Youths from 16 countries are competing in Long Beach waters this week in 2017 29er World Championships. Qualifying takes place until Wednesday and the finals begin Thursday and run until Sunday.
The 29er is a nimble 14.5-foot boat, sailed by a team of two with one sailor extended beyond the hull on a trapeze. Racing at speeds of up to 20 knots, with florescent tipped sails
One-hundred thirty teams of competitors, aged 10 to 20, are competing in the event hosted Alamitos Bay Yacht Club in Long Beach. The teams are sailing on one of three courses outside the breakwater on the southern end of Long Beach Harbor.
US competitors are hoping for a home team advantage, having never placed better than third in the event’s 17-year history. Last year, the top US team placed 19th. Nearly 20 teams in the competition represent California, 13 of which are Southern California based.
The 29er was designed by Australian multiple national and world sailing champion Julian Bethwaite. It debuted in 1998 and today is raced in 53 countries, and considered a stepping stone that creates future World and Olympic champions in other classes. Like in all competitive sailing events, winning is achieved by agility, skilled boat handling, and brisk decision-making.
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