Teaching the most talented nippers
59 nations and over 280 of the world’s top young sailors will gather in Buzios, just 170 kilometres east of Rio de Janeiro, this July for the 39th edition of the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, the first time the championship has been held in South America. The Youth Worlds is renowned for giving the sailing world its first glimpse of future champions (past medallists include Russell Coutts, Ben Ainslie, Alessandra Sensini and Robert Scheidt) but it’s also a global celebration of youth sailing and a fantastic learning experience for the young competitors chosen to represent their nation. A key figure in this educational-side to the Youth Worlds is the championship coach and this year the competitors in Buzios will have the opportunity to learn from world-famous Argentinean sailor Santiago Lange.
Santiago Lange said: “It’s a real honour to be appointed as championship coach for the 2009 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship, particularly as this will be the first time the event has been held in South America. It’s a fantastic championship and Buzios will be a great host. I know from our Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Rio how much passion Brazil has for sailing.
“I’m greatly looking forward to working with so many young, talented and enthusiastic sailors from all over the world. They’re the future of our sport and the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship is the world-class showcase they deserve.”
The championship coach, whose appointment is funded by the World Youth Sailing Trust, provides coaching to the sailors at the Youth Worlds whose nations have been unable to send support staff to the championship, in particular to those sailors competing thanks to funding support from ISAF’s Athlete Participation Programme (APP). The APP sailors gets the benefit of daily briefings from the championship coach, whilst all competitors can attend the video debrief sessions held at the end of each day’s racing. This year there is a new coach for the Championship, with Lange taking over the reigns from British coach Jim Saltonstall, whose 30-year association with the Youth Worlds finally came to end last year in Århus, Denmark.
During his time at the championship, first as GBR coach and then as championship coach from 2002-2008, Saltonstall became a legendary figure at the Youth Worlds with his post-race debriefings always standing-room only. For 2009, as the Youth Worlds makes its first visit to South America, the championship has an equally outstanding successor in Lange, one of the continents most successful, versatile and well-respected sailors.
Lange is one of Argentina’s most famous sailing names. He has competed at five editions of the Olympic Games across dinghy, keelboat and multihull events, winning bronze medals in the Tornado with Carlos Espinola at both Athens 2004 and last year in Beijing. However, Lange’s sailing experience extends far beyond the Games. He has competed in two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, first onboard Team SEB on leg one of the 2001-02 race and most recently as Watch Captain for the Telefonica Black team competing in the current edition. He has won four World Championship titles, in the Tornado in 2004 and Snipe dinghy in 1985, 1993 and 1995, and also competed for the Swedish Victory Challenge syndicate during the 2007 America’s Cup cycle.
Helmut Czasny, ISAF Competitions Manager and Technical Delegate for the 2009 Youth Worlds, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Santiago Lange to the role of championship coach for 2009 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship. Santi is proven world-class competitor and as a two-time Olympic medallist and Volvo Ocean Race competitor is a perfect role model for our young sailors. It’s particularly appropriate that as the championship visits South America for the first time we are able to welcome one of the continent’s most respected sailors to the team.”
The primary focus of the championship coach will be the APP sailors, however, assistance is available to all those who would like it, including team leaders, coaches and competitors.
The comprehensive coaching support will include:
Pre-event Preparation –
Boat Preparation - including Boat Handling - Boat Tuning
Race Strategy - including Starting Tactics, Racing Rules, Compass Work, Meteorology
Preview the Sailing Instructions
Video Debriefs daily by Classes –
The video debriefs have proved a valuable element of the coaching given to the competitors, and for many it is the first time they have been able to post-race view themselves on the water and receive coaching instruction and advice.
The World Youth Sailing Trust funds the appointment of the championship coach at each edition of the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship. The Trust is a charitable organization of ISAF members, who focus their support towards youth events.