FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marlieke Eaton, MarliekeEaton@ussailing.org, 401-441-3948
US Youth World Team Travels To Brazil For
Next Week’s Youth World Championship
Portsmouth, R.I. (July 2, 2009) – More than five months after being named to US SAILING’s Youth World Team (YWT), the ten athletes on the Team are packing their bags and heading to Buzios, Brazil, to represent the USA at the Volvo Youth Sailing International Sailing Federation (ISAF) World Championship (the “Youth Worlds”). The event will be held July 9-18 with 280 sailors from 59 countries competing.
The members of the 2009 YWT 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.)
• RS:X (boys): Chris Gardiner (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
• RS:X (girls): Solvig Sayre (Vineyard Haven, Mass.)
Eight of the YWT 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 (held in Long Beach, Calif., last January). Athletes in the boys’ and girls’ windsurfing classes were selected by resume.
“This is a strong team of trained athletes and experienced coaches,” said Kenneth Andreasen, US SAILING’s High Performance Director and Head Coach for the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. “For these young sailors, this could be their first step towards an Olympic campaign. The competition in Brazil will be tough and it will be a good test for them to see how well they measure up against their fellow world-class sailors.”
The Team will be led by team leader Jay Kehoe (Annapolis, Md.) and coaches Leandro Spina (Miami, Fla.) for the doublehanded classes and Bern Noack (Boston, Mass.) for the singlehanded and windsurfing classes. Team members Barnard, Lihan, Liberty, Whipple, Kiss and McKenna are all members of the 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.
The first Youth Worlds were held in 1971 and since 1972, the USA has sent a team to the event every year. Overall, USA sailors have won a total of 34 medals at the event (18 gold, 8 silver, and 8 bronze medals), putting the country in 4th place on the medal table.
Not only will the competitors be vying for individual regatta titles, ISAF also awards the Volvo Trophy to the best overall nation at each ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship. The members of the 2009 YWT are hoping to become the first USA team to win the Trophy since it was first introduced in 1991.
For more information on US SAILING’s 2009 Youth World Team, please visit http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Sailing_Teams_Home/Teams/US_Youth_World_Team.htm.
About the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics and US SAILING
The US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) 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, Atlantis WeatherGear, Sperry Top-Sider, LaserPerformance, Harken, Team McLube, Bow Down Training, and New England Ropes. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, 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. For more information about US SAILING, please visit: www.ussailing.org. For more information about the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, please visit: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org.