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Top young American sailors prepare for 2021 U.S. Youth Sailing Championships

by US Sailing 7 Oct 14:15 PDT October 8-11, 2021
U.S. Youth Sailing Championships © US Sailing

For more than forty years, the U.S. Youth Championship has been US Sailing's pinnacle youth regatta, featuringthe nation's top young competitors racing in high-performance classes. In 2021, 156 sailors, 19-years-old and younger, will contest the regatta in the 29er, International 420, ILCA 7 (Standard), ILCA 6 (Radial), and Nacra 15. Sailors will gather at YMCA Camps Sea Gull & Seafarer in Arapahoe, North Carolina for the competition, with a practice day on Friday, October 8 followed by three days of racing culminating on Monday, October 11.

"We are excited about welcoming competitors to Camp Sea Gull as we host the 2021 US Sailing Youth Championship," says Terrell Kennedy, regatta host at YMCA Camps Sea Gull & Seafarer. "We have hosted large regattas in the past, but this is the first multi-class event at our site. Everyone is energized by the different classes of boats on display and the experience and talent of the athletes racing them. "

2019 Youth Sailing Champion in the Laser Radial, Chapman Petersen, will return this weekend to defend his Youth Championship title. "I thoroughly look forward to seeing many of the friends I've made throughout sailing in the last ten years, especially those from other classes who I don't get to see often" says Petersen. "But most, of course, I look forward to competing.... Robby Meek was exceptional this summer, as well as other talented sailors on the Lauderdale team and elsewhere. Nevertheless, we haven't had a national event in many months, so I also expect to see some brand new names at the top of the Radial fleet. It's always exciting to see who has been putting in work since the last event."

In addition to the high level of competition that will be on display this weekend, the event also features coaching from six coaches who will support the regatta's mission to facilitate education and development opportunities.

This year's US Sailing Fleet Coaches are:

  • Richard Feeny, Youth Champs Head Coach, US Sailing
  • Mitch Brindley, Head Coach, Old Dominion University
  • Robbie Daniel, Head Coach, Red Gear Racing
  • Dane Wilson, US Sailing Team athlete, 49er Class
  • Ward Cromwell, Head Coach, College of Charleston
  • John Pearce, Sport Development Director, US Sailing

This year is the first year that this event is being raced in the Fall. Due to the pandemic, the 2020 U.S. Youth Sailing Championships were cancelled, and with a number of regattas being postponed in early 2021, the US Youth Championship Committee wanted to provide more time for sailors to practice and compete ahead of the event this weekend.

"We are excited to see a lot of new faces at this year's Youth Champs after having to cancel the regatta last year" says John Pearce, US Sailing Sport Development Director. "The ILCA 6 fleet is particularly strong after so many sailors gravitated to singlehanded sailing during the pandemic, and overall we are looking forward to capping off 2021 with a great regatta."

There is a longstanding partnership between the host venue and US Sailing. "For years, we have been integrating the US Sailing curriculum and certifications into our programs and hold their organization in high regard for their commitment to youth development," says Kennedy. "It is a privilege and honor to work alongside them for this event. We are grateful to have the opportunity and we hope everyone enjoys their time here with us."

For more information, and to follow the racing with results and daily recaps, visit event page.

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