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Lakewood Youth Celebrate a Clean Sweep in Corpus Christi

Lakewood Yacht Club's youth sailors celebrated multiple victories at the Changes in L'Attitude Regatta held in Corpus Christi, TX. The season opener for the Texas Sailing Association (TSA) youth circuit, this regatta enjoys a strong competitive turn-out each year. Lakewood alone represented over 35% of the 70 racers in each of four classes.

Lakewood youth train rigorously to compete in year-round events coordinated by local circuits such as TSA. One of the most active circuits along the Gulf Coast, TSA promotes competitions that provide local youth the opportunity to measure their skills on a regular basis.

In the C420 and Laser classes, Team Lakewood placed well in the lead. The Optimist (Opti) team was represented by 21 Lakewood sailors, 16 of whom finished in the top half of the 42-boat fleet. Yumi Yoshiyasu won first place overall at the weekend regatta.

Sailing in the Opti intermediate division, 13-year-old Yumi has been sailing since she was eight. As a child, Yumi took up sailing along with her sister who, like many former Seahorse trainees, leveraged her sailing experience for collegiate positioning. "I started sailing with my sister, who was also in the Seahorse program. Now she's on the sail team at Stanford University."

After her first big win last year at the 2015 Gulf Coast Championship, Yumi has become a formidable competitor and serious contender in the youth sailing world. In a sport where the standard is continuously being raised, youth racers need a competitive edge that prepares them for uncertain environments, both on and off the race course. Lakewood sailors improve their skills through solid competition within team training and experiences gained during multiple regattas they attend.

Yumi notes that, "I like sailing because you're out on the water with different conditions every day. When you get better and better, you get to go to international regattas and meet a lot of new friends from all over the world." The bragging rights aren't bad, either. With a clever grin, Yumi adds, "And it's cool to be able to tell that to all my friends at school."

Suiting up and ready to launch, Yumi moves her 8-foot Opti to the shoreline. There's a point after winning where new sailors start to feel that they've finally arrived. For Yumi, that time is now. "My favorite thing about winning a race is just being recognized."

Aiming high is a trait that's gotten Yumi and other Lakewood youth far in the racing circuit. Nearly in high school, Yumi looks forward to learning to sail the 420 and FJ classes. But most of all, she's eagerly gearing up for her biggest race yet -- the IODA South American Championship. Yumi and fellow Lakewood youth sailor Zane Rogers qualified for the championship regatta in Salinas, Ecuador and will leave in March to compete.

Topping out at over 100 sailors, Lakewood's Youth Sailing Program trains athletes who sail in the Opti, Laser, and FJ classes. This year, the program looks forward to coaching in the 420 class as current Opti sailors outgrow their boats. Directed by Olympic competitor Marek Valasek, the Lakewood sailing team enjoys coaching expertise from international competitors as well as winners of top-ranking national regattas. Program opportunities are available for youth aged six and older. For information about Lakewood's Youth Sailing Program, contact Marek Valasek here.




Anne Bechard 
Digital Marketing Specialist

I'm thrilled to be a part of Lakewood's marketing team! From an early age, I started showing signs of becoming an auspicious writing geek. Today, I'm a columnist for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Business Insider. I get excited about exploring new ideas, communicating in a creative way, and solving problems that stump me. It's especially thrilling that I get to do all this in a place that personifies one of my greatest loves -- nature and the outdoors. I'm looking forward to growing our digital marketing techniques and meeting your communications