Park City’s Morgan Vesco in Miami at US Olympic Sailing Team Trails

MIAMI, Florida —  Even though 16-year-old Parkite Morgan Vesco did not end up being named to the U.S. Sailing Team to represent the USA in this summer’s Paris Olympics, she’s grateful for the opportunity, and her Park City Sailing Association community is proud of the teenager for competed in the world-class event.

Vesco is a student at Silver Summit Academy in Park City. Her mom works at Woodward Park City, and went to Miami to cheer her daughter on.

She trains and competes at Jordanelle Reservoir State Park where there are big breezes but hardly compare to the ones experienced in Saturday’s race. It was the final of eight days of competition, and it was Vesco’s best result, ending, on a high note, where she held her own against athletes who were as old as almost twice her age.

Morgan Vesko in Miami at U.S. Olympic Sailing Team Trials.
Morgan Vesco in Miami at U.S. Olympic Sailing Team Trials. Photo: Park City Sailing

Her Park City Sailing coach for the last five years is 26-year-old Christian Koules. Not only is he no stranger to the waters off the Florida coast from when he was the captain of his sailing team at the University of South Florida, but some of the same people he raced against are still in the game, competing against Vesco, and are among those who will likely represent the USA in the Paris 2024 Olympics. 

The average ages of the competitors in these Team Trials was mid-20s. 

Koules told TownLift, “Morgan is an incredibly driven young woman and her hard work on and off the water clearly showed and her qualifications for the Olympic Team Trials. And just to even be a small part of that, as her coach, has been incredible to watch. It’s very rare in the sport of sailing that you meet someone that’s truly as driven and as passionate about it as she is and you know, with Park City Sailing supporting her, and with a whole community behind it, it’s been incredible to watch everyone rally and come out to support her for it.”

Vesco raced against the top 20 sailors in the country in Miami, people who’ve put 20,000 hours into sailing. Koules said, “So, no matter the result, we’re stoked. we’re thrilled.”

Coach Christian (L) giving pointers to Morgan Vesko in Miami at U.S. Olympic Sailing Team Trials.
Coach Christian (L) giving pointers to Morgan Vesco in Miami at U.S. Olympic Sailing Team Trials. Photo: Park City Sailing

She raced in the international laser class association (ILCA). There are three different rigs, there is the ILCA 4, the ELCA 6, which is what all of the women compete in, and the ILCA 7 which is what the men compete in. The number denotes the size of the sale. The 4 is the introduction to the ILCA sail, the 6 is the female competition sail and the 7 is the male competition sail.

Collegiate racing, even Olympic racing will have coed double handed sailing. In the single handed sailing, which is what Vesco competed in, is girl versus girl in double handed. There’s also mixed team, which is a girl and a boy or two girls, two boys and they will all compete together. That’s known as coed sailing or mixed sailing.

When Vesco is not on the open water in Park City, she can be found on the frozen water of Salt Lake City playing ice hockey with the Utah Lady Grizzlies.

Koules said, “This is a an opportunity for Morgan to grow and build as a sailor. We’re not necessarily targeting the 2024 Olympics. We’re looking forward to the 2028 Olympics.”

Registration is now open for this summer’s PC Sail club camps.

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