In January and February of this new year, a contingent of Canadian sailors in various classes will be racing at designated class regattas in Florida with a view to being selected as Canada’s team for the ISAF Youth World Championship. The Youth Worlds will take place in July of this year.
The Youth Worlds is ISAF’s longest running event, having been held every year since 1971. Over the past 10 years the Youth Worlds has grown in size and is now consistently attracting around 250 sailors from 60 nations. Open to competitors aged 18 and under in the year of the championship, it is now firmly established as the world’s leading event for youth sailors.
For the 420 class, the selection regatta for the Canadian team is the U.S. MidWinter Championship Regatta being held at Jansen Beach, Florida from February 12 to 15. Canada will send a maximum of one all boy and one all girl 420 crew to the Youth Worlds. To qualify, a 420 team must be the top age eligible Canadian crew plus finish in the top 50% of an experienced and extremely competitive fleet at the U.S. Midwinters. No Canadian girl team has ever met the required selection criteria to represent Canada in the 420 class.
Greg Tawaststjerna, then an SLSC sailor, twice represented Canada in the World Youth regatta in the early 1970’s when the regatta was in its infancy. Greg sailed a Laser. This year, almost 40 years later, Amy DesBrisay and Kate Thomas will be among the group of Canadian sailors seeking a spot on the team, sailing in the 420 Class.
For those sailors that meet the selection standards, it will be off to Istanbul, Turkey, in July. Istanbul is the host of the 2010 Youth Worlds. This year’s Youth Worlds will include a celebration of the 40th anniversary edition of the championship. What an experience that would be!