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Winners crowned at U.S. Youth Sailing Championship

by Cynthia Goss on 29 Jun 2007
At most sailing regattas, the rewards come at the end when battles are done and winners are crowned. But at the U.S. Youth Sailing Championship—the nation's premier youth sailing regatta that ran from June 22-28 at Southern Yacht Club—rewards came not only in the form of trophies in four classes but in a final day of racing when the breeze came on to bring lively, challenging conditions to top youth racers competing on Lake Pontchartrain.

One hundred and fifty sailors from 23 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands raced the last day of this four-day series in 10 to 15 knots of breeze, with brilliant sunshine and shifts large enough to effect course changes. The previous days of racing saw lighter air in the 6/7-knot range and waves of thunderstorms on one day of this US SAILING championship, sponsored nationally by Vanguard Sailboats and Nautica.

Despite the changeable conditions, winning 29er team Emily Dellenbaugh (Easton, Conn.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) and second-place team Oliver Toole and Willie McBride (both of Santa Barbara, Calif.) tracked steadily to the top of their competitive 19-boat fleet.

These two teams battled for the lead in the early part of the series, with Toole/McBride leading by one point after day 1, both teams tied for first after day 2, and Dellenbaugh/Provancha taking a two-point lead after day 3. Heading into the final race, the women still had the lead but it was a slim one-point margin. 'I just kept going fast and tried to be really smart and conservative,' said Dellenbaugh. A second in the final race gave them their class win.

The top men's and women's 29er teams qualify to represent the United States at the 2007 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship—to be held in Kingston, Ontario, July 12-21. Emily Dellenbaugh and Briana Provancha, who sailed together at the '06 ISAF Youth Worlds in the Club 420 class, will be heading to Kingston along with top men's team Oliver Toole and Willie McBride.

Sailing a Laser Radial at the 2006 Youth Championship, Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) sailor Colin Smith came painfully close to a class win: tying for first but losing the first-place slot on a tie-breaker. Racing a Laser this year, he arrived at this year's championship with a score to settle. Trailing class leader David Hernandez (Miami, Fla.) for two days at the series opening, Smith moved into the lead after day 3 and kept his commanding position once the breeze picked up to win the class and the Robert L. Johnstone Trophy. Wind conditions on the final day, however, tested Smith's limits: 'I was pushed to the edge today,' he said. 'Fifteen knots is my max for staying at the top of this fleet.'

The Laser Radial class had the largest degree of a shakeup in the standings on the final day when the bigger breeze came on: this class sailed to the starting line on Wednesday morning with its top 5 leaders in place, and that order was completely shuffled by the time the fleet sailed back to the docks at race-day's end. Class winner Ian Heausler of Tampa (Fla.) was in a solid third place after three days of racing, a full eight points behind class leader Justin Doane (Nokomis. Fla.). But a final day of 6-3 finishes gave Heausler the class win and the Robert and Ann Conner Trophy; Doane finished second, and Anne Haeger (Lake Forest, Ill.) took third. (Haeger had already qualified to represent the U.S. at the ISAF Youth Worlds in the Radial division.)

Club 420 skipper Tyler Sinks (San Diego, Calif.) arrived at this championship with some unfinished business: after a second place at this event in both 2005 and 2006, Sinks, racing this year with crew Morgane Renoir (San Diego), was hunting for a win in this 32-boat class. By day 1, the Sinks/Renoir duo was leading the class but slid into second place on day 2. But on day 3, this doublehanded team focused on their prize and never finished worse than a sixth place in the day's five races. A final day of 3-1 finishes wrapped up the class win and the Manton D. Scott Memorial Trophy for Sinks and Renoir. 'I am so stoked, I can't tell you,' said Sinks. 'This is a good place to call it; this will be my last Youth Champs.' Sinks has raced this championship five times.

2006 Club 420 North American Champion Taylor Canfield (St. Thomas, USVI), racing with Perry Emsiek (Corona del Mar, Calif.), provided some tough competition for Sinks and Renoir, finishing second in class.

The David M. Perry Sportsmanship Trophy is awarded in each class to the sailor(s) selected by fellow competitors who demonstrate good sportsmanship behavior. The 2007 sportsmanship winners are: Judge Ryan (San Diego, Calif.) and Hans Henken (Coronado, Calif.) in the 29er class; Joe Morris (Annapolis, Md.) and Alex Sachs (Coral Gables, Fla.) in the Club 420 class; Justin Doane (Nokomis, Fla.) in the Laser Radial; and Josh Garber (Deephaven, Minn.) in the Laser class.

The 2008 U.S. Youth Sailing Championship will be hosted by San Francisco Yacht Club. For results and more on this event, visit http://www.ussailing.org/championships/youth/youthchamp. This championship is part of US SAILING’s Youth and Junior Championship series; to learn more about US SAILING's National Championships, visit www.ussailing.org/championships.

About the Event Trophies
The Robert L. Johnstone Trophy awarded to the Laser class winner honors Johnstone's pioneering work in popularizing one-design sailing and serving as the Youth Championship's creator and first committee chairman; the Manton D. Scott Memorial Trophy awarded to the Club 420 winner honors the life of an aspiring Olympic sailor whose life was cut short prematurely when he was electrocuted in 1973 when the mast of his boat made contact with an overhead power line; the Robert and Ann Conner Trophy awarded to the Laser Radial winner honors the Conners' lifelong effort to promote junior sailing, both nationally and internationally.

About the Event Sponsors
Vanguard Sailboats, manufacturer of most of the boats sailed in this championship, is a sponsor of the U.S. Youth Sailing Championship as part of the company's ongoing commitment to youth sailing. Nautica—the Official Apparel Supplier to the US Sailing Team, US Disabled Sailing Team and US Youth World Team—also returned this year as an Official Sponsor of the Championship, affirming its support of youth sailing.

About US SAILING
The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING) is the national governing body for sailing. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, the organization provides leadership for the sport of sailing in the United States. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Teams. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.

Final Results (top 5 in class / 11 races / 1 discard)

29er (19 boats)
1. Emily Dellenbaugh/Briana Provancha (Easton, Conn./San Diego , Calif.); 2, 1, 3, 3, 1, 1, 2, 3, 1, 8*, 2: 19 points
2. Oliver Toole/Willie McBride (Santa Barbara, Calif.): 1, 3, 1, 4*, 3, 3, 3, 1, 2, 1, 4: 22 points
3. Judge Ryan/Hans Henken (San Diego , Calif./Coronado , Calif.): 3, 4, 2, 1, 4, 4, 1, 4, 12*, 6, 3: 32 points
4. Taylor Lutz/Evan Aras (Houston, Texas/Annapolis , Md.): 4, 5, 4, 5, 2, 7*, 7, 6, 6, 4, 1: 44 points
5. Austen Anderson/Chris Price (Northport N.Y./Huntington, N.Y.) 8, 9, 10*, 2, 6, 5, 4, 5, 9, 9, 5: 62 points

Laser (26 boats)
1. Colin Smith (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.): 3, 6, 4, 1, 19*, 1, 5, 4, 10, 6, 2: 42 points
2. Fred Strammer (Nokomis, Fla.): 5, 4, 12, 8, 14*, 4, 3, 7, 6, 3, 4: 56 points
3. David Hernandez (Miami, Fla.): 1, 2, 1, 4, 4, 6, 15, 3, 11, 17, 19*: 6
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