FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marlieke Eaton, 757-333-0823 or MarliekeEaton@ussailing.org
US Youth World Team Learns Valuable Lessons
at Youth World Sailing Championship
Portsmouth, R.I. (July 17, 2009) – Members of the US Youth World Team are returning home from the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship with a wealth of new knowledge after the Team was not able to secure a medal at the regatta, which finished today in Buzios, Brazil.
“Of course it is a little disappointing for the team to come home empty-handed,” said US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics and Olympic Coach Leandro Spina (Miami, Fla.). “But these young sailors made some great progress this week and that was really our biggest goal. We are focusing on long-term plans for the USA’s young sailors. At the end of the day, we have learned a lot, know what adjustments need to be made, and are very excited about the future.”
The US Youth World Team members who came closest to earning a medal were Morgan Kiss (Holland, Mich.) and Laura McKenna (Palo Alto, Calif.), who finished fifth in the Girls 420 fleet. The two American girls were in third place overall going into today’s final race but crossed the finish line in tenth place and dropped back to fifth on the overall scoreboard.
“Morgan and Laura came here to work very hard and do their best,” said coach Spina. “And they did a fantastic job. Along the way, they earned the respect from their fellow sailors and the coaches. When the girls got off the water today, there were people standing on the docks applauding them. It was great.”
In addition to the 420 Girls, results of the US Youth World Team members are:
• Korbin Kirk (Long Beach, Calif.) and Daniel Segerblom (Costa Mesa, Calif.): 13th out of 17 boats in Hobie 16s with spinnaker (open)
• Marissa Lihan (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.): 17th out of 38 in Laser Radial (girls)
• Ian Liberty (Colt’s Neck, N.J.) and Alex Whipple (Plandome, N.Y.): 17th out of 31 in International 420s (boys)
• Chris Barnard (Newport Beach, Calif.): 19th out of 53 in Laser Radial (boys)
• Chris Gardiner (St. Petersburg, Fla.): 22nd out of 24 in RS:X (boys)
• Solvig Sayre (Vineyard Haven, Mass.): 14th out of 15 in RS:X (girls)
Earlier this year, US SAILING, the national governing body for the sport which also manages the national sailing teams, created two new national teams, the US Sailing Team – Under 18 and US Sailing Team – Under 23. The top youth athletes on these teams are identified as future Olympic prospects who are transitioning from youth programs to the U.S. Olympic Sailing Program. Said Kenneth Andreasen, High Performance Director and Head Coach for the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, “We always go to win medals. We have a lot of very talented sailors who will lead the way. The U18 and U23 program is only about 6 months old and we have many other initiatives in the works. I am sure these initiatives will result in high finishes at future events, not only in the youth classes, but also in the Olympic classes.”
For a photo gallery of Team USA at the Youth Worlds, please visit http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Multimedia/Youth_Worlds_Photo_Gallery.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.