For some competitors this year will bring back special memories, as they will have taken part in the both the biggest ever Techno World Championship and the 2nd Youth Olympic Games![more]

However both events are about much more than winning a title or a medal – they are about “participation”; young sailors from all over the world coming together in a “life-experience” event. Both events are about growing the sport by maximising attendance.

There is no need to qualify for the T293 Worlds – all are welcome; it is not too late to join the experience, enter now.

The Youth Olympic Games is about ensuring the maximum number of countries can participate; the windsurfing events will involve 40 young windsurfer from 27 countries representing 6 continents!

Let’s meet some of the few that will be involved in both events this summer.

US Sailing has announced the selection of Maximo Nores (Miami Beach, Fla.) to the 2014 US Youth Olympic Team and he will compete in the boys’ windsurfing event.

Maximo, 14, is already a veteran athlete for his age, having competed in nine world championship events in several classes, and winning a North American title in the Techno 293. “I feel honoured and proud to have been chosen to represent the country,” said Nores. “I’m very excited to visit China, and I want to thank my family and coaches for getting me to where I am today.”

Four sailors qualified their nations for YOG at the South American Championships: Francisco Birkner guaranteed an Argentinean spot by winning the championship, whilst a fifth place finish for Daniel Pereira ensured Brazil will have a Techno 293 racer on the start line in Nanjing.

Peru’s Maria Belen Basso sailed consistently throughout the week of the qualifying event and as well as taking the Girls South American title she also qualified for the Youth Olympic Games. Argentinean Micaela Lauret did enough to take the final spot.

Yachting New Zealand (YNZ) was delighted to announce that two young windsurfers had been selected by the New Zealand Olympic Committee to attend the Nanjing YOG:  Finn Croft – 16 years old from Manly Sailing Club and Takapuna Boating Club, Auckland and Coral Headey – 15 years old from Tauranga Yacht and Powerboat Club, Tauranga.

Finn and Coral won their country qualification spots at the Oceania Championships held in Manly, North Shore.  They will be supported by legendary New Zealand windsurfer and double Olympic medallist Bruce Kendall, MBE who will travel to China with the group as coach.  YNZ commented, “It’s fantastic that Bruce can find the time to lead the team because he has a wealth of experience in Olympic sailing and brings huge enthusiasm when coaching New Zealand’s young sailors.”

Racing begins on Lake Jinniu on 18th August with registration, practice and the official opening ceremony preceding that. Finals are scheduled for 23rd August although the 24th is allocated as a reserve day if required.

But before that, we look forward to seeing Francisco, Daniel, Maximo, Micaela and Maria in action in Brest. Finn and Coral cannot be in Brest for the Worlds, but we wish them well in all their endeavours.

Over 3,500 athletes will compete in 28 sports in Nanjing, China at the Youth Olympic Games from August 16-28, 2014. To be eligible to participate, all competitors must have been born between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 1999. In addition to high-level competition, each competitor will also experience a special Culture and Education Program (CEP), based around five main themes: Olympism, Social Responsibility, Skills Development, Expression, Wellbeing and Healthy Lifestyles. Like the Olympic Games, the Youth Olympic Games are held every four years.

Pic: Patrik Pollak