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US Youth World Team Wins Three Bronze Medals at Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship
Istanbul, Turkey (July 15, 2010) – For the first time in 18 years, US SAILING’s Youth World Team won three medals at the 40th Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship today. The following sailors won bronze medals: Erika Reineke (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) in the Laser Radial, Antoine Screve (Kentfield, Calif.) and James Moody (Tiburon, Calif.) in the 29er, and Taylor Palmer (Miami Shores, Fla.) and Mac Agnese (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) in the Sirena SL16. Today was the final day of racing for the world’s best youth sailors -- 344 sailors from 63 countries -- who battled challenging conditions and intense competition throughout the week.
“The medals don’t lie,” said Olympic Coach Leandro Spina (Miami, Fla.). “We are very happy. The whole team had a very good regatta in very challenging conditions. They were focused and disciplined, and they approached the event day by day. In the end, all our training paid off. I’m very proud of them.
“We didn’t have conditions as expected,” added Spina. “It was mostly light and shifty, and today was windy and shifty. We had very long days, and our team was able to stay focused all week long. Our good approach to the challenging conditions paid off. Discipline helps the talented sailors win.”
Reineke, a rising star in the Laser Radial class, narrowly missed silver by one point and gold by four points in a competitive 46-boat fleet. “It feels really good to medal,” said Reineke. “This is one of my peak regattas of the year. The goal was to win and I came back with a medal, so it’s a pretty big deal. Also, representing our country meant a lot to me.”
After a disappointing first day of a 13-18, she returned with new strength and confidence to finish second and grab a bullet in the third and fourth races. Reineke said this was when she knew it was all clicking. She said she reminded herself, “I know what I’m doing. I can do this. I’m back in the game.”
She credited her success to her downwind speed, which helped her gain positions, as well as her decision to not take risks in the shifty conditions. Reineke said she played it safe and stayed with the fleet, positioning herself as the leeward boat.
The next stop for Reineke, who has Olympic aspirations in the Laser Radial, is Largs, Scotland, where she will compete in the Laser Radial Youth World Championship next week. “My goal is to win and bring home a gold medal,” she said conclusively.
The San Francisco-area 29er team of Screve/Moody found the light, 5 knot-breeze and unstable conditions to be challenging this week, especially because of their size (together they weigh 140 kilograms, or 308.5 pounds).
“It was a hard medal to win,” said Screve, “The conditions didn’t favor us at all. We had to use everything in our toolkit, it in terms of skills. We had to use better tactics and strategies because we weren’t the fastest team out there. We were the underdogs, but in the end, it worked and we came out on top. It feels really good to medal.”
Screve and Moody, who have been competing and training overseas for the past month, applied valuable lessons learned from the 29er European Championship two weeks ago in Spain. They noted in Spain they were losing places on the downwind legs, so with the help of Spina, they figured out what they needed to do to improve their speed. “Here, we were one of the fastest boats on the downwind,” said Screve.
Agnese and Palmer were also thrilled with their bronze medal in the 11-boat fleet, especially considering this was the first time they had ever competed in the Sirena SL16, a multihull boat that isn’t available in the U.S. They typically train and compete in an F16 and a Hobie 16 with spinnaker. Agnese said the Sirena SL16 felt very similar to the F18, but structurally it was more similar to the Hobie 16 because it had an auto tacking jib and didn’t have a centerboard. The team also scored a major comeback this week, after being in last place going into the third day of racing.
“We were still confident in our abilities to sail well, and we did,” said Agnese, adding that one of their strengths was their positive mindset, despite the early scores. “We learned a lot about the boat really quickly and our speed was good.”
Noting that this event was one of the most prestigious regattas for youth sailors, Agnese said, “Medaling at this regatta is one of my greatest achievements. It gives me confidence going into bigger events now that I know I can podium. Hopefully I’ll be able to get up there again next year.”
“This is the first time since 1992 the U.S. has won three medals at this prestigious event, which is a true testament to the high level of rising youth talent, as well as our intense development training,” said High Performance Director/Head Coach Kenneth Andreasen (Tampa, Fla.). “I am confident in the abilities of these young sailors, and I am enthusiastic for what the future holds.”
In the Girls’ International 420 class, Marlena Fauer (New York, N.Y.) and Christina Lewis (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) finished 10th out of 28, with four top-ten finishes. In the boys’ class, Ian Liberty (Colt’s Neck, N.J.) and Colin Murphy (New York, N.Y.) finished 23rd out of 36 boats. Mateo Vargas (Treasure Island, Fla.) finished 13th out of 50 Laser Radials (boys) and Cullen Ahearn (Clearwater, Fla.) ended in 29th out of 30 in the RS:X boys class. The U.S. finished ninth overall, with France winning the coveted Volvo Trophy as the top performing nation.
For complete results, please visit the event web site: www.isafyouthworlds.com
For the latest news and updates, please follow the teams on Facebook and Twitter.
Nine of the 11 youth sailors on the 2010 Youth World Team qualified based on first-place finishes in their respective classes at the 2010 US SAILING International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Youth World Qualifier in Clearwater, Fla., in January. The multihull team was chosen by resume and did not compete at the Youth World Qualifier.
Vargas, Reineke, Liberty, Fauer, Lewis, Screve, Moody and Agnese are also members of the 2010 US Sailing Development Team (USSDT), which includes young sailors identified as Olympic hopefuls in the Laser, Laser Radial, Finn, I420, 470, 29er and 49er classes. For more information about the USSDT, please visit the team page: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org/Teams/2010USSDT.htm
About the US Youth World Team
The US Youth World Team is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. 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 Olympic Sailing Program and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics, please visit: http://sailingteams.ussailing.org.