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21 January 2008, 11:23 am
Youth Racing Warms Up In Cool California Climate
Claire DENNIS
Claire DENNIS of San Francisco is in contention for first place in the girls' Laser Radial class

US SAILING ISAF Youth World Qualifier and US Youth Multihull Championship 2008
Long Beach, California. USA

Anne HAEGER didn't really come to Southern California from Lake Forest, Illinois to get warm, but she was the hottest sailor in town Sunday for the second day of the 2008 US Sailing ISAF Youth World Qualifier and US Youth Multihull Championship at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club.
Temperatures were in the high 50s - cool for here - with a chill breeze of 8-9 knots, but Anne HAEGER stepped up her streak with a series of 2,1,1,1 finishes to build three points of space on her nearest contender, Claire DENNIS of San Francisco, in the girls' Laser Radial class.

HAEGER, who turns the age limit of 18 next month, said, "I had a lot of fun. I finally got my downwind speed back. Plus, the wind was a little stronger."

Nose-to-nose jousts continued in two other classes. Oliver TOOLE and Willie MCBRIDE of Santa Barbara lead Judge RYAN and Hans HENKEN by a single point in 29ers, while Andy MASON and Chris SEGERBLOM of Corona del Mar hold the same razor's edge over Evan MILLER and Taylor REISS of Panama City, Fla. in the Nacra SL 16 catamarans, where the winners also will claim the national title along with a trip to Denmark for the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in July.

With two races remaining Sunday, Emily DELLENBAUGH, 17, of Eaton, Conn., with crew Morgane RENOIR, 17, of San Diego, have the girls' 29er ticket locked up. Competing equally with the boys, they won Sunday's first race and are four points behind RYAN and HENKEN in third place overall.

Luke LAWRENCE, 18, of Palm City, Fla., is less comfortable with a six-point lead over Alex BERTRAND, 18, of Annapolis, Md. with three races to go after a 2,1,1,2 day on Sunday, when he also was able to discard his worst finish - a ninth in race 1.

"It's close," LAWRENCE said. "I have to be careful. I'm not going to do anything drastic [Monday] unless it calls for it."

BERTRAND, incidentally, wasn't yet born in 1984 when his father, John BERTRAND, was involved in an historic drawn-out protest battle for the US Olympic berth in the Finn class following the US Trials at ABYC. His dad eventually won the spot and earned a silver medal behind Russell COUTTS' (NZL) gold in the 1984 Olympics on these waters.

"I'd heard the stories but I didn't know it was here," Alex said.

He is glad to be here, anyway. "It's cold back home right now," he said.

MASON and SEGERBLOM, who won Sunday's last two races, have a special score to settle with MILLER, who beat them out by a half-point for the national youth multihull title last year sailing with a different crew - the former's first catamaran regatta.

"It's close," MASON said. "Evan is a really good catamaran sailor and we're still trying to figure everything out. He was faster upwind and we were faster downwind. We're heavier than they are, and today's better breeze helped us a lot. We were double-trapezing, which was a lot of fun. We haven't been able to do that since last year."

On a downside, 29er sailors Finn NILSEN and Alek NILSEN of Fairfield, Calif. were involved in a head-on collision with a private power boat while approaching the ABYC harbour after Sunday's racing. Finn NILSEN was reported as being treated for a facial injury caused by his boat's boom. Except for a tear in the main sail, their boat appeared to be intact. The Coast Guard was investigating the incident.

There have been no on-water protests requiring post-race hearings through the first two days.

Results - www.abyc.org/upload/2008Youth.htm
US SAILING ISAF Youth World Qualifier and US Youth Multihull Championship 2008 - www.ussailing.org/championships/youth/multihull/
Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship microsite - www.sailing.org/youthworlds

Rich Roberts (As Amended By ISAF)
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