setback does not define my abilities as a sailor. Sometimes facing things head-on makes you come out the other side stronger.

SOF Qualified Nations Regatta
SOF Qualified Nations Regatta by Lexi Pline / Allison Chenard

After taking time between events to go home, finding my rhythm again in Hyeres was a turning point in my journey. The French Olympic Week was a bit different this time around. With it being the "Last Chance Regatta" for countries not qualified for the Olympic Games yet, the regatta was split into two, already qualified nations and not qualified nations. With the U.S. already qualified in the ILCA 6 class, at the 2023 Combined Worlds last August, I was able to sail against all the nations qualified for the games this summer, including most of the athletes selected, making it a very competitive scene. Amidst challenging conditions and unforeseen obstacles- rain, cold, long postponements, etc. - I rediscovered my passion for the sport and a renewed sense of purpose. The goal of the week was to have fun and gain more experience racing against the athletes going to the games this summer. Ending the week on top of the leaderboard, and my first World Cup win, was the closure I needed to wave goodbye to my 2024 Olympic campaign and embrace the journey towards LA 2028.

SOF Qualified Nations Regatta by Sailing Energy

As I prepare for the journey toward the 2028 Olympic Games, I recognize the importance of fundraising and garnering support from sponsors and donors. With the help of my US-based support, I am committed to expanding my network and securing the resources necessary to fuel my Olympic aspirations. The unwavering support and belief in my potential from the US Sailing Team, America One Racing, St Francis Sailing Foundation, The Windmark Sailing Foundation, Sailing Foundation of New York, Devoti Sailing, US One Design, and the many supporters around the world have been instrumental in propelling me forward, and I am confident that, together, we can turn my dreams of bringing home a gold medal in 2028 a reality.

As this chapter of my life closes and the next one starts, I am reminded to stay true to myself, persevere through adversity, and never lose sight of my ultimate goal. With dedication, hard work, and belief in my abilities, I am confident I will achieve greatness in the years to come.

Charlotte Rose

2028 Olympic Campaigner

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