US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics: 2007-2008
Member of: Southwestern YC, Thunersee YC, Regatta Club Oberhofen
Education: Hilterfingen (Switzerland), University of Biel/Engineering (graduated 1997)
Birthday: May 21, 1972
Birthplace: Columbus, Ga.
Hometown: San Diego
Occupation: Full-time athlete
Significant sailing achievements: The 2008 Games will be Rast's fourth, having competed for Switzerland in 1996 (470) and 2004 (49er); he coached at the 2000 Games.
Biography: Rast will head to the Olympic Regatta in China armed with a unique point of view. He is experienced as an Olympic contender-and as a dual citizen of Switzerland and the U.S. he raced the 1996 Games in the 470 class and the 2004 Games in the 49er for Switzerland-but he also coached at the 2000 Games.
"At your first Olympics, there is so much going on-so many attractions, and distractions as well," he says. "The next time you go, you are more focused on what you need to do, and that is, to give it your best performance."
Rast and 49er skipper Tim Wadlow were sparring partners for the 2004 Games, training against each other to sharpen their skills for the Athens regatta. During this quadrennium, they decided to make a bid together for a U.S. berth to China. Rast switched roles from skipper to crew and together they won the 24-race U.S. Olympic Team Trials held in San Diego without having to sail the final race.
While years of world-class racing have given Rast confidence as a competitor, he also believes his biggest asset as a sailor is his ability to keep looking at the sport from new angles-to continually question how he sails and trains.
"Sailing at the Olympic level is always evolving," says Rast, "so I think it's important to stay open-minded-to question yourself so you don't get too set in your ways."
2008 5th 49er World Championships/Melbourne, Australia
2007 2nd 49er North American Championships/Miami, 2nd Australian 49er Championship/Sydney, Australia, 13th ISAF Sailing World Championships/Cascais, Portugal