Three New Youth Champions were crowned, with two-time defending champion in the Laser fleet Andrew Campbell holding onto his title for the third year.
The national challenge was put forth and 154 young sailors from 23 states answered the call at the San Diego, CA on June 21-27, 2002 for US SAILING's U.S. Youth Sailing Championship. Hosted by the San Diego Yacht Club with co-hosts Coronado Yacht Club, Mission Bay Yacht Club and Southwestern Yacht Club, the event was sponsored by The Walt Disney Company, West Marine and Vanguard Sailboats.
Over 300 young sailors submitted applications to sail Laser, Europe, Club 420, and 470 dinghies in the Championship, and 154 sailors were selected by sailing resume by the US SAILING's Youth Championship Committee to compete for a chance to become members of the 2002 US Youth Sailing Team. Laser sailor Andrew Campbell (San Diego, CA), Club 420 team Frank Tybor (Coronado, CA) and Jeffrey Boyd (San Diego, CA), Europe sailor Molly Carapiet (Belvedere, CA), and 470 team Mikee Anderson-Mitterling and Graham Biehl (San Diego, CA) are new members to the Team.
The San Diego Yacht Club race committee headed by Jeff Johnson (San Diego, CA) set two courses in the ocean about a mile east of the Zuniga Jetty, approximately a mile off Coronado. The singlehanded course was set closer to shore while the doublehanded course was set further offshore where there was considerable ocean swell. All fleets sailed trapezoid courses with ¾ to one-mile weather legs. Eleven races were sailed, and low point scoring was used with one throwout allowed.
Two-time defending champion Andrew Campbell (San Diego, CA) took the lead on Day 2 and never relinquished it in the tightly contested, 48-boat Laser fleet. Campbell's scores of 3-7-2-1-1-2-(8)-3-5-1-3 for 28 total points were the result of a major effort. Campbell often found himself back in the pack and used superior speed to pass boats on every leg. When asked what he attributed his win to, Campbell replied, "A lot of practice with a lot of good people. I was training with Vince Porter all this week. I had a lot of good training and it also helped that it was at home. Also, a lot of pressure being at this club. All the support from the yacht club was definitely a help." Clay Johnson (Toms River, NJ) came on strong on the final two days to take second place with 36 points. Kyle Kovacs (Pennington, NJ) and Mike Wilde (Rochester, NY) came on strong on the final day to place third and fourth respectively. Reed Johnson (Toms River, NJ) dropped to fifth place. Campbell received the Robert L. Johnstone III Trophy, and has qualified to represent the United States at the ISAF World Youth Sailing Championship in Canada next month. Clay Johnson has qualified to sail in the U.S. Singlehanded Championship for the O'Day Trophy to be sailed in Grosse Pointe, Michigan in August.
Despite sailing the wrong course in the first race, last year's runners-up, Frank Tybor (Coronado, CA) and crew Jeffrey Boyd (San Diego, CA) roared back to win decisively in the 44-boat Club 420 division. Their scores of (45/RAF)-1-1-1-1-1-8-10-6 for 33 total points were enough to capture the Manton Scott Trophy. Tybor and Boyd credit their win to good coaching, lots of practice and home water advantage. Zack Brown and crew Melanie Roberts (both San Diego, CA) maintained second throughout the week and finished with 53 total points. The newly paired team of Christopher Lash (Newport, RI) and crew Blaire Herron (Coronado, CA) came on strong winning the final race to place third with 61 total points. Adam Roberts and Anna Brun (both San Diego, CA) were fourth with 70 points and David Siegel (Dartmouth, MA) and Andrew Flynn (Cohasset, MA) took fifth with 80 points.
Eight young women sailors battled for four days in the Europe dinghy class, an Olympic class boat. Better known for her skill as a 29er sailor, Molly Carapiet (Belvedere, CA) was the clear winner, stretching out her lead each day. Throwing out her worst score, a fourth, Molly scored all firsts or seconds for 12 total points. Molly attributed her win to making good decisions and more time in the boat than her competitors. Two sisters from Pine Crest, Florida battled throughout the week for second place. Charlotte Hill held the lead on the first day but was passed by her sister, Emily. Emily held on to beat her sister for second overall with 23 points to Charlotte's 37 points.
