Brisbane, Australia (July 4, 2012) – US Sailing Development Team member Mitchell Kiss (Holland, Mich.) won a bronze medal at the 2012 Laser Radial Youth World Championship held June 29 – July 4, in Brisbane, Australia. Racing was hosted by the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron and sailed on Moreton Bay.
Kiss recorded top-10 scores throughout the seven-race series, except for an 11th, which he used as his discard result. He finished with 27 points, only three points behind the first and second place sailors, who tied on points: Hermann Tomasgaard (NOR) and Andrew Mckenzie (NZL), respectively. (Shown in photo: Mckenzie, Tomasgaard, Kiss, photo: Tovi Kiss)
“With the regatta being so tough with light and shifty winds a podium finish feels good,” said Kiss.
Although the regatta was scheduled for six days, only four days saw suitable conditions for racing, including the sixth and final day on July 4. “Every race in this regatta was exciting and kind of stressful. The light shifty winds caused a lot of position changes throughout each race. And we never knew how many races we would end up with for the regatta. The wind forecasts looked bleak. Luckily we got the races that we did.”
With day 5 of racing blown out with too much wind, Kiss knew he had to perform well on day 6 to secure a podium position. “With only seven races it was really important to be consistent,” he said. He collected a 3rd and 5th, and with those strong results, the overall third place.
A member of US Sailing’s 2012 Youth Worlds Team, Kiss will leave Australia later this week and head straight to the ISAF Youth World Championship where he will look to improve upon his 2011 finish of 16th in the Laser Radial. “I feel like I am in a good place going into ISAF Youth Worlds,” he explained. “Nine out of the top 10 finishers at this regatta will also be in Dublin. I learned about my competitors’ strengths and weaknesses this week. I feel well prepared, and am hoping for a little more breeze.”
The Youth Worlds is the ultimate test for youth sailors, and Kiss returns as US Sailing’s most experienced team member. “I expect the competition will be very tough and there will be more distractions - like the press and the hype,” he said. “I am glad I had the chance to learn that last year. This is going to be my last international youth event so I am going to really go for it.”
The world’s best youth Laser Radial sailors – 105 sailors from 19 countries – competed in the boys and girls divisions this week in a mixture of weather conditions. For complete results, please visit the event website: http://www.rqys.com.au/index.php/2012-world-laser-radial-youth-championship/
About the US Sailing Development Team
The US Sailing Development Team (USSDT) is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. Selected annually, the USSDT is supported and administered exclusively by the US Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) of US Sailing, and the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. The OSC’s mission is to develop sailors for Olympic-caliber competition and to prepare them for qualification to the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider and the Olympic Sailing Team. The OSC supports these athletes with coaching and by facilitating training and racing with and against the best national and international competition. Created in 2007 and known then as the Elite Youth Development Team, the program was expanded in 2008 to help young athletes who have been identified as future Olympic prospects to acquire the skills necessary to launch successful campaigns and compete at the Olympic level.
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 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, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit us at www.ussailing.org. For a list of the athletes, hometowns, yacht club affiliations and schools, please visit the USSDT page on the US SAILING web site: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Teams/2012USSDT.htm