Youth Racing News December 2017 - US Sailing

US Sailing's Youth racing newsletter is your source for updates on the national effort to support youth racing, regatta and clinic participation, performance education and the Olympic Development Program (ODP).


  • U.S. Youth Worlds Team Begins Racing in Sanya, China
  • VIDEO: ODP Mobilizes to Boost Youth Worlds Team
  • VIDEO: Youth Worlds Opening Ceremony Highlights
  • VIDEO: Historic National Coaching Symposium in Miami
  • Reviving Your Regional Youth Racing
  • Instructor Courses: Make Sailing Stronger
  • 2018 I420 Worlds Preview
  • 2018 Youth Worlds Selection Amended for Nacra 15, RS:X
Youth Worlds: Ready to Go in Sanya

U.S. Youth Sailing World Championship Team Begins Racing In Sanya, China

Sanya, China – Racing begins on Monday at the 2017 Youth World Sailing Championship in Sanya, China, 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.”

Notable U.S. Results after Day 1:

  • 1st Overall (1,1), Charlotte Rose (Houston, Texas), Laser Radial
  • 3rd Overall (3,9), Thomas Rice (Garden City, N.Y.) and Trevor Bornath (Stuart, Fla.), Boy's I420
  • 3rd Overall, (5,1,6), Mark Brunsvold (Sarasota, Fla.) and Dylan Heinz (Sarasota, Fla.), Nacra 15

ODP Mobilizes to Boost the U.S. Youth Worlds Team

WATCH: When the U.S. team begins racing on December 11 at the Youth Sailing World Championships in Sanya, China, they won't be going in cold. Weeks of cutting-edge training at camps across the country, powered by US Sailing's Olympic Development Program (ODP), have helped propel motivated youth sailors faster and higher than they've ever gone before.

A Sparking Start to the Youth Worlds

Watch as the 2017 Youth Worlds gets off to a stunning start with an amazing opening ceremony in China.

Securing The Future of COaching

National Coaching Symposium 2017

For the first time in recent history, top coaches from all levels of sailing gathered to exchange ideas and hear from a wide range of experts from both within and outside of the sailing industry. US Sailing's National Coaching Symposium was an unprecedented collection of experience, uniting coaches seeking professional development, as well as those who wish to bolster the future of a critical profession. Watch the video above and get a glimpse inside an historic and productive gathering of many of America's top coaching minds.

"As a coach, you have to study within. Ask what you really do; what is your craft? What is the definition of it?"

- Five-time Olympic medal-winning coach Luther Carpenter (US Sailing Team) at US Sailing's inaugural National Coaching Symposium in Miami, Florida.

Sights from the Symposium, held in Coconut Grove, Miami.
Grow racing in your area

Reviving Your Regional Youth Racing Series

Andrew Nelson, Youth Sailing Director at The Sailing Foundation in Redmond, Washington, has found success in revitalizing regular youth racing in the Pacific Northwest. Here he shares some lessons and practical advice for others looking to grow the sport in their area.

In fall of 2014, I began managing the Northwest Youth Racing Circuit, which is a collection of seven summer regattas in Washington and Oregon. At that time, the NWYRC had just finished another underwhelming year. Many regattas were sparsely attended and fleet sizes were routinely in the single digits. This was true even among popular youth classes like the Opti.

It had gotten to the point that only two or three teams were regularly participating in the series. Before this decline, the NWYRC had produced talented sailors like U.S. Olympian Helena Scutt and U.S. Singlehanded Champions Hanne Weaver and Derick Vranizan, to name a few. After leaving our circuit, these sailors all went on to have success at the national and international level, but not without first doing time in the back half of their local fleet.

Since 2014, we’ve nearly doubled NWYRC regatta attendance. Our total size this summer was over 620 sailors, with 145 sailors participating in our summer series finale. That regatta included a talented 38 boat Laser Radial fleet, which had at least a dozen skippers who were capable of winning a race. Among those racing regularly in that fleet were three top-ten finishers from the Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championships, including Leiter Cup winner Abbie Carlson. There’s still plenty of work to do in our region, but I believe this turnaround was at least partly attributable to the following strategies.

build a better future for sailing

Become An Instructor and Make Sailing Stronger

In this episode of US Sailing's "This is what we do" series, Stu Gilfillen, Director of Education at US Sailing, discusses the instructor training and certification programs that US Sailing offers for both, sailing and powerboating.

Instructor Courses

US Sailing's instructor and coach certification courses provide sailing educators with the national standard for safe and effective instruction. US Sailing offers a variety of certifications including smallboat, keelboat, powerboat, and Reach-STEM educators. If you're teaching sailing in 2018, now is the time to sign up for a course to achieve your next level of certification.

Planning ahead: 2018 Worlds

2018 I420 Worlds Shaping Up to Be the Regatta of the Summer

Larry Law, Volunteer President of the U.S. I420 Class, checks in on what we should know about the 2018 I420 World Championships, set to be held in Newport, R.I. For athletes and families, now is the time to start planning for this world-class event.

Q: So what factors are making this regatta look like a particularly special event, and what else should people know?

Law: "This is the first time in 20 years, since 1997, that we've had the I420 Worlds here in the U.S. We now have a website up (see below) with basic information that people need in order to make plans. On the U.S. I420 class website, you can find qualification info. People should know that the U.S. class has limited entries. Typically each country gets 20 entries, but as host nation, we can double that to 40. That is part of what makes the 2018 Worlds a big and special opportunity for U.S. sailors.

Q: Why is the I420 growing so quickly in the U.S., and what makes it a great development class?

Law: "The I420 class is off-the-charts in terms of competition. In 2018, we will have dozens of countries sending their best to Newport. This will truly be the place to be next summer. In terms of the boat, if you as a sailor are planning to go on to a more technical class, this is a great boat. However, it's not so technical that you need to go to "space camp" to figure it out. In the end, the key factor in making the class great is the top international competition.

Q: What should people know about the racing venue in Newport?

Law: I and many others love this venue. There will be music festivals and other events ahead of the Worlds, and you have great resources for training and racing at Sail Newport, the event authority and local sailing center. In terms of the regatta, it will be an awesome venue with multiple ocean and bay course options available to the Race Committee. In short, Newport, Rhode Island is off-the-charts awesome for both sailors, coaches and families.

2018 Youth Worlds Selection System Amended

Youth Sailing World Championship, Corpus Christi, TX, USA (July 14-21, 2018)

The changes will impact Nacra 15 and RS:X sailors.

Youth Racing News from US Sailing

PRESS CONTACT: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager - willricketson@ussailing.org, (401) 342-7901


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