Last year's Manton Scott Trophy winners, Mikee Anderson-Mitterling (Coronado, CA) and crew Graham Biehl (San Diego, CA), moved up to the 470 fleet this year, and completely dominated the five-boat fleet with bullets in every race. Their total score of 10 points in the 11-race, one-throwout series was the best score of any fleet. Biehl's comments about their win were, "The conditions were pretty much perfect for us. It never got too windy. It did get light a little bit but I guess it was just our conditions. It was perfect for us." The close competition was for second in this fleet. Chuck Ullman (Newport Beach, CA) with crew Jon Bell (Long Beach, CA) pulled ahead of the pack on the third day and were able to hold on to second with 25 total points. Jimmy Praley and Jimmy Attridge (both Annapolis, MD) held on to third place with 29 points.
US SAILING medals were awarded to competitors placing first through fifth in the Laser and Club 420 fleets, and first through third in the 470 and Europe divisions.
The Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) sponsored the two-day advanced racing clinic, which preceded the Championship. US SAILING Olympic Development Coach Brian Doyle (Hanover, NH) headed the clinic. Other clinic coaches included Gary Bodie (Hampton, VA), J.J. Isler (La Jolla, CA), Bob Merrick (Portsmouth, RI), Peter Wells (Newport Beach, CA), Meg Gaillard (Jamestown, RI), Kevin Hall (Seattle, WA), Nick Adamson (San Francisco, CA), Zach Leonard (Branford, CT), Bill Hardesty (Carlsbad, CA), Stan Schreyer (Newport, RI), Anthony Kotoun (Newport, RI), Rob Dean (Northridge, CA), Steve Hunt (San Diego, CA) and Dave Ullman (Newport Beach, CA). As a whole, the group of coaches has won 115 national sailing titles, 12 world titles, and 3 Olympic medals. Photos and bios for the coaches can be found in the Just Us section of the Youth Champ web site (www.ussailing.org/youthchamp).
The David M. Perry Perpetual Sportsmanship Trophies were awarded to the sailors voted by their peers as most sportsmanlike in each fleet. The awards went to Laser sailor Kyle Kovacs (Greenwich, CT), Europe class sailor Molly Carapiet , 470 skipper Jimmy Praley (Annapolis, MD), 470 crew Jon Bell (Long Beach, CA), Club 420 skipper Jack Field (Noank, CT) and Club 420 crew Nikolas Holtan (Larchmont, NY).
Regatta Chair was Jerelyn Biehl (San Diego, CA) and Dick Hanneman (Houston, TX) serves as US SAILING Youth Championship Committee Chair. PROs for the event were Jeff Johnson (San Diego, CA) and Brent Boyd (San Diego, CA). Barry Ault (San Diego, CA) was Chief judge; other judges were Grant Baldwin (Newport Beach, CA), Lynn Olinger (San Francisco, CA), James Malm (Newport Beach, CA), Bill Campbell (San Diego, CA), Mike Segerblom (Costa Mesa, CA), Jeff Grange (Santa Barbara, CA), Bruce Rifkin (San Diego, CA), Graham Kelly (San Diego, CA), Brad Rodi (San Diego, CA) and Mike O'Bryan (San Diego, CA).
The U.S. Youth Sailing Championship is the premiere youth sailing event in the country for sailors under age 20. The event started in 1973 as an open championship. It grew quickly in popularity and size. This required then-U.S. Yacht Racing Union to limit the number of entries. Currently, applications are submitted and participants are selected based on their sailing resumes by the US Youth Championship Committee.
Next year's event will be held at the Milwaukee Yacht Club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 20-26, 2003. Classes will be Laser and Club 420. Online registration will open in January 2003 and the entry deadline will be April 1, 2003.