The Junior Sailing of 2012 USA Olympic Boat Skippers
As in most sports Olympic sailors tend to have started sailing early. All of the boat skippers on the USA team for London started in the Optimist and all except Anna Tunnicliffe sailed them internationally.
Mark Mendelblatt (Star) sailed in four Optimist Worlds from 1984 to 1987, finishing 5th in his final year.
Zach Railey (Finn) sailed in three Optimist Worlds from 1995 to 1997 with a best place of 6th in 1996.
Amanda Clark (470W) was on the same 1997 team as Zach, finishing as 4th girl (girls‚Äô gold was taken by Siren Sundby (NOR) the later Olympic champion)
Erik Storck (49er) sailed in the Worlds of 1998 and 1999. On both occasions he finished behind his 2012 crew Trevor Moore!
Rob Crane (Laser) was one of those who grew out of the Optimist at age 13 but not before finishing 8th in the 1998 IODA North Americans.
Paige Railey (Radial) sailed in the 1999 IODA North Americans.
Stu McNay (470M) records that he sailed Optimists from the age of ten and participated in the Canadian Nationals of 1993.
Anna Tunnicliffe's sailing was affected by her move from England to the USA. She records sailing in the British Inland Championship aged 11 but her family moved to Ohio the following year.
Crew who also sailed Optimists, in addition to Trevor Moore, include Debbie Capozzi and Sarah Lihan.
At worldwide level almost 80% of Olympic boat skippers are known to have sailed Optimists, at least 56% of them internationally. Link: http://wilkessail.net/olympicexops2012.pdf