USA’s Henry Marshall Wins Laser Radial Youth World Championship

From left: Chase Burwell, ODP Travel Team Coach Brendan Casey, Sophia Reineke, Anna Weiss, Henry Marshall, Christina Sakellaris, and ODP Travel Team Coach Rulo Borojovich. Photo: Cathy Sakellaris/US Sailing.

Portsmouth, R.I. – Henry Marshall (Newton, Mass.) has won the 2016 Laser Radial Youth World Championship, held at Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. The Massachusetts native bested a strong field of 58 international competitors. It is the first career world title for Marshall, a participant in US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program (ODP) and the primary training partner for U.S. Olympic Team Laser Radial athlete Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.).

Other notable USA results included Henry’s brother Jack Marshall (Newton, Mass.) who took 5th in the Open Men’s competition, Sophia Reineke (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) who took 4th in the Girls Class, Anna Weiss (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) who took 8th, and Christina Sakellaris (Milton, Mass.) who finished 10th. Americans Chase Burwell (Clearwater Beach, Fla.) and Hallie Schiffman (Sarasota Fla.) also medaled in the U17 class.

Marshall was dominant in the early part of the regatta, and only briefly relinquished his lead during two of the later races of the event. “Heading into the last race, I was mostly just happy to be in the mix for gold,” said Marshall. “I’d lost my lead in the shifty conditions, and there was just so much riding on each race.” Marshall took second in the final race, securing gold for the United States.

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Pictured: World Champion Henry Marshall carried from the water by teammates and competitors in Dun Laoghaire. Photo © David Branigan/Oceansport.

Marshall noted that training with Railey and US Sailing coach Mark Littlejohn (Auckland, New Zealand) has been a primary driver of his improvement. “The training with Paige, Mark, the ODP and the US Sailing Team Sperry since November has meant everything to me,” said Marshall. “We’ve been putting in so many hours of work, and all of that was put to use [this week]. They really took me under their wing. It’s been great to see how much professionalism the team has, from boat work to racing to the gym, and all the other pieces that make you elite. I’ve been soaking up as much as I can.”

Littlejohn said he was not surprised by the result, and that Marshall served as an example of what can happen when a strong strategic plan is paired with a dedicated athlete. “[ODP Director] Leandro Spina’s dream was to give talented youngsters the opportunity to advance their skills quickly by training alongside the Olympic program,” said Littlejohn, who has coached multiple sailors onto the Olympic Games podium. “The system is working, and this is big news for US Sailing.”

“I’m excited about the ODP, and so is everyone else,” said Marshall. “This is a rising movement, and America is getting to the top of youth sailing. That will follow through on the Olympic level.”

US Sailing Team High Performance Director Charlie McKee (Bend, Ore.) said he was encouraged by the results coming from the ODP since the start of the program in early 2015. “This month we’ve had three sailors make it onto two podiums after participating in ODP camps and training with Olympic Team, with Henry winning in the Radial, and Wiley Rogers (Houston, TX) and Jack Parkin (Riverside, CT) winning silver at the I420 Open Worlds,” said McKee. “The ODP is on track, and we’re were thrilled that these young sailors have made most of their opportunities. A strong path forward yields results, and we’re thrilled for them.”

When asked if he had any message for Paige Railey as she prepares for the start of Olympic sailing competition on August 8th, Marshall said his thoughts would be with her in Rio de Janeiro.”Tell my ‘big sis’ to go get ’em. Her hard work will pay off.”

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Pictured: National team athletes Erika Reineke (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla, left) and Paige Railey (right) training with Henry Marshall (center) in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Mark Littlejohn/US Sailing.

About US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program:

US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program (ODP) was launched in January 2015 to lead the progression of the most promising youth sailing talent in the US. Guided by the US Olympic Sailing Committee’s Project Pipeline strategic initiative, the ODP fosters an integrated approach to training in the core development and Olympic classes, and is part of a system to provide the United States with a steady stream of well-prepared sailors. Some of these athletes will go on to represent Team USA at The Olympic Games, and provide the national team with consistent success. The fundamental premise of the ODP is to focus on the critical transition from youth sailing to high performance racing in Olympic classes. The ODP is funded through generous donations by individuals and organizations. The lead gift as well as a matching grant has been provided by the AmericaOne Foundation, and the US Olympic Sailing Program is actively seeking supporters to meet this generous match.  For more information on the ODP and the America One Match campaign, please visit www.ussailing.org/olympics