How old is American sailor Erika Reineke? Her Paris Journey

American-born 30-year-old seaman Erika Reineke is The Rolex Yachtswomen of the Year for 2017 and is also working as a U.S. F50 strategist. Currently, she has qualified for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

Erika Reineke (ILCA 6) gets her ticket to Paris 2024!

Erika Reineke (ILCA 6) secures her spot for the Paris 2024 Olympics! The final day of the U.S. Olympic Sailing Trials brought joy and disappointment as the winners were determined in the ILCA 6 and ILCA 7 fleets. Erika Reineke from Fort Lauderdale, Florida claimed her place in the Paris 2024 Olympics in the ILCA 6 class after seven days of intense racing.

After a delay waiting for the northerly wind to settle, Reineke and Sakellaris competed in the final race. Reineke stayed ahead of Sakellaris from the start and kept her on the unfavorable side of the course, ensuring Reineke finished in front. In the end, Reineke finished five points ahead of Sakellaris, with 28 points compared to Sakellaris’ 33. Rose took third place on the podium with 42 points.

“It’s been a 15-year journey trying to make the Olympics,” “I’m 30 now and I started pursuing this path when I was 15 – it’s been a long road. I’ve been tested every Olympic cycle, and to finally succeed feels amazing. There’s a lot of work to be done for Paris and I’m honored to represent the USA on the Olympic stage.”

said Reineke.

Erika Reineke was scared of the wind and waves at an early age

Erika Christine Reineke was born on November 4, 1993, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Her parents are Fred Reineke and Sharon Reineke. Though they were not sailors, they signed up the family for membership at the local yacht club. This led Erika and her younger sister Sophia to take up sailing as an important part of their lives. Erika also has a boyfriend named Anthony Ferrara.

Erika Reineke Mother
Image: Erika Reineke with her mother Sharon (Source: Erika’s Instagram)

Sharon Reineke said that at first, Erika was scared of the wind and waves, but she overcame those fears through her sailing experiences.

After finishing high school, Erika went to Boston College to continue competitive sailing under Coach Greg Wilkinson. Over her four years there, she learned how to be a teammate, leader, and champion. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Geosciences and made the ACC Academic Honor Roll. After college sailing, Erika transitioned to campaigning full-time for the Olympics.

Early Begining of Erika Sailing Career

Erika started sailing in the Optimist Dinghy at age 8 through the program at Lauderdale Yacht Club. However, when she was 12 she decided to fully commit her life to the sport and she began winning titles. After the Optimist, Erika chose to follow the ILCA 6 class inspired by coaches Anna Tunnicliffe (2008 Beijing ILCA 6 gold medalist) and Brad Funk (who had campaigned in multiple Olympics).

In 2010, competing in the ILCA 6 class, she qualified to represent the United States at the 2010 ISAF Youth Worlds in Istanbul, Turkey, where she won a bronze medal. Shortly after Turkey, she traveled to Largs, Scotland, and won her first ILCA Youth World Championship title. The following year, Erika qualified again for the ISAF Youth Worlds in Zadar, Croatia, this time earning a silver medal.

In 2011, she was able to defend her ILCA Youth World Champion title, making it her second time as World Champion. Also in 2011, she competed in and won the United States Youth Championship consisting of the top sailors in the country aged 15-19.

In 2012, Reineke secured a third World Championship title in Boltenhagen, Germany in the Under 21 Division while placing 8th overall in the Women’s Division.

In 2013, Erika Reineke made Laser Radial North American Champion. Erika was honored as an ICSA Women’s All-American in her Boston College.

In 2014, Erika Reineke continued to excel in collegiate sailing, earning recognition as a four-time Women’s Collegiate Single-handed National Champion and a four-time Collegiate All-American during her time at Boston College. She was also ranked as the number one sailor in the United States in the Laser Radial class, demonstrating her dominance in the sport at the national level.

Erika in her Prime Years

In 2017, her team at Boston College pushed her to become the first person to win four Singlehanded National Championships. Throughout her college sailing career, Reineke was a four-time Women’s All-American, a Coed All-American, a three-time finalist for Quantum Women’s Sailor of the Year (which she won in 2017), and a finalist for College Sailor of the Year. At Boston College, she wins four Women’s MVP Awards and a Leadership Award from the Athletic Department.

In 2018, she secured 11th position at the World Championships held in Aarhus. In 2019, Erika Reineke won a bronze medal at the prestigious 2019 Princess Sofia Regatta.

Later, In 2020, she won the first event held at the 2020 Olympic venue in Tokyo, Japan, showing the U.S. had medal potential in four years. Later that year, she was voted Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year and received the award at the New York Yacht Club.

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Though she had multiple podium finishes in the 2020 Olympic quadrennium, Reineke fell short of qualifying for those Games. She transitioned into the double-handed women’s skiff, the 49er FX, crewing for two years to gain invaluable experience in another Olympic class.

In 2021, she won the Women’s 2v2 Team Race event.

In 2022, Erika decided to return to the ILCA 6 class in fall 2022. Her enthusiasm was reignited at the ILCA World Championships where she contended for a medal the entire event. In the end, she placed 10th overall, earned Tier 1 status on the US Sailing Team, and finished as the top American.

In 2023, she achieved a gold medal at the Pan American Games in the ILCA 6 class, showcasing her success in major international competitions.

Erika Reineke was injured at SailGP Sydney

In Sydney, Australia on February 17, 2023, with three events left in SailGP Season 3, the United States SailGP Team needs to make up ground to finish in the top three overall for the Grand Final on May 6-7 in San Francisco, California. Currently sitting 7th out of the nine teams, the 11-point deficit is not their only problem.

Strategist Erika Reineke has been sidelined for the SailGP Sydney event after a misstep during training yesterday resulted in a fractured fibula (leg bone).

“It felt great to be back on the boat with the team,” “We were just starting practice when the injury happened.”

Reineke said.
Erika Reineke Injury
Image: Erika Reineke posted a thank you message and Injury update on her Instagram (Source: Erika’s Instagram)

During a maneuver, Reineke’s shoe got caught in the trampoline as she crossed the F50 boat, resulting in her falling and landing on her foot.

“I am very disappointed to not be racing with the team and understand the recovery will take some time, but I’ll be cheering them on from afar and know I’ll be back in action soon.”

Erika said

“She’s one of the best sailors in the U.S. and a key part of the team. After the accident, in typical Erika fashion, she basically left the hospital with a leg cast and returned to hang out with the team, making everyone laugh again.”

With racing on February 18-19, CEO and Driver Jimmy Spithill said losing Reineke is a real setback for the team.
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