Coral Bay Athlete Mimi Roller Eying Olympic Bid for 2016 Brazil




Island sailing sensation Mayumi “Mimi” Roller.



CORAL BAY — Coral Bay Olympian Mayumi “Mimi” Roller and sailing partner Kayla McComb recently wrapped up a successful summer as the pair continue working toward qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Roller is home on St. John for the rest of October helping out at her family’s Coral Bay Garden Center  and will head up to Clearwater, Florida in November to continue training with sailing partner McComb and gear up for several winter regattas.

This summer saw the pair competing in Europe and the northeast as they continued to improve sailing a trapeze-style 49erFX, a high performance skiff. The Brazil Summer Olympics will be the first time 49erFX — a somewhat recent advancement of the men’s 49er skiff with less sail area — for women’s class. And Roller and McComb are hoping to be in that first Olympic women’s 49FX fleet.

The sailors spent, June, July and most of August travelling around Europe, competing in regattas from Finland to Spain. Their first regatta was Keil Week in Kiel, Germany, where they endured a week marked by high winds, capsized and broken gear. Despite not being able to finish a single race during the regatta, McComb and Roller  kept their spirits high and expected things to only improve.

“All in all, Kiel Week was a disappointing event to say the least,” said Roller. “But we learned from each mistake and kept looking forward.”

With what might have been their training low point to date behind them, the sailors headed up to Helsinki, Finland for the European Championship in early July. McComb and Roller logged several days of training before the regatta kicked off. Although the sailors struggled with high winds of more than 20 knots — conditions in which they had not been able to practice much ­— the pair enjoyed their first top 10 finish in Finland.

Roller and McComb flew back to states in mid-July to train in California and Rhode Island before heading to Oyster Bay, New York for the US National Championships.

“We had some struggles, but we had some good results in New York,” said Roller. “We won our first medal race, which was a great way to end the regatta on a high note.”

With their skills on the 49erFX steadily improving the sailors flew back to Europe in September to compete in the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander, Spain, their first Olympic qualifier.

While the women did not end up qualifying for Rio during the regatta, they logged important time on the water and continued mastering their handling of the 49erFX, explained Roller.

“Spain was beautiful,” said Roller. “We were on the north coast and it was really warm and the breeze was great during training. When the regatta started, however, the weather changed and it was either too light or too windy for the most of the regatta.”

“We weren’t able to get many races off because of the weather,” Roller said.

Despite not qualifying the Virgin Islands for the 2016 Summer Olympics during the ISAF Worlds, Roller and McComb enjoyed the camaraderie of more than 1,000 sailing from 83 different nations.

“We didn’t qualify, but we did improve our sailing and we’re happy with how we’ve been progressing,” said Roller. “We had a lot of time on the water this summer and we had a few good results. We’re definitely getting a lot better, but we still have a lot to learn.”

Roller with join McComb in Clearwater, Florida in November to train on their 49erFX and prepare for a few winter events. Roller will be back on St. John in December — when she plans to host at least one fundraiser — before returning to Florida in January for the Mid-Winters Regatta in Miami, and the North American Championships in Clearwater.

“We’ll spend a lot of time training and there will be other top teams there which will be great for us,” said Roller.
In 2015, Roller and McComb will have three opportunities to punch their ticket to Rio for the Summer 2016 games. The sailors continue to accept donations to aid their Olympic bid and are planning an event for this winter on St. John.

For more information about Roller and McComb, or to help support the sailors, check out their website or email