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AC45 flips and US Sailing news —Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 8 May 2013
American Youth Sailing Force (The Force) capsizes on San Francisco Bay May 5, 2013 Vince Casalaina
US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider has taken some big steps in the past nine months to bolster the team’s medal winning chances in the next several Olympic quads, the latest being to name Mark Littlejohn as a coach. In his new role, Littlejohn will work closely with the team’s High Performance Director, Charlie McKee. 'As we dig deep into expanding the technical excellence of the U.S. Olympic Program, we aim to surround U.S. sailors with the best resources possible,' said McKee. 'There are few coaches who can match Mark’s reputation and success, and we are fortunate to have him on our team.'

Littlejohn is originally from New Zealand, and he has spent his career sailing and coaching One Designs. He has been a full-time coach to two-time Gold medalist Shirley Robertson (GBR) and Laser Radial Silver medalist Marit Bouwmeester, and he was Sir Ben Ainslie’s sparing partner in Ainslie’s build-up for his Silver medal in the 1996 Atlanta Games in the Laser.

'I’m pleased to join such a vibrant team of coaches,' said Littlejohn. 'My coaching philosophy is simple and one that has served well: Work hard, work smart and plan well. Everything that you do must underpin self-confidence and self-belief.' Get the full story, inside, and stay tuned for more news from US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider, as it unfurls.



And speaking of US Sailing, the organization has announced a new partnership with the America’s Cup to educate new sailors about the sport. 'There are many people interested in learning how to sail who have yet to take the first step,' said Jack Gierhart, US Sailing’s Executive Director. 'Perhaps they don’t know where to begin or believe it is too difficult or expensive – all not true. This new website is the perfect place to welcome newcomers, while serving as a useful resource as they get started. We hope sailors will visit the website and share it with their family members and friends who want to learn.'



Also Cup related, 'The Force', a team competing in this year’s Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, flipped their AC45 while chasing big-breeze conditions over the weekend on San Francisco Bay. 'As I began to head up, I dropped the wing sheet but it didn't go out as it was on the runner,' reported Michael Menninger, the team’s helmsman. 'I continued to head up into the wind…but the boat was going over. It went over nice and gently. The main things are that everyone is safe and there is no significant damage to the boat or wing. It’s good we are pushing our sailing and learning as a team.'

Inside, be sure to get the full report on 'The Force’s' unexpected swim, as well as video footage of the capsize and the recovery.



Also inside, don’t miss the latest news from the troubled Laser class, now there are questions about the Laser trademark ownership, get the scoop from the 2013 Ulsan PWA World Cup, and learn about Denmark’s possible bid to host the 2018 ISAF Sailing World Championships.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

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