by Rich Roberts
Day 1 of the US Sailing ISAF Youth World Qualifier hosted by the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club had everything but wind. The weather Saturday did not permit a single race start among the four classes on two courses, leaving 120 teenage sailors on 90 boats from across the country drifting in frustration.
US Sailing ISAF Youth World Qualifier
You've heard it said, 'It's never like this here'? Well, almost never. But on this day the 'notorious Long Beach sea breeze' was a total no-show.
The wind touched four knots just long enough to encourage the start of a race sequence for the Lasers and International 420s.
'We set a course at 190 [degrees south],' principal race officer Mark Townsend said, 'and then the wind went to 240,' prompting a postponement that never ended.
As it was, as flags around ABYC hung limp, Townsend held the fleets on shore two hours longer than planned before turning them loose at 12:55 p.m. when the pennants first showed hopeful signs of life.
Courses were set, but the onshore wind neither built nor settled, except for the single phase that didn't last, so Townsend called it a day shortly after 3 o'clock, with sundown approaching at 5:06 p.m.---not enough time for more than one race, if any wind at all arrived.
As bad as it was, Rasmus Sayre, a Techno 293 sailboard sailor from Vineyard Haven, Mass., said it was better than home.
'It's 20 degrees [there],' he said. 'I'm not even wearing a wetsuit today.'
The air temperature was 56 F., the water temp 58.
Nine races were scheduled through Monday, but that total is now unlikely, although Townsend hoped to squeeze in one or two more by moving Sunday's start time up from noon to 11 a.m.
There are separate classes for boy and girl singlehanded Laser Radials, doublehanded boy and girl International 420 dinghies and singlehanded boy and girl Techno 293 windsurfers; doublehanded 29er skiffs are a coed class without gender designation.
All competitors must be age 19 or younger through the end of this year. Winners will represent the U.S. in the US Sailing Youth Worlds in Ireland July 12-21.
Class winners will not only race in the Youth Worlds but will be invited to join the US Sailing Development Team as future Olympic prospects.
The USSDT will have two teams training in each class and a target age span of 16 to 24.
Comnplete Results and more information here