America’s finest young sailors went head to head in the closest contested Team Racing Academy Regatta in the 2011-12 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race on Sunday in Miami.
Claiming victory in the intense round-robin racing was CAMPER, one of three local teams from Florida that included Nico Schultz, Nick Hernandez, Jeff Glosenger and Hannah Steadman.
Team Telefónica from Fort Lauderdale were second, and Groupama sailing team from New York won the semi-finals to claim third ahead of Team Sanya from Maryland.
Thirty-two of America’s finest sailors aged less than 15 took part in the three-day Team Racing Clinic and racing that was led by ISAF international umpires Chris Atkins and Bill O’Hara.
O’Hara said the up-and-comers were of the highest calibre yet.
“The depth of the talent is the best we’ve seen so far,’’ he said. “The best sailors here are up there with what we’ve seen in other countries, but the overall talent from top to bottom is stronger than anywhere.”
The racing included American optimist champion Ivan Shestopalov. The 12-year-old from Florida reckons he is now better equipped to take on the best at the World Championships in the Dominican Republic in July having sharpened his skills at the training event.
“This is such a strategic sport, you have to take everything into account and use tactics based on the wind direction, the strength and the course,’’ Shestopalov said.
“I’ve not done much teams racing, but this has been great. It’s something that has definitely made me a stronger sailor and should help at the Worlds for sure.’’
Keeping close watch on the young sailors was former Whitbread Round the World Race competitor Christiaan Brakman, whose son Bram was competing.
Brakman said it was great to see his son following in his footsteps and embracing the sport.
“It is great for so many reasons, but not just because it’s good for him to take part in a sport, but because there is a really great social side, which is important too."
Brakman said a lot had changed since he competed in the 1989-'90 race, when he used to cook fresh bread for the crew.
“The technology then was nowhere near what it is today, and we certainly had a lot more luxuries than they have now,’’ he said.
- 18 May 2012Miami in-port crews announced
- 17 May 2012Miami gives sailors time to regain strength
- 17 May 2012MCMs deliver media masterclass in Miami
- 16 May 2012Fighting fit Smith and Harmer back from sidelines
- 15 May 2012"We're back in the game," says comeback king Read
- 15 May 2012Teams eye Miami points grab ahead of Atlantic crossing