USA announces ISAF Youth Worlds Team

Published on November 4th, 2015

Portsmouth, RI (November 4, 2015) – US Sailing has named thirteen athletes to its 2015 ISAF Youth World Championships Team. As the premier youth event in international sailing, the ISAF Youth Worlds will be held December 24, 2015 to January 3, 2016 in Langkawi, Malaysia.

“The thirteen American sailors who have qualified to represent USA at this event should be very proud,” said Josh Adams, Managing Director of US Olympic Sailing. “US Sailing is a strong supporter of the ISAF Youth Worlds, and we think that youth racers should strive to compete at this level. We are excited to provide the highest level of training and preparation ever given to a US Sailing Youth Worlds Team in the form of dedicated training camps and world-class coaching, which is central to the new Olympic Development Program (ODP) launched by US Sailing in early 2015.”

US Sailing’s 2015 ISAF Youth World Championship Team:
• Laser Radial (boy’s one person dinghy): Nic Baird (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
• Laser Radial (girl’s one person dinghy): Christina Sakellaris (Milton, Mass.)
• International 420 (girl’s two person dinghy): Christina Klingler (Darien, Conn.) and Victoria Thompson (Newport Beach, Calif.)
• International 420 (boy’s two person dinghy): Will Logue (Cos Cob, Conn.) and Bram Brakman (Darien, Conn.)
• 29er (boy’s high performance dinghy): Romain Screve (Kentfield, Calif.) and Quinn Wilson (Ojai, Calif.)
• 29er (girl’s high performance dinghy): Alexandra Toppa (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Liza Toppa (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
• RS:X (boy’s windsurfer): Maximo Nores (Miami Beach, Fla.)
• F16 (open multihull): Mark Brunsvold (Sarasota, Fla.) and Anderson Brunsvold (Sarasota, Fla.)

Note: No female US RS:X sailor qualified for the 2015 ISAF Youth Worlds

US Sailing is bringing unprecedented resources to bear in support of the 2015 Youth Worlds Team. Three multi-day ODP Training Camps have been organized in the fall of 2015 in Miami, Florida for the Laser Radial, 29er, I420, F16 and RS:X classes.

“These camps are the first of their kind held in the US,” said Leandro Spina, US Sailing’s Youth Development Director. “In addition to including the team members, we also invited many other top youth sailors to train as part of a group, and receive coaching. This is about raising the overall level of youth racing in the US, as well as helping these sailors perform well at the biggest youth event in the world.”

Spina will serve as Head Coach of the team in Langkawi as part of a world-class coaching staff. America’s Cup winner and Laser World Champion Ed Baird (St. Petersburg, Fla.) will assist with the group of US singlehanded sailors, which includes his son Nic. US Sailing’s 2012 National Development Coach of the Year Steve Keen (Stamford, Conn.) will work with the doublehanded classes.

For these sailors, qualifying for the Youth Worlds Team is a sign of the significant effort they have put forward during their sailing careers to date. “I would say that I’ve worked very hard, but not at a level that the majority of people can’t achieve,” said Nic Baird, the boy’s Laser Radial representative. “In high school, I spent nearly all of my free time sailing, and that’s not necessarily all training. It’s almost hard to say that I’ve worked hard to get here because the amount of sailing I do doesn’t seem like work. It’s all fun, and even if it’s not intensive training it’s still making me better in ways I might not even understand.”

Competing as part of a national team will also be a new experience for some US athletes. “It’s a lot of pressure to represent the country, but it’s also quite exciting,” continued Baird. “All I can say is that I hope I’m not only able to show my own strengths at the Worlds, but to show the strengths of my US competitors. I’d like to show the strength our country has given us through things like the Olympic Development Program.”

29er skiff athlete Quinn Wilson is the veteran presence on the team, and will represent the United States at the Youth Worlds for an impressive fourth consecutive event. This feat has not been achieved by an American since two-time Youth World Champion and three-time medalist Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) also went to four Youth Worlds.

“It’s definitely an advantage to know what I am stepping into,” said Wilson. “However, each event has been very different. We’re trying to cover all of our bases in the training process. It’s very exciting to be able to come back multiple times and I think it will give us an advantage over the other teams.”

Wilson, a California native, narrowly missed the 29er podium twice while sailing with his brother Dane, before breaking through with a silver medal in 2014 with Riley Gibbs (Long Beach, Calif.). For his final Youth Worlds, Wilson will sail with new partner Romain Screve.

USA Selection processISAF Youth Worlds

About US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program:
US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program (ODP) was launched in January 2015 to lead the progression of the most promising youth sailing talent in the US. Guided by the US Olympic Sailing Committee’s Project Pipeline strategic initiative, the ODP fosters an integrated approach to training in the core development and Olympic classes, and is part of a system to provide the United States with a steady stream of well-prepared sailors. Some of these athletes will go on to represent Team USA at The Olympic Games, and provide the national team with consistent success. The fundamental premise of the ODP is to focus on the critical transition from youth sailing to high performance racing in Olympic classes. The ODP is funded through generous donations by individuals and organizations. The lead gift as well as a matching grant has been provided by the AmericaOne Foundation, and the US Olympic Sailing Program is actively seeking supporters to meet this generous match. For more information on the ODP and the America One Match campaign, visit

Source: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager

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