by Dana Paxton
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Youth Sailing World Championship 2011 this week will be held at Sailing Club Uskok in Zadar, Croatia. The 41st edition of the championship has races in eight events including dinghies, windsurfers, and multi-hulls. This is a major step for all Olympic hopefuls.
Erika Reineke competing at Rolex Miami OCR Photo Amory RossUS SAILING
US Sailing's Youth Worlds Team has arrived in Croatia this week for the championship. Scheduled for July 9-15 and considered the pinnacle youth sailing championship in the world, the regatta will host over 300 sailors from 54 countries.
'Following up on last year’s three medals, our 2011 Youth Worlds Team has some big shoes to fill, but with the talent we have on this year’s team, I am sure they will live up to the high hopes,' said High Performance Director/Head Coach Kenneth Andreasen (Tampa, Fla.). 'Our team is very skilled and has experience from a lot of international competition. We have a real medal chance in several classes, but also know that these sailors will meet steep competition. The team will lead by Team Leader Tovi Kiss (Holland, Mich.), along with two of our Olympic coaches, Luther Carpenter (New Orleans, La.) and Leandro Spina (Miami, Fla.).'
As a significant event in an Olympic-hopeful’s career, the ISAF Youth Worlds’ champions list includes US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics athletes Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.), a two-time Youth World champion (’03, ’05) in the Laser Radial and Andrew Campbell (San Diego, Calif.), 2008 Olympian and Youth World champion (’02) in the Laser.
'The 2002 Youth Worlds event was my second Youth Worlds. My first was Sydney in 2000 where I finished sixth,' said Campbell, who may be best known to the current generation of youth sailors as the Head Coach and Director of the annual CISA Youth Clinic. 'Both experiences were an incredible introduction to a bunch of sailors that I still race with, and against 12 years later. The 2002 Worlds, in Canada, was an example of a regatta where I got to apply my developing theories on sail boat racing and luckily they worked!
'The Youth Worlds showed me that there were other sailors out there pushing for the same goals that I was, and it inspired me to work harder to achieve them. Racing against such great sailors like USSTAG's Clay Johnson, Zach Railey, Volvo and America's Cup sailor Andrew Lewis and collegiate champion Bryan Lake in the States just to qualify for the Youth Worlds made my work a lot easier once I got to the international level. I was proud to represent those guys when I raced against the world's best and that inspired me to perform at the premier youth event in sailing.'
Eight members of the 2011 U.S. Youth Team qualified based on first-place finishes in their respective classes at the 2011 US Sailing ISAF Youth World Qualifier at the Houston Yacht Club, in La Porte, Texas, while the boards and multi hull team members were chosen by sailing resume.
US Sailing 2011 Youth World Team:
•Laser Radial (girl’s one person dinghy): Erika Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
•Laser Radial (boy’s one person dinghy): Mitchell Kiss (Holland, Mich.)
•International 420s (boy’s two person dinghy): Reinier Eenkema van Dijk (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) and Spencer McDonough (Greenwich, Conn.)
•International 420s (girl’s two person dinghy): Morgan Kiss (Holland, Mich.) and Christina Lewis (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
•29er (open high performance dinghy): Antoine Screve (Ross, Calif.) and Mac Agnese (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
*RS:X (boy's and girl's windsurfer): Ian Stokes (Norfolk, Va.) and Margot Samson (Clearwater, Fla.)
*Multihull: Taylor Reiss and Matthew Whitehead (both Panama City, Fla.)
US Sailing Website