2014 Youth Worlds Representatives!

This past weekend my teammate Nico Schultz and I qualified to represent the US Sailing Team at the annual ISAF Youth World Sailing Championship this summer in Tavira, Portugal. In order to qualify for this spot on the US Sailing Development Team we had to be the top team at two qualification regattas; the first took place in August and the second this past weekend. We trained on the water several days a week in the months leading up to these events and our hard work showed in our results. Now we are looking forward to having this opportunity to race against the world's best youth sailors, learn from highly successful US Sailing Coaches, and create new international friendships that will last a lifetime.

Nico, his older sister Sophia, and I drove down to Miami trailering two F16s in order to compete in this regatta. In addition to an F16 fleet, this regatta consisted of other Olympic classes including 49er, 470, I420, windsurfing classes, and the new Nacra 17. The F16 class, due to it's very small fleet size (a measly 2 boats) was grouped with the Nacra 17s on the racing course so we had a large mixed fleet of 23 boats. This provided us with valuable experience on a crowded starting line and a very competitive fleet. The Nacra 17s, having curved daggerboards, were noticeably faster than the smaller F16s on the downwinds in the big breeze but overall we were very well matched with speed.

This regatta taught me several lessons about sailing in shifty frontal conditions. The puffy offshore Miami breeze was rather unpredictable at times, but I learned about effective fleet management and tactical proficiency in these conditions. Now that Nico and I have qualified for the Youth Worlds, we are organizing our training schedule and travel plans. It looks like this summer will be filled with some more traveling!

The regatta site can be found: here.