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20 January 2009, 03:40 pm
US SAILING Selects Winners of Youth World Qualifier for 2009 Youth World Team
Marissa LIHAN
Marissa LIHAN earned her place in the US Youth Team for the 2009 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship

US SAILING ISAF Youth World Qualifier 2009
Long Beach, USA

Ten youth sailors have qualified for US SAILING's 2009 Youth World Team, which will represent the USA at the 39th Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Buzios, Brazil from 9-18 July 2009.
Eight of the athletes were selected based on first-place finishes in their respective classes at the 2009 US SAILING ISAF Youth World Qualifier and U.S. Youth Multihull Championship Regatta in Long Beach, California, which concluded Monday after three days of racing. Athletes in the boys' and girls' windsurfing classes were chosen by resume and did not compete at the 2009 Youth World Qualifier.

The members of US SAILING's 2009 Youth World Team are:
Event Equipment Team Member
Boy's One Person Dinghy Laser Radial Chris BARNARD
Girl's One Person Dinghy Laser Radial Marissa LIHAN
Boy's Windsurfer RS:X with 8.5m2 sail & 60cm fin Chris GARDINER
Girl's Windsurfer RS:X with 8.5m2 sail & 60cm fin Solvig SAYRE
Boy's Two Person Dinghy 420 Ian LIBERTY and Alex WHIPPLE
Girl's Two Person Dinghy 420 Morgan KISS and Laura MCKENNA
Open Multihull Hobie 16 with Spinnaker Korbin KIRK and Daniel SEGERBLOM

"This is a powerful team that overcame some challenging conditions in Long Beach," said Kenneth ANDREASEN, the Olympic Sailing Programme's High Performance Director. "Being able to stay on top of a tough regatta like this means that these sailors will represent us well in Brazil."

The 2009 US Youth World Team will be led by Coaches Leandro SPINA for the doublehanded classes and Bern NOACK for the singlehanded and windsurfing classes. BARNARD, LIHAN, LIBERTY, WHIPPLE, KISS and MCKENNA are all members of the newly-launched US Sailing Team - Under 18 (U18), which includes sailors identified as Olympic hopefuls in the Laser Radial Boys, Laser Radial Girls, 29er (open) and 420 (boys or girls) classes and were born after 1 January 1991. Both SPINA and NOACK are also the lead coaches for the US Sailing Team - U18.

"This regatta has been on top of my mental calendar since this time last year. I put a lot of commitment and focus on just this one regatta," said Laser Radial boys' sailor BARNARD, who added that he would have sacrificed all other events to win this qualifier and make the Youth World Team. Barnard, who considers Long Beach his home waters, also had some local knowledge of the Southern California winter conditions. "I sail here all the time, so I knew what to expect," he said.

Hosted by the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, the US SAILING ISAF Youth World Qualifier and U.S. Youth Multihull Championship Regatta were competitive regattas for the 79 athletes aged 19 and under. Saturday and Sunday brought light winds, which presented challenges for some sailors. Monday, after a morning staring at glassy water, all five fleets were able to finish three fair races in a steady 6-8 knot breeze, the best conditions of the entire event. All five fleets finished seven races overall, with one throw-out score.

"Alamitos Bay Yacht Club ran a terrific regatta," said ANDREASEN. "The Race Committee handled the conditions well and it was very fair racing."

For complete results, photos and more information about the racing at the US SAILING ISAF Youth World Qualifier and U.S. Youth Multihull Championship Regatta, please visit the event web site: www.abyc.org/event.cfm?id=324.

Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship - www.sailing.org/youthworlds
Marni Lane
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