ARAPAHOE, N.C. (October 9, 2021) — A rainy start did nothing to deter the excitement of the 156 young sailors competing in the 2021 U.S. Youth Sailing Championship at YMCA Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer. All 19 years old and younger, the sailors raced across five fleets: 29er, International 420, ILCA 7 (Standard), ILCA 6 (Radial), and Nacra 15. Racing kicked off today in wet and windy conditions, but these top young sailors proved that they can succeed in any weather, and all fleets completed at least one race. “It was definitely a physical day today,” says Mitch Brindley, US Sailing Fleet Coach. “We had great wind, big waves, and plenty of rain.”
In the 11-boat fleet, brothers Ian and Noah Nyenhuis (San Diego YC) lead the 29ers after four races, winning the first two, then placing second, and winning the final race of the day for a cumulative five points. They’re tailed closely by Anton Schmid and Peter Joslin, (San Diego YC), with 13 points, and Clark Morris and Noah Zittrer (2NINER Inc.) with 14 points.
Riverside YC’s Freddie Parkin and Thomas Whidden top the 20-boat 420 fleet at the end of day one, with a scoresheet of 2-4-2. Vanessa Lahrkamp and Katherine McNamara (LISOT Sailing Foundation, Inc.) sit in second, just one point behind the leaders, with 3-1-5, followed by Peter Foley and Liam O’Keefe (OUTFIT).
ILCA 7 and ILCA 6
The single-handed boats, ILCA 7 (Standard) and ILCA 6 (Radial) completed three races each. In the Radial, sailors from Lauderdale YC made waves. 2019 U.S. Youth Sailing Champion, Chapman Petersen (Lake Geneva YC/Lauderdale YC), leads the 68-boat fleet with a 2-1-3 scorecard to start. Robby Meek (Severn SA/Lauderdale YC) is right on his heels, with 1-7-1, and Benjamin Smith (Lauderdale YC/Carolina YC) rounding out the top three. “I rarely consider competition before an event, save the idea that everyone will always be better than they were the last time you saw them,” said Petersen earlier this week. “I’ve learned that at the highest level, it’s not about who can do the best tack. Everyone can do a great tack. It’s about who can make 100 tacks throughout a regatta when they’re exhausted and not mess up a single one.”
In the Standard Laser, consistency was the name of the game in the 11-boat fleet today. Atlanta YC/Lauderdale YC’s Daniel Escuerdo leads the fleet with three bullets right off the bat, followed by Guthrie Braun (St. Petersburg YC) and Ethan Danielson (St. Petersburg YC) with 2-2-2 and 6-3-3, respectively.
Floridian sailors top the Nacra 15 fleet after one race. Kay Brunsvold and Cooper Delbridge (Sarasota Youth Sailing) struck first in the 7-boat fleet, with Dorothy Medelblatt and Ian Ilse-Lee (St. Petersburg YC/Red Gear Sailing) in second and Tanner DeMarzo and Luke King (Sarasota Youth Sailing) in third. “I thought the competitors did a great job of staying focused and controlling what they could control in some really unstable weather conditions,” says Richard Feeny, US Sailing Fleet Coach.
The event is hosted by YMCA Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer and sponsored by MarkSetBot. Racing will continue Sunday and culminate on Monday. For more information, and to follow along, visit https://www.ussailing.org/competition/championships/2021-u-s-youth-championship/.
About US Sailing
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and advancement for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Bristol, 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. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.