Biggest Youth Stage in 2016

Published on December 14th, 2016

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
The beginning of each sport season offers anticipation and hope. Fans look forward, forgetting past failures, certain this year can be better. As a San Diego fan, that’s how it works for me. I follow the Padres and Chargers just enough to be interested, but not so much that reality gets in the way. I will let reality hit me when it does. For these teams, it comes soon enough.

I follow Sailing much closer, so I wore no rose colored glasses while in Rio. The Olympics is the final stepping stone in a long path. People don’t stand on the podium unless they have mastered each step. For North American sailors, not many had. They all needed to overachieve – a hard act on the biggest stage.

Before someone can perform well on Broadway, they need to crush it in smaller theaters. For young sailors on that path toward the Games, one of the critical steps is the Youth Sailing World Championships.

It’s not that North American sailors haven’t done well at the Youth Sailing Worlds. They have (past results), but often they either don’t follow through to the Olympics, or they fail to remain on a productive path toward the goal. Lost momentum can be hard to regain.

For sure, success at the Youth Sailing Worlds doesn’t assure future success at the Games.  But the ability of a country does rise due to the sum of its parts, and youth sailors that excel at this stage do push those back home.

So the window to the future opens as the 2016 Youth Sailing Worlds is to be held December 16 to 20 in Auckland, New Zealand. For these sailors, this is their biggest stage for 2016.

Open to competitors under the age of 19 years, more than 380 sailors from 65 nations will compete in the 46th edition of this event. Countries can have only one entry in each of the nine disciplines: 29er Men and Women, 420 Men and Women, Laser Radial Men and Women, RS:X Men and Women, and Nacra 15 Open.

Here are some links to review:

Event detailsScoreboardCanada teamUSA teamEntry list

On December 15 there will be the parade of nations, mixing of the waters and a little Kiwi twist to the proceedings which begins at 18:00 local time. You can follow the ceremony through the live blog and you can watch LIVE via Facebook and Twitter.

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