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29er Worlds: USA's Marcellini/Brill and Martin/Saponara qualify for Gold Fleet in top ten

LONG BEACH, CA – Two USA teams have qualified in the top ten for the Gold Fleet of the 29er World Championship. Neil Marcellini and Ian Brill (Lafayette, CA) were fourth overall, with Nicolas Martin and Damian Saponara ninth. For the finals, the top 50 teams advance to the Gold fleet, the second 40 teams to Silver, and the balance to Bronze. 129 teams from 17 nations are competing. Racing continues through Saturday, August 5th hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club.
Wednesday's press release said that the teams do not carry scores over from the qualifying round to the finals, yet the Sailing Instructions say that each team's final rank in the qualifiers is carried over as, in effect, a non-discardable first-race score. Go figure.
Nine other USA teams have qualified for the Gold Fleet including Alie Toppa and Jacob Rosenberg who were second (top USA finisher) in last week's 29er U.S. National Championship and stand 20th going into the finals.

Santiago Duncan Loiaz and Elias Dalli and of Argentina are at the top of the leaderboard going into the finals, and will wear the gold jerseys and sail dots when the boats hit the water Thursday.

Your Ed.'s longtime friend, Deon Macdonald (Newport Beach, CA) is volunteering at the regatta after a long association with the 29er class through her son, Tyler Macdonald. After Wednesday's racing Deon said, "If you are a parent somewhere in our great world of sailing who has sent a child to compete in the 29er worlds and are wondering if all your efforts and expense were worth it, I say "Yes!" After working with many of the teams this week, I can say that these young sailors are independent, strong, worldly, friendly and polite, with a quick please and thank you with the volunteers and each other, and smiles all around. They are working hard to compete, mentally and physically. Their communication skills are wonderful no matter their native language. They are making friends from around the world and they will find out that they will have those friends for life."

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Video tweeted out by the 29er Class, from Day 3 (Wednesday).