Cold, light breeze

Day two of the US Youth Multihull Championship at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club saw unusually cold weather

Sunday January 20th 2008, Author: Rich Roberts, Location: United Kingdom
Anne Haeger didn't really come to Southern California from Lake Forest, Ill to get warm, but she was the hottest sailor in town Sunday for the second day of the 2008 US Sailing ISAF Youth World Qualifier and US Youth Multihull Championship at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club.

Temperatures were in the high 50s - cool for here - with a chill breeze of eight to nine knots, but Haeger stepped up her streak with a second and three firsts to build three points of space on her nearest contender, Claire Dennis of San Francisco, in the girls' Laser Radial class.

Haeger, who turns the age limit of 18 next month, said, "I had a lot of fun. I finally got my downwind speed back. Plus, the wind was a little stronger."

Nose-to-nose jousts continued in two other classes. Oliver Toole and Willie McBride of Santa Barbara lead Judge Ryan and Hans Henken by a single point in 29ers, while Andrew Mason and Chris Segerblom of Corona del Mar hold the same razor's edge over Evan Miller and Taylor Reiss of Panama City, Fla. in the Nacra SL-16 catamarans, where the winners also will claim the national title along with a trip to Denmark for the ISAF Youth Worlds in July.

With two races remaining Sunday, Emily Dellenbaugh, 17, of Eaton, Conn, with crew Morgan Renoir, 17, of San Diego, have the girls' 29er ticket locked up. Competing equally with the boys, they won Sunday's first race and are four points behind Ryan and Henken in third place overall.

Luke Lawrence, 18, of Palm City, Fla, is less comfortable with a six-point lead over Alex Bertrand, 18, of Annapolis, Md with three races to go after two seconds and two firsts on Sunday when he also was able to discard his worst finish - a ninth in race one.

"It's close," Lawrence said. "I have to be careful. I'm not going to do anything drastic [Monday] unless it calls for it."

Bertrand, incidentally, wasn't yet born in 1984 when his father, John Bertrand, was involved in an historic drawn-out protest battle for the U.S. Olympic berth in the Finn class following the U.S. Trials at ABYC. His dad eventually won the spot and earned a silver medal behind Russell Coutts' gold in the '84 Olympics on these waters.

"I'd heard the stories but I didn't know it was here," Alex said. He is glad to be here, anyway. "It's cold back home right now," he said.

Mason and Segerblom, who won Sunday's last two races, have a special score to settle with Miller, who beat them out by a half-point for the national youth multihull title last year sailing with a different crew - the former's first catamaran regatta.

"It's close," Mason said. "Evan is a really good catamaran sailor and we're still trying to figure everything out. He was faster upwind and we were faster downwind. We're heavier than they are, and today's better breeze helped us a lot. We were double-trapezing, which was a lot of fun. We haven't been able to do that since last year."

On a downside, 29er sailors Finn and Alek Nilsen of Fairfield, Calif were involved in a head-on collision with a private power boat while approaching the ABYC harbor after Sunday's racing. Finn Nilsen was reported as being treated for a facial injury caused by his boat's boom. Except for a tear in the main sail, their boat appeared to be intact. The Coast Guard was investigating the incident.

There have been no on-water protests requiring post-race hearings through the first two days.

Leaders:

SL-16 CATAMARAN
Andrew Mason and Chris Segerblom, 11 points.

LASER
Luke Lawrence, 12 points.

LASER RADIAL
Anne Haeger, 8 points.

29ERS
Oliver Toole and Willie McBride, 13 points.

Full results are available here .

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