by Bob Adams
Today was the first day of racing for the Byte CII North American Championship being held out of the US Sailing Center Martin County. This event is also the continental qualifier for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games to be held this August in Nanjing, China.
Byte CII North American’s Day 1 - Byte CII North American Championship and Youth Olympic qualifier
Twenty-eight competitors from 14 countries set out at noontime for a practice race and the first two races. Henry Marshall from the United States entered the event as a heavy favorite after his second place finish at the 2013 World Championships and he did not disappoint, wining both races. Having split time with his Laser Radial over the past year, Henry has grown to love the CII.
'The technical aspects of the CII has made it a great platform to transition from my Opti to other boats,' said Henry. 'I really enjoy that the CII has more controls than the Laser and has taught me to use the traveler and adjustable battens in unison with the carbon rig to maximize boat speed.'
Henry’s training partner Ceci Wollmann from Bermuda is leading the way for the girls. She notched two 12th place finishes in challenging conditions. 'The racing was very tight and little mistakes were difficult to recover from,' said Ceci. She sails out of the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club in Bermuda and also splits time in her Laser Radial. Ceci credits the CII for helping her 'build strength and refine technique' for how she moves in other boats.
The first race saw eight knots across the course with the breeze freshening to 14 knots for the second race.
Rounding out the top five are Pablo Bertran CAY, Benn Smith BER, Rhone Kirby ANT and Peter Dill BER. Rounding out the top five women are Celeste Lugtmeijer DOM, Abigail Affoo TRI, Florence Allan CAY and Paula Pelayo MEX.
Click-here for results after two races.
Click-here for additional photos and updates.
This event will secure four countries bids for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. Visit the event website for additional information.