2014 ISAF Youth Worlds Qualifier

My teammate Nico Schultz and I have been officially named to the 2014 ISAF Youth Worlds Team and will be sailing in this event in Tavira, Portugal. This summer Nico and I will travel to Europe, meet up with ten other sailors that will also be representing Team USA, and compete in the most prestigious youth sailing event in the world. Each country that is able to support a team sends sailors to race in different boats including the Laser, I420, 29er, RS:X, and SL16. This will be my second year at the event and I will bring experience as well as a matured perspective that will hopefully be of benefit to all members of Team USA.

In order to qualify to be a member of this selective team, Nico and I competed at two qualifying events over this past year to demonstrate our commitment and skill in the multihull class. The first event, the US Youth Sailing Championship, took place during August in Corpus Christi, TX and presented us with rough sailing conditions and 15-20 knot winds every day. The second event, held during January in Miami, FL, differed from the first as we sailed in a mixed fleet of F16s and Nacra 17s and had more diverse atmospheric conditions. The members of Team USA were then chosen based on the combined results from the two regattas. This two-part qualification system gave sailors a chance to race at two venues and in different weather conditions, truly forcing consistency in racing results.

2013 US Youth Sailing Championship

Training was absolutely essential to our success in these two regattas. We spent our time in the months leading up to both events sailing F16s, F18s, Club and High School 420s, and various keelboats in order to gain experience racing against the level of competition we expect to face in Tavira. Of course it is essential to perfect boathandeling and speed in our specific class; however, we understood the importance of becoming well rounded athletes and did not limit ourselves to only multihulls. In addition to spending time sailing, we performed boat maintenance to make sure our equipment would function properly in use and improved our physical fitness by exercising regularly in the gym. Sailing is a physically demanding sport and as regattas are typically held over several days muscular endurance allows sailors to remain strong throughout an event.

A view of downtown Miami.

Now it is time for us to focus on the path that lies ahead. Nico and I are planning on attending several regattas in the near future, including the F16 World Championship. In late June F16 sailors of all ages from around the world will travel to Newport, RI and race in a five day regatta. The winners will become the new F16 World Champions and the top team from the United States will be named the F16 National Champion and take ownership of the perpetual trophy Sam and I claimed in Racine, WI last summer. Even though we will not be sailing together for this event, Nico and I will be able to use the experience gained from sailing in Newport and apply it to the Youth Worlds. We are both ready to display our hard work and commitment to our sport at upcoming regattas and I am especially excited about having a second opportunity to represent my country in Europe this summer.

To read the full press release on the 2014 ISAF Youth Worlds Team click here.

To read the full press release on the 2014 US Sailing Development Team click here.