With 3rd Place Showing, St. Mary’s Mimi Roller Sets Sights on London

Home-grown sailing star Mimi Roller, above, was a key member of her college team’s third place finish in the Women’s Fleet racing championships. Now, the St. John sailor is focusing on the London Summer Olympics Games in 2012.

If all goes well, St. John residents will be glued to their televisions from July 29 through August 11, next year to root on a home-grown sailor racing against the world’s best in London.

With a successful show at the collegiate nationals behind her, St. John sailing sensation Mayumi “Mimi” Roller has her sights firmly set on representing the territory in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.

Roller just completed her third year at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where she was a key part of the school’s women’s and co-ed sailing teams.

The 20-year-old just returned from the collegiate sailing nationals in Cascade Locks, Oregon, where St. Mary’s took third in the women’s fleet racing, fifth in co-ed team racing and fifth in co-ed fleet racing.

“We were the only school that qualified for nationals which finished in the top five in all three regattas,” said Roller.

Mimi Roller

The team had prepared all year for high wind conditions at the normally blustery Columbia River Gorge location, Roller explained.

“We had been training all year for really windy conditions at nationals because that is typical there,” she said. “We were sailing on the Gorge which is usually a windsurfing mecca. We’d been working on our fitness as much as we could to prepare for the big wind out there.”

As Roller and her teammates discovered, however, there is nothing more unpredictable than weather.

“We got there and it was the total opposite of what we were expecting,” said the sailor. “The wind was really light for most of the regatta. First of all the switch in mentality was really difficult.”

“Waiting around every day for wind during the women’s nationals was really hard too,” said Roller. “We only got seven races in and it was pretty frustrating. We were in second place for a while and only a few points out of first but then we only got one race in for both the A and B fleets and we dropped down to third.”

Although this competitive sailor would have liked to top the fleet, instead of placing behind the University of Rhode Island and Connecticut College, Roller is already gearing up for her next regatta.

“I’m going to Germany this summer to sail there,” she said. “I’ll be at Keel Week and Warnemunder Week, which are two different regattas. I’ll be sailing laser radials solo at those regattas.”

While the regattas in Germany are not Olympic qualifiers, Roller is heading to London in August to check out the sailing course.

“I’m going to London in August for the Olympic test event which is at the Olympic site,” she said.
Roller is taking the fall semester off from St. Mary’s to concentrate on her Olympic bid.

“The goal is London in 2012,” she said. “I am taking the fall semester off to do more sailing and dedicate myself to getting to London.”

Roller will represent the Virgin Islands in October at the Pan American Games in Mexico and she promised to check in with St. John Tradewinds to share her accomplishments with Love City.

Roller does still need assistance in her Olympic quest. For find out how to help, call the sailor at 693-5579 or 714-5628.

The sailor will return to St. Mary’s next spring to wrap up her bachelor’s degree in studio art with a focus on photography.

And hopefully, Roller will be sporting a bright shiny medal from London when she accepts her diploma.