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Top U.S. Youth Sailors Set to Compete at Youth World Qualifier and U.S. Youth Multihull Championship
All eyes will be on the 18 members of US Sailing's newly-launched U18 team

Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Portsmouth, R.I. (January 14, 2009) - The best American sailors aged 19 and under will spend the upcoming holiday weekend competing at the 2009 US SAILING International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Youth World Qualifier and U.S. Youth Multihull Championship Regatta, vying for a chance to represent the United States at the 39th Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Buzios, Brazil. For the second consecutive year, Alamitos Bay Yacht Club of Long Beach, Calif. will host approximately 80 boys and girls racing Laser Radials (separate classes), International 420s (boys), Club 420s (girls) and Hobie 16s with spinnaker (open)
from January 17-19, 2009.

All eyes will be on the eighteen members of US SAILING's newly-launched US Sailing Team - Under 18 (U18) and Under 23 (U23) who will compete in the Club 420, I420, Laser and Laser Radial classes. Last year's multihull champion Chris Segerblom (Costa Mesa, Calif.) will return this year to compete in the
doublehanded I420 with Judge Ryan (San Diego, Calif.), who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship with crew Hans Henken (Coronado, Calif.). Oliver Toole (Santa Barbara, Calif.), who finished sixth in the 420 class at the 2007 Volvo Youth Worlds in Kingston, Ontario, will compete in the Laser Radial fleet this year, along with teammates Chris Barnard (Newport Beach, Calif.), Emily Billing (Clearwater, Fla.), Claire Dennis (Saratoga, Calif.), Mitchell Kiss (Holland, Mich.), Marissa Lihan (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Mateo Vargas (Treasure Island, Fla.) and John Wallace (St. Petersburg, Fla.). US Sailing Team - U18
members Ian Liberty (Colt's Neck, N.J.)/ Alex Whipple (Plandome, N.Y.) and Jordan Factor (Mt. Kisco, N.Y.)/ Matt Wefer (Glen Head, N.Y.) will also compete this weekend in the I420 class, while Marlena Fauer (New York, N.Y.)/ Christina Lewis (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Morgan Kiss (Holland, Mich.)/ Laura McKenna (Palo Alto, Calif.) will race C420s.

The winners in each class will be named to US SAILING's 2009 US Youth Team, which will compete at the 39th Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship to be held in Buzios, Brazil, July 9-18, 2009. Athletes in the boys' and girls' windsurfing classes will be chosen by previously-submitted resumes and will not compete at the 2009 Youth World Qualifier. Last year, the 2008 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship drew 236 of the world's best youth sailors from 60 nations, who competed for 30 medals.

The U.S. Youth Multihull Championship marks the first event of the 2009 US SAILING championships season. The winners of the multihull division will be named 2009 U.S. Youth Multihull Champions and awarded the Arthur J. Stevens Trophy. The W. Darline Hobock Sportsmanship Award will be presented to the competitor(s) in the multihull class who epitomize good sportsmanship, as determined by the Youth Multihull Committee.

U.S. Youth Multihull Championship Chair and Olympic Silver Medalist, Johnny Lovell, is serving as chair to support and encourage the next generation of young U.S. sailors. "Successful teamwork begins with respect for each other, finding someone with the same goals and enjoying spending time together," said Lovell.

He is enthusiastic about multihull racing and is excited for the young, talented sailors competing in this year's national championship. "I've always loved multihull racing," mentioned Lovell. "They are perfect for racing. These high performance boats are fun, fast and challenging."

Scott Hoffman (Escondido, Calif.) and Ryan Porteous (San Diego, Calif.) finished third last year and will challenge the field again as the only returning team from the 2008 championship. Brothers Eric and Matthew Raybon (Shrewsbury, N.J.) will join forces for this year's regatta. Eric finished first at the Hobie 16 Youth North American Championships and represented the U.S. in the multihull division at the ISAF Youth World Championships in 2007. Jake Larson (Storm Lake, Iowa) and Alex Bommersbach (Sioux Falls, S.D.) finished second and fifth with their respective teams at the Hobie 16 North Americans. They will team up for this year's multihull championship.

For more information, the latest results and photos during the event, please visit the event web site:

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