After a week of educational clinics and exciting racing on Lake Michigan, the winners of the prestigious event have been determined:
Emery WAGER (Seattle, Washington) won the Laser class while Zachary BROWN and Melanie ROBERTS (both from San Diego, CA) were victorious in the Club 420 class. The winners of the event have been named to the 2003 U.S. Youth Sailing Team. The competition was fierce throughout the six-day regatta with 143 sailors who were selected by sailing resume from a list of more than 200 applicants. Hosted by the Milwaukee Yacht Club with co-hosts South Shore Yacht Club and the Milwaukee Community Sailing Centre, the event was sponsored by The Walt Disney Company, West Marine, and Vanguard Sailboats. Gill is an official supplier to the event.
In his fourth time to the US Youth Championship, Emery WAGER dominated the Laser fleet from the first day. Emery scored eight bullets a fourth and a fifth for 17 total points. He was so far ahead that he didn't have to sail in the final race. Wager credits his win to good practice. "In Seattle, we can sail year round. I can practice in a variety of conditions on Puget Sound as well as Lake Washington." Former U.S. Youth Champion and Olympic medalist Carl Buchan is one of Wager's role models. Wager says that Buchan advised him, "If you want to win, it's not enough to just sail fast, you have to be tough."
By winning the event, Wager has received the Robert L. Johnstone III Trophy and qualified to sail in the U.S. Singlehanded Championship for the O'Day Trophy to be sailed in Oklahoma City, OK, on August 6-10, 2003. In second place in the Laser fleet, also with a significant enough lead to sit out today's final race, was Mike Wilde of Rochester, NY, with 32 points.
The real battle was in the Laser fleet for third place between Reed JOHNSON (Toms River, NJ), Kyle KOVACS (Pennington, NJ) and Matt Barry (Riverside, CT) who were separated by just six points going into the final race. Barry had the lead at the first mark with Johnson and Kovacs back in 11 and 12. The 18-knot westerly wind came in from the left on the second weather leg and Johnson rounded first. Barry passed Johnson on the reach and took the win, but Johnson was second and took third place overall with 32 total points. Barry finished second and Kovacs was seventh which left them tied with 47 points. Kovacs won the tiebreaker by virtue of having more second place finishes placing him in fourth overall with Barry in fifth.
In the Club 420 fleet, last year's runners up, Zachary BROWN with crew Melanie ROBERTS (both from San Diego, CA) hung on to their lead to win the championship with finishes of 1-1-3-5-4-4-4-1-2-(11)-8 for 33 total points. It was not an easy win. According to Brown, "We were way back in the fleet and banged the left corner to come back to eighth."
With their win, Brown and Roberts take home the Manton Scott Perpetual Trophy.
The battle for second place overall in the Club 420 fleet was won by two brothers who overtook their sisters on the final day to place second overall. Erik STORCK (Huntington, NY) and John KEMPTON with 39 total point beat Leigh KEMPTON and Kaitlin STORCK with 48 total points. Rounding out the top five were Charles MODICA (Hobe Sound, FL) and Patrick BORDNER (Fort Pierce, FL) in fourth with 72 total points and Ben SAMPSON (Plymouth, MA) and Michael KOMAR (Plymouth, MA) in fifth with 85 points.
US SAILING medals were awarded to competitors placing first through fifth in the Laser and Club 420 fleets. For complete results, please go to the event website at the address below.