ARAPAHOE, N.C. (October 11, 2021) — While there was plenty of entertainment to be had during the social events and on-land activities at the 2021 U.S. Youth Sailing Championships, the real fun of the weekend happened on the waters of the Neuse River. There, more than 150 athletes, 19-years-old and younger, duked it out during three days of racing out of YMCA Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer. “The event was really fun,” said 29er sailor Samantha Gardner (San Diego YC). “I thought it was interesting how we had some weird, stormy weather coming through with pretty funky conditions.”
Daniel Escudero (Atlanta YC/Lauderdale YC) topped the 11-boat Laser (ICLA7) fleet with all bullets at the end of the weekend. A member of the US Sailing Olympic Development Team, Escudero has been sailing the Laser for six years. “I think the conditions suited me well,” says Escudero. “I definitely had a boat speed edge over the rest of the fleet. But, it was also very important to stay on top of the shifts and watch out for any course bias which was very prevalent here.” Guthrie Braun (St. Petersburg YC) finished second overall, with Humberto Porrata (Key Biscayne YC) completing the class podium.
Chapman Petersen repeated his U.S. Youth Sailing Championship title in the Laser Radial, winning half of the weekend’s 8 races, and never falling below fourth overall. The top of the fleet remained unchanged across all three days of racing, with Robby Meek (Severn SA/Lauderdale YC) five points behind Petersen, and Benjamin Smith (Lauderdale YC/Carolina YC) rounding out the podium of the largest fleet in the regatta, with 66 boats.
In the 29er, brothers Ian and Noah Nyenhuis (San Diego YC) had a very consistent weekend, topping the fleet in most races. Anton Schmid and Peter Joslin (San Diego YC) and Clark Morris and Noah Zittrer (2NINER Inc.), finished second and third, respectively, in
the 11-boat fleet. “The breeze really filled in this weekend and it was nice to test our capabilities,” says Sara Ortiz Vey (2NINER) who sailed with Kelly Bates and finished fifth. “The venue was super great, everyone here was welcoming and helpful.”
Kay Brunsvold and Cooper Delbridge (Sarasota Youth Sailing) kept a commanding lead all weekend in the Nacra 15, finishing the weekend with bullets across the board. In second are Tanner DeMarzo and Luke King (Sarasota Youth Sailing), with Dorothy Medelblatt and Ian Ilse-Lee (St. Petersburg YC/Red Gear Sailing) rounding out the podium for the seven-boat fleet.
In the i420, Thomas Sitzman and Luke Woodworth (Sail1Design) covered the leaderboard with first-place finishes, securing them the overall title in the 20-boat fleet. Vanessa Lahrkamp and Katherine McNamara (LISOT Sailing Foundation, Inc.) wrapped up in second, followed by Peter Foley and Liam O’Keefe (OUTFIT) in third, an exact reflection of the results at the end of day two and a testament to the consistent sailing from the top of the fleet. Sitzman and Woodworth’s title in Arapahoe joins a list of accolades for the pair from this year, who also won the 420 World Championships in July.
Photographer Matt Flanagan McCotter was on hand to capture the action this weekend. “I have been shooting regattas in Eastern, NC for eight years and have always marveled how sailors adapt to sailing in this area,” he says. “Particularly with this race on the Neuse River, conditions can be challenging. The sailors this weekend showed so much skill and handling. With how they pushed through the swells, the rain, and the ever-changing wind, it just confirms they are the best in their field.”
The event was hosted by YMCA Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer and sponsored by MarkSetBot. For more information, photos from the weekend and more, 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.