by Jake Fish
When the U.S. Youth Sailing Championships commences this week in Corpus Christi, Texas, the stakes will be high. The premier US Sailing Youth National Championship regatta has expanded to include more sailors utilizing high-performance boats.
U.S. Youth Championships 2012
One-hundred sixty-four sailors are expected to compete representing seven classes: 29er, Club 420, Formula 16, International 420, Laser, Laser Radial and RS:X. This championship will serve as a mandatory qualification event for the 2014 U.S. Youth Worlds Team in all fleets with the exception of the Club 420 and Laser fleets. The male winner of the Laser fleet and the female winner of the Radial fleet will qualify for the 2013 U.S. Singlehanded Championships to be sailed September 13-15 at Manasquan River Yacht Club in Brielle, N.J. Racing is scheduled for Tuesday, August 13 through Friday, August 16.
USYC logoMitchell Kiss (Holland, Mich.) has returned to defend his Laser title from last year’s U.S. Youth Championships in Cascade Locks, Ore. He was dominant in a triumphant performance by scoring eight points over seven races. He also finished third at the 2012 Laser Radial Youth World Championship and won the Laser National Championship. Kiss will be challenged by a fleet of 11 Lasers.
A talented Laser Radial fleet of 30 young men and women will take to the waters of Corpus Christi Bay. Addison Hackstaff (St. Petersburg, Fla.) finished sixth at this event last year. He recently represented the U.S. at the ISAF Youth World Championships in Limassol, Cyprus, by winning US Sailing’s ISAF Youth Worlds Qualifier. The current Sunfish Junior World Champion won the 2012 Chubb U.S. Junior Singlehanded Championship.
Malcolm Lamphere (Lake Forest, Ill.) finished third at last year’s championship. His successful year was capped by a fourth place finish at the 2012 Laser North American Championship and fourth at the 2013 ISAF Youth Worlds Qualifier. He recently finished fifth at the 2013 Laser North American Championship.
Nic Baird (St. Petersburg, Fla.) has been at the top of his game lately after winning last week in Houston at the Chubb U.S. Junior Singlehanded Championship for the Smythe Trophy. He also finished second at the 2012 Sunfish Youth World Championship.
In women’s action, Dana Rhode (Richmond Hill, Ga.) won the 2013 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship in July. In 2012, Hanne Weaver (Gig Harbor, Wash.) won the 2012 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship and placed third at the ISAF Youth Worlds Qualifier. Lola Bushnell (San Francisco, Calif.) was the third top female finisher at this event last year and was third at the U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship. Haddon Hughes (Houston, Texas) won the 2013 ISAF Youth Worlds Qualifier.
A fleet of up-and-coming windsurfers will look to make their mark in the RS:X event. Maximo Nores (Miami, Fla.) has had a breakthrough 2013 after finishing first at the 2013 ISAF Youth Worlds Qualifier. Also competing is Jonathan Rudich (Clearwater, Fla.), who was second at the ISAF Youth World Qualifier, and Raul Lopez (Miami, Fla.), who finished 19th at World Cup Miami. Last year's Youth World Qualifier Champion Lucas Gonzalez (Miami Beach, Fla.) will also be on hand. On the women's side, Charlotte Samson (Belleair, Fla.) should be a strong contenders for the RS:X title.
In doublehanded skiff action, Quinn Wilson (Ojai, Calif.) recently placed first at the ISAF Youth World Qualifier and went on to finish fifth at the 2013 ISAF Youth World Championship in the 29er. He will be sailing this event with crew Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.). Nic Muller (Fort Pierce, Fla.), who placed second at the 2013 ISAF Youth World Qualifier will be sailing with regular crew Kai Friesecke (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Campbell D’Eliscu (Newport Beach, Calif.) is returning to this event with new crew Connor Kelter (Newport Beach, Calif.) after placing ninth last year. D’Eliscu placed third at the ISAF Youth World Qualifier. They also had a strong overall performance at the 29er Youth World Championship placing tenth overall and the third top U.S. team.
In the F16 multihull fleet, US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider member Sarah Streater (Flagler Beach, Fla.) and Haley Fox (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) hope to take another step forward this week after a strong performance at World Cup Miami, where Streater finished second in the Nacra 17 event. This is the first time that multihulls have participated in the U.S. Youth Sailing Championship and they will be competing for the Arthur Stevens Trophy. Ben Brown (Los Altos, Calif.) could be a factor this week after finishing third at the 2012 ISAF Youth Worlds Qualifier.
He also won the 2011 Hobie 16 Youth North American Championship. Brown will be sailing with crew Andrew Wilkinson (Woodside, Calif.). David Hein (Rocky River, Ohio) was fourth at the 2012 U.S. Youth Multihull Championship and fifth at the 2012 F16 U.S. National Championship. He recently placed second at the US Sailing Qualifier for ISAF Youth Worlds. He will be sailing with crew Max Hudson (Shreveport, La.). Ravi Parent (Bradenton, Fla.) is also a strong contender after winning the 2013 U.S. Youth World Qualifier in the F16. He is sailing with experienced multihull crew Nico Schultz (Sarasota, Fla.).
Casey Klinger (Darien, Conn.) and Wade Waddell (Palm Beach, Fla.) represented USA at the ISAF Youth Worlds in the I420. Klinger was third at the I420 North American Championship. She will be sailing with new crew Meg Gerli (Greenwich, Conn.). Waddell and crew Henry Fernberger (New York, NY) finished seventh at the Youth Worlds and sixth at World Cup Miami. Kristopher Swanson (Kentfield, Calif.) finished fifth at the ISAF Youth Worlds Qualifier and won the Chubb U.S. Junior Doublehanded Championship last week in LaPorte, Texas. He also placed sixth at the I420 North Americans and will be sailing with crew Alexander Ron (Houston, Texas).
While expanding the base of youth sailors engaged in high performance boats, the regatta is open to private coaches and US Sailing’s national coaches are provided in each fleet, led by Richard Feeny, US Sailng’s Junior National Coach
The Olympic Sailing Night Series will make a stop in Corpus Christi on Tuesday night, August 13. Speakers include U.S. Olympic Sailing Managing Director Josh Adams, 2008 Olympian and Youth Development Advisor Andrew Campbell, a past winner of this event (2000, ’01, ’02), and Olympic Coach and Youth Development Director Leandro Spina.