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Silver for Roe & Mertz at Youth Worlds, five top 10 finishes for USA

by US Sailing Team 16 Dec 2023 05:13 GMT December 8-16, 2023
USA' Cody Roe & Brooke Mertz during the 2023 Youth Sailing World Championships © Gabriel Heusi / World Sailing

After five days of racing just east of Rio de Janeiro, the US brought home a silver medal in Nacra 15 at the 2023 Youth Sailing World Championship in Búzios, Brazil.

Overall, the US Youth Team saw five top-ten finishes across 10 disciplines in one of the most competitive youth regattas in the world with 61 nations represented and 400+ athletes.

Final USA Results:

  • 2nd - Cody Roe & Brooke Mertz, Nacra 15
  • 5th - Laura Hamilton & Carolina Zager, Female 29er
  • 8th - Freddie Parkin & Asher Beck, Male / Mixed i420
  • 10th - Makani Andrews, Male iQFOiL
  • 10th - Callie Hammond & Ava Stevens, Female i420
  • 14th - Tyler & Drew Lamm, Male / Mixed 29er
  • 16th - Audrey Foley, Female ILCA 6
  • 18th - Sage Andrews, Female iQFOiL
  • 19th - Mani Pahuatini, Male Formula Kite
  • 19th - Nicholas Mueller, Male ILCA 6

"I'm extremely proud of our coaches and sailors for their effort this week. It feels good to bring a silver medal home," said Team Leader and Youth Performance Manager Phil Muller. "Our Nacra 15 team of Cody, Brooke and JC have been dominant on the world stage at several events this last year. It's impressive to see them perform at this level.

This is a unique event and the results come down to each athlete's preparation over the last six to twelve months and the ability to execute in this environment. Our motivation is high and focus sharp on next year's event in Italy."

The Nacra 15 team of Cody Roe and Brooke Mertz were able to hold their own in Búzios' varying conditions, sailing consistently across the 12 total races. The team scored a silver, finishing two points behind gold medalists Daniel and Nora Garcia de la Casa of Spain and three points ahead of bronze medalists Marie Mazuay and Clément Guignard of Switzerland.

"I am super proud of Cody and myself for all of the hard work we put into this event and the months leading up to it," said Brooke Mertz (Parkland, FL). "Thank you to everyone who has supported me. Thank you to my mom, grandparents, brother and sister, my coach JC and Lauderdale Yacht Club. I am so thankful and honored to be given this opportunity to represent the US at my first Youth Worlds. We're just getting started." Her skipper, Cody, echoed the same: "This is the start of something big."

"Youth Worlds this week was the most difficult thing we've ever done," added Brooke. "The conditions changed constantly while the pressure rose. We came together with the rest of the USA Youth Team who inspired us to reach the podium. Go USA!"

"It's a true honor to coach for our country," said Nacra 15 coach John Casey "JC," who worked with Cody Roe through the 2023 Nacra 15 World Championship win in Fort Lauderdale. "This medal wasn't only earned by Cody and Brooke, but our Team at home who put in effort every training day, as well as parents who unconditionally support us. This is a true community effort and I thank everyone for believing in our dreams and amazing young sailors."

Days one through three of the event saw lighter breeze than expected, followed by the characteristic Búzios heavy air to close out the final two days.

Men's iQFOiL representative Makani Andrews made a marked improvement over his finish at last year's Youth Worlds. Using lessons learned from The Hauge and a year of training, Andrews moved from a 22nd place finish at last year to 10th place in Brazil.

The Youth World Championship is an annual event bringing together the best youth sailors from around the world in 6 international boat classes. Participation in the Youth Worlds, which requires qualification, is one of the final steps to prepare youth for transitions to full size Olympic equipment and international competition. Like the Olympics, each country can only send one boat/board representative per class.

The 2024 Youth Sailing World Championship will be held in Lake Garda, Italy from July 13-20, 2024. Selection procedures can be found here.

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