Based on the successful history of the California International Sailing Association's annual advanced racing clinic, prospects for future Games may emerge from the 134 boys and girls participating in this year's event at the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club.
It's four days of intense instruction supervised by a world-class staff of coaches, most of whom were once CISA students. CISA, founded in 1971, conducts the clinic each year for boys and girls age 13 and older who are selected on the basis of their sailing résumés. Boats to be used are Laser, Laser Radial, Club 420, International 420, Club FJ and 29er.
This year's participants are about one-third girls, a representation consistent with the Olympics' growing emphasis on women's classes.
Leigh KEMPTON, 18, and her brother John, 16, of Island Heights, N.J., will be first-time participants with their respective sailing partners. Leigh and Kaity STORCK, Huntington, N.Y., will represent the USA in the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Poland in July in the 420 class. John KEMPTON, 16, and Molly LUCAS, Little Silver, N.J., are sailing a Club 420.
Even a bitter Eastern winter hasn't slowed their preparation. Island Heights is on the Jersey shore where the Toms River flows into Barnegat Bay. The Kemptons' mother said, "We had skim ice on our river about two weeks ago but they've been out, anyway. They go out as often as they can, as long as the river's not frozen."
John Kempton said, "We did a high school regatta last Sunday. The air temperature was 65-70 but the water was below 40."
Leigh and Kaity STORCK are already international competitors. "We were at the I-420 clinic at ABYC over last Thanksgiving, and last year we sailed in the I-420 worlds in England,"
She also has sailed in the Optimist Internationals in Europe, but this will be her brother's first trip to the West Coast. What does he hope to get out of it?
"Good coaching and good competition that will help me go faster and do better boat handling,"
Long-range, he added, "Maybe sail in college . . . maybe go to the Olympics."
The program will consist of morning lectures and evening programs scheduled around on-the-water drills. Tactics, sail trim and the financial and personal demands of an Olympic campaign are included in the curriculum.
Instructors are Andrew LEWIS and Nick ADAMSON, Laser; Carisa HARRIS-ADAMSON and Adam DEERMOUNT, Laser Radial; Zach LEONARD, Brian DOYLE, Mikee ANDERSON, Peter ALARIE, Rob HALLAWELL, Jamie MALM and Simon COOKE, Club 420 and International 420; Jay KEHOE and Billy UNIACK, CFJ, and Dalton BERGAN and Ted WHITE, 29er.
Two-time Olympic medallist Charlie Mckee will be the featured speaker on Sunday evening.
CISA supports amateur sailors by providing travel grants for regional, national and international competition and funds local sailing programs and racing clinics.