ISAF Youth Worlds Mid-Event Report
Haddon Hughes, Laser Radial. Photo: Yvette Eenkema/US Sailing
July 16, 2014
Portsmouth, R.I. – With three days in the books at the 2014 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships, the American contingent looks to continue their strong showing over the final two days of racing in Tavira, Portugal. US athletes are currently in close medal contention in three classes (Laser Radial, 29er and SL16), and the possibility remains that Team USA could finish in the top ten in six of eight classes. This overall consistency has the United States currently sitting in third in the prestigious Nations Trophy standings, ahead of 36 countries and trailing only France and Spain. Challenging conditions each day in the form of light, shifty winds have required a full-team effort to understand and interpret, and a group approach, explained Team Leader and Head Coach Leandro Spina (Miami, Fla.), has been the key to many solid performances so far. “I’m really pleased with how the team has raced,” said Spina, who also serves as the Youth Development Director for the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. “These kids are having fun and staying focused, but they are also trying to help each other every day. They are disciplined on and off the water, even though the days have been very long.”
Ravi Parent (Bradenton, Fla.), who has returned for his second Youth Worlds, said that the team briefings each day have been a significant help. “We meet each morning as a full team, fully rested, and discuss what happened the day before,” said Parent. “There has been a pattern to the conditions here, and talking it over with our coaches Mike [Kalin] and Kevin [Hall], and the rest of the team has really helped us. We are starting to figure out the venue. I’m learning a lot from them about how to evaluate a race course.” For Parent, a second chance at the Youth Worlds podium represents a big opportunity, and has necessitated a new game plan. “I have a more patient approach this time. Last year I was really focused on my equipment, and figuring out the SL16, but this time I’m just focusing on using my overall multihull skills.”
Haddon Hughes (Houston, Texas) jumped out to an early lead in the Laser Radial class, and held the top spot over the first two days before falling to a close second on Day 3 after three race wins by Spaniard Martina Reino Cacho. Hughes, who finished 5th in 2013, said that last year served as a springboard for an even stronger campaign in 2014. “It was such a great event last year, I was so excited to come again. It’s great competition, you learn so much.” Her stellar showing in light air so far this week has been especially impressive for the Texan, who normally specializes in heavy conditions.
Another Youth Worlds veteran, Quinn Wilson (Ojai, Calif.), now sailing with Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.), is truly on a mission at this event. In two previous Youth Worlds campaigns with brother Dane Wilson, younger sibling Quinn has come within just a few points of the podium each time. Currently sitting in second, Wilson and Gibbs will have to rely on their significant combined experience to stay consistent over the final races of the regatta.
Standings: 2014 US Sailing ISAF Youth World Championship Team
- 2nd, Laser Radial (girl’s one person dinghy): Haddon Hughes (Houston, Texas)
- 2nd, 29er (open high performance dinghy): Quinn Wilson (Ojai, Calif.) and Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.)
- 4th, SL16 (open multihull): Ravi Parent (Bradenton, Fla.) and Nicholas Schultz (Sarasota, Fla.)
- 11th, RS:X (boy’s windsurfer): Pedro Pascual (Cadiz, Spain)
- 10th, International 420 (girl’s two person dinghy): Audrey Giblin (Monmouth Beach, N.J) and Taylor Gavula (Villanova, Pa.)
- 14th, International 420 (boy’s two person dinghy): Jack Parkin (Riverside, Conn.) and Florian Eenkema van Dijk (Darien, Conn.)
- 21st, RS:X (girl’s windsurfer): Charlotte Samson (Clearwater, Fla.)
- 37th, Laser Radial (boy’s one person dinghy): Luke Muller (Ft. Pierce, Fla.)
Nations Trophy: USA stands in 3rd among 39 nations.
The members of the US Sailing 2014 Youth Worlds Team are also members of the the 2014 US Sailing Development Team (USSDT). The USSDT is comprised of the country’s top sailors in the classes selected for the 2014 Youth Worlds and the 10 events selected for the Olympic Games. Full roster: http://www.ussailing.org/olympics/teams/ussdt/
Photo: Yvette Eenkema/US Sailing
For more on each US athlete and their coaches, read our 2014 Youth Worlds Preview: http://bit.ly/1q4DHZW
About US Sailing
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. 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 US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org
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