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Contact: Marni Lane, US SAILING, marnilane@ussailing.org              617-671-8332       

US SAILING Selects Winners of Youth World Qualifier for 2009 Youth World Team

Portsmouth, R.I. (January 20, 2009) – Ten youth sailors have qualified for US SAILING’s 2009 Youth World Team, which will represent the United States at the 39th Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Buzios, Brazil from July 9-18, 2009. Eight of the athletes were selected based on first-place finishes in their respective classes at the 2009 US SAILING International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Youth World Qualifier and U.S. Youth Multihull Championship Regatta in Long Beach, California, which concluded Monday after three days of racing.

The members of US SAILING’s 2009 Youth World Team are:
· Laser Radial (boys): Chris Barnard (Newport Beach, Calif.)
· Laser Radial (girls): Marissa Lihan (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
· International 420s (boys): Ian Liberty (Colt’s Neck, N.J.) and Alex Whipple (Plandome, N.Y.)
· Club 420s (girls): Morgan Kiss (Holland, Mich.) and Laura McKenna (Palo Alto, Calif.)
· Hobie 16s with spinnaker (open): Korbin Kirk (Long Beach, Calif.) and Daniel Segerblom (Costa Mesa, Calif.)

Athletes in the boys’ and girls’ windsurfing classes were chosen by resume and did not compete at the 2009 Youth World Qualifier. Also qualifying for the 2009 Youth World Team are:
· RS:X (boys): Chris Gardiner (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
· RS:X (girls): Solvig Sayre (Vineyard Haven, Mass.)

“This is a powerful team that overcame some challenging conditions in Long Beach,” said Kenneth Andreasen, the Olympic Sailing Program’s High Performance Director. “Being able to stay on top of a tough regatta like this means that these sailors will represent us well in Brazil.”

The 2009 US Youth World Team will be led by Coaches Leandro Spina (Miami, Fla.) for the doublehanded classes and Bern Noack (Boston, Mass.) for the singlehanded and windsurfing classes. Barnard, Lihan, Liberty, Whipple, Kiss and McKenna are all members of the newly-launched US Sailing Team – Under 18 (U18), which includes sailors identified as Olympic hopefuls in the Laser Radial (boys), Laser Radial (girls), 29er (open) and I420 (boys or girls) classes and were born after January 1, 1991. Both Spina and Noack are also the lead coaches for the US Sailing Team – U18.

“This regatta has been on top of my mental calendar since this time last year. I put a lot of commitment and focus on just this one regatta,” said Laser Radial boys’ sailor Chris Barnard, who added that he would have sacrificed all other events to win this qualifier and make the Youth World Team. Barnard, who considers Long Beach his home waters, also had some local knowledge of the Southern California winter conditions. “I sail here all the time, so I knew what to expect,” he said.

Hosted by the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, the US SAILING ISAF Youth World Qualifier and U.S. Youth Multihull Championship Regatta were competitive regattas for the 79 athletes aged 19 and under. Saturday and Sunday brought light winds, which presented challenges for some sailors. Monday, after a morning staring at glassy water, all five fleets were able to finish three fair races in a steady 6- to 8-knot breeze, the best conditions of the entire event. All five fleets finished seven races overall, with one throw-out score.

“Alamitos Bay Yacht Club ran a terrific regatta,” said Andreasen. “The Race Committee handled the conditions well and it was very fair racing.”

For complete results, photos and more information about the racing at the US SAILING ISAF Youth World Qualifier and U.S. Youth Multihull Championship Regatta, please visit the event web site: www.abyc.org/event.cfm?id=324.

About the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics and US SAILING
The US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. The top three boats in each Olympic and Paralympic class are selected annually to be members of the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. US SAILING supports these elite athletes with funding, coaching and training. The title sponsor of the team is AlphaGraphics; other sponsors include Rolex, LaserPerformance, Harken and Team McLube. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING provides leadership for the sport of sailing in the United States. 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. For more information about US SAILING, please visit: ussailing.org. For more information about the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, please visit: olympics.ussailing.org.

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