U.S. Youth Sailing World Championship Team Ready to Race In Sanya, China


December 11, 2017

Sanya, China – Racing begins on Monday at the 2017 Youth World Sailing Championship in Sanya, China (December 11-16) and 14 American athletes will join 374 competitors from 60 nations at the world’s premier junior sailing event. US Sailing comes into the regatta with a strong team comprised of both Youth Worlds veterans and rookies, and following the successful completion of three Youth Worlds Team domestic training camps, which were held in San Francisco and Florida, and overseen by US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program (ODP).

“The Youth Worlds Team is one of our main focuses every year,” said Leandro Spina (Miami, Fla.) US Sailing’s Olympic Development Director and Team Leader for Sanya 2017. “This is the pinnacle event in youth sailing. It’s a very good focus, and a very good goal to have to represent the U.S. and to be on the podium at this event.”

Watch above: See how US Sailing’s ODP is changing the way American sailors prepare for the Youth Worlds. 

The 2017 team will look to follow a strong performance by the 2016 team, which came away from Auckland 2016 with three medals in the nine contested classes. One of those podium performances was delivered by Ian Brill (San Diego, Calif.), who took silver in the Nacra 15 multihull last year before deciding to chase another medal this year with new teammate Neil Marcellini (Lafayette, Calif.) in the 29er skiff. Marcellini has proven himself to be highly competitive on the international level, having finished 10th at the most recent 29er Worlds, held in Long Beach, Calif. Brill was chosen by his teammates as the opening ceremony flag bearer for the U.S., and will chase the rare feat of medaling in two different classes at the Youth Worlds.

In the Girls’s 29er, Berta Puig (Key Biscayne, Fla.) and Charlotte Mack (Stuart, Fla.) steadily worked their way up through the domestic and international ranks before placing 8th at the U.S. Youth Champs and Qualifying for Youth Worlds. Puig and Mack were also the top female U.S. finishers at the 2017 29er Midwinters West.

In the Girls 420, Carmen Cowles (Larchmont, N.Y.) and Emma Cowles (Larchmont, N.Y.) enter the event with a strong track record of international racing experience. The sisters took 11th at the 2017 I420 Europeans, and were the 4th female team at the 2017 I420 Junior Europeans Championship.

Boys 420 skipper Thomas Rice (Garden City, N.Y.) is no stranger to major championships, having won the 2015 Opti Europeans and the 2017 I420 Gulf Coast Championship. Crew Trevor Bornath (Stuart, Fla.) has achieved podium results at the 2017 Youth Champs (3rd) and the 2017 I420 Midwinters (2nd).

In the Laser Radial, Charlotte Rose (Houston, Texas) took 3rd at the Open Youth Radial Worlds in 2017, and should be a strong contender in Sanya. Boys representative Joseph Hou (Newport Beach, Calif.) continues a strong tradition of Newport Beach laser sailing, and has won both the U.S. Youth Champs in the Laser Radial and the High School Nationals in the full-rigged Laser.

In the Nacra 15 multihull, Mark Brunsvold (Sarasota, Fla.) and Dylan Heinz (Sarasota, Fla.) won the 2017 U.S. Youth Champs, and Brunsvold brings previous Youth Worlds experience to the team. Brunsvold finished 6th at Youth Worlds in 2015 with his brother Anderson in the SL16 multihull, and returns to the big stage for a second shot at the podium with fellow Floridian Heinz.

In the RS:X, boy’s representative Steven Cramer (Miami Beach, Fla.) is a winner of the 2016 Youth Champs, and in 2017 qualified for gold fleet at both the RS:X Youth Worlds and the Techno Plus Worlds. In the girls’ fleet, Dominique Stater (who currently lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina) has competed internationally at board sailing events in France, Canada and Poland.

The coaching staff for the team is comprised of Leandro Spina, Steve Keen (Stamford, Conn.) and Rosie Chapman (Houston, Texas).

How to Follow the 2017 U.S. Youth Worlds Team:


Social Media:


Contact: Will Ricketson, Communications Manager, US Sailing
Email: willricketson@ussailing.org
Phone: +1 978 697 2384 (USA)

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 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

About US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program:

US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program (ODP) was launched in January 2015 to lead the progression of the most promising youth sailing talent in the US. Guided by the US Olympic Sailing Committee’s Project Pipeline strategic initiative, the ODP fosters an integrated approach to training in the core development and Olympic classes, and is part of a system to provide the United States with a steady stream of well-prepared sailors. Some of these athletes will go on to represent Team USA at The Olympic Games, and provide the national team with consistent success. The fundamental premise of the ODP is to focus on the critical transition from youth sailing to high performance racing in Olympic classes. The ODP is funded through generous donations by individuals and organizations. The lead gift as well as a matching grant has been provided by the AmericaOne Foundation, and the US Olympic Sailing Program is actively seeking supporters to meet this generous match.  For more information on the ODP and the America One Match campaign, please visit www.ussailing.org/olympics


The Youth Sailing World Championship was first held in Angelholm, Sweden in 1971 where 16 nations competed for the inaugural titles in the two-person dinghies, 420 and Flipper.

As the regatta evolved further classes were added to bring the best young sailing talent across the world together in one place and in 1984 the Mistral windsurfer was added to the list of events with Knut Budig (GER) taking the first gold medal in San Diego, California.

Open to sailors aged 19 and under the 47th version of the Youth Worlds heads to the Sanya, China from 9-16 December as the stars of the future are born once again.

Past notable winners include American’s Cup skippers, Chris Dickson (NZL), Russell Coutts (NZL), Dean Barker (NZL); Olympic medallists, Ben Ainslie (GBR), Robert Scheidt (BRA), Alessandra Sensini (ITA), Iain Percy (GBR) and Elise Rechichi (AUS); Volvo Ocean Race sailors like Stuart Bannatyne (NZL) and Richard Clarke (CAN). The most successful Youth World Champions are Great Britain’s Sally Cuthbert and Poland’s Zofia Klepacka having won four successive titles in the Laser II and Mistral respectively.

Italy is the current holder of the Nations Trophy, awarded annually to the top performing nation at the Youth Worlds. The Nations Trophy was first introduced in 1991 and in 1999 became the Volvo Trophy until 2010. France is the most successful nation through the history of the Championship, winning the Nations Trophy on a record eleven occasions and holding a record 76 medals: 28 gold, 30 silver and 18 bronze.