The game is on for 84 sailors trying to get to Denmark by way of Long Beach, and the ticket queue is a logjam.
After the first of three days of the 2008 US Sailing ISAF Youth World Qualifier and US Youth Multihull Championship at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club Saturday the only clear leaders are Emily Dellenbaugh of Elton, Conn., and crew Morgane Renoir, San Diego, both 17, in the girls' 29er class. They sailed their lively skiff to a series of 2-3-1-7 finishes to stand third overall in combined scoring with the boys' teams and with a 20-point lead over the next distaff team.
Oliver Toole, 16, and crew Willie McBride, 16, of Santa Barbara lead the boys' 29ers by two points over Judge Ryan, 16, and crew Hans Henken of San Diego, with Dellenbaugh and Renoir another three points back.
Ryan Hoeven, 17, of San Pedro, Calif., leads the largest class---23 Lasers—by two points over Alex Bertrand of Annapolis, Md., who won two of Saturday's three races. Anne Haeger, Lake Forest, Ill., almost 18, shares first place in the all-girl Laser Radials with Claire Dennis, 16, of Saratoga, Calif.
The Nacra 16 catamarans are a standoff between the teams of Evan Miller-Taylor Reiss of Panama City, Fla., and Andrew Mason-Chris Segerblom of Corona del Mar, Calif., each with first, second and third places that separate them from the nearest competition by 10 points.
The winners will advance to the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship at Aarhus, Denmark in July. The catamarans are also competing for US Sailing's Youth Multihull Championship for the Arthur J. Stevens Trophy.
Light early wind limited racing on the Laser and Radial course off Seal Beach to the south to three of the 10 races scheduled through Monday before increasing to a peak of 7 knots. The 29ers and multihulls enjoyed breeze up to 10 knots a couple of miles farther up the coast inside the breakwater.
Dellenbaugh is the daughter of America's Cup veteran Dave Dellenbaugh, a leading author of racing instructional books and manuals. Does she read his stuff?
'I give it to her live,' said Dellenbaugh, who is in attendance. 'Like … (turning to Emily) the first beat I would have tacked out of there earlier.'
Emily won last year's Youth Worlds at Kingston, Canada, with a crew that turned 19 and aged out for this year.
'This is the first time Morgane and I have sailed together other than practicing for a week,' she said.
Renoir said, 'We knew each other, and I needed a skipper and she needed a crew.'
So far it's working out.
Hoeven credited his good start to the fact that 'I like the light-to-medium [wind].'
Also, he added, he's never been to Denmark, and 'I wanna go there.'
Full results: http://www.abyc.org/