By Tom Degun

US sailingMarch 18 - US Sailing have announced the 34 athletes selected for its 2013 programme.

The national team is selected annually and comprised of the top sailors competing in the events chosen to prepare them for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

American sailors qualified based on their 2012 results or performance at the 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami last month, with final selection in the Nacra 17 and SKUD-18 classes to take place at future events.

Of the 34 selected to the team, 14 moved up from the 2012 US Sailing development team and four - Stuart McNay, Paige Railey, Anna Tunnicliffe and Molly Vandemoer - were members of last year's Olympic team.

Tunnicliffe, who won a gold medal at Beijing 2008 in the Laser Radial, teamed up with Vandemoer in women's match racing for London 2012 where the pair finished in fifth.

They are now campaigning in the 49er FX, the new women's skiff entry for Rio 2016.

The duo finished second overall in last month's ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami.

Joining them as the second 49er FX team are Helena Scutt and Allie Blecher, the 2010 Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year.

McNay, a two-time Olympian has teamed up with David Hughes for Rio 2016 campaign and the pair made a great start as they won the men's 470 class at World Cup Miami.

"The beginning of an Olympic and Paralympic quadrennium is an exciting time," said US Olympic Sailing managing director Josh Adams.

"The 2013 US Sailing team is the first look at which sailors we might see representing Team USA in four years.

"This year's team features a strong balance of returning veterans and emerging talent."

With an average age of 28 among the 34 sailors, the trend toward a younger team in the first year of an Olympic and Paralympic quadrennium is evidenced in windsurfer Raul Lopez.

He is the youngest of the four windsurfers on the team; three are under the age of 20.

To see the full team click here

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