But with the second discard still to kick in, they had to hold off strong bids from their nearest contenders - Brazil's Guilherme BARBOSA LIMA in the boys and Spain's Susan ROMERO in the girls.
With 63 boats in the boy's silver fleet, there were 172 competitors from 22 countries, all ages 15 to 18. About half were Americans who flocked to the first Youth Radial Worlds run in their country, in this case hosted by the California Yacht Club.
Winds were lighter than ROGACHENKO preferred at eight to nine knots through the afternoon, and he stumbled into trouble with 29th place in the first of Saturday's two races. BARBOSA LIMA finished eleventh to seize the lead by eight points, with the second discard coming after the last race.
'I still had a drop left so I wasn't too worried,' ROGACHENKO said. 'It came down to whoever finished ahead of the other one in the last race.'
Way ahead. It was the Brazilian's regatta to lose.
|Youth World Champion Kyle
© Rich ROBERTS
BARBOSA LIMA returned to port, hauled his boat up the ramp, pulled off his plastic visor and slammed it on the foredeck.
'I screwed it up,' he said. 'I had a bad start when another sailor hit my boat, then the wind was better to the right but I had to go left with so many boats on top of me. I should have stayed closer to [ROGACHENKO]. Small mistakes made a big difference. He deserved it. I'm mad not because I lost but because I didn't sail as well as I can.'
ROGACHENKO said, 'I made sure I kept him covered until it didn't matter anymore.'
ROGACHENKO was part of a five person team of American east coast sailors coached by Brett DAVIS, who had expected 'at least one top ten finish,' maybe better in brisk breeze, which was inconsistent.
The USA got another three in the top eleven: Randy HARTRANFT, Chris BARNARD and Tedd HIMLER, who were ninth through to eleventh.
ROGACHENKO, who finished eighth at last year's Laser Radial Youth Worlds in Fortaleza, Brazil, said his plan was to, 'Look for [wind] pressure because the shifts will come with the breeze.'
DENNIS did not have to sail the last race, in which she cruised to eleventh place, her only double digit finish in ten races. Even as ROMERO went 1,2, DENNIS made it easy on herself by following ROMERO and Allie BLECHER (USA), 18, to a comfortable third place that clinched the title.
'I knew I just needed a fourth,' she said. 'I just wanted to get it over with. I wasn't too worried.'
DENNIS, who turned 15 only 33 days earlier, was the minimum age for the event. Also remarkable was that the previous week she competed in the Women's Championship and qualified for the upper Gold fleet, amongst the grown ups.
'Last week I learned how to sail here,' she said - which was: 'I used a lot of vang' with the idea to keep the sail, as well as the boat, flat.
The Radial will be the equipment for the Women's One Person Dinghy event for the Olympic Sailing Competition in Qingdao, China in 2008, but DENNIS is not really interested.
'I'm going to be a sophomore in high school,' she said. 'Maybe in 2012.'
ROMERO, who will turn 16 next month, never quite got DENNIS in her sights, even with 1,1,1 finishes in the last three races.
'She was too far ahead. I was thinking only about me. I like this place because it's a lot like my club at Cariana . . . the waves, the wind.'
Boys' Top Ten Results
|2||BRA||Guilherme BARBOSA LIMA||6||4||12||3||(23)||4||5||8||22||11||(24)||75|
Girls' Top Ten Results
The Laser Radial Worlds were supported by sponsors Nestlé, producer of Arrowhead Water and PowerBar©; Vanguard Boats, Sailing World Magazine, Body Glove and the John B. and Nelly Llanos Kilroy Foundation.
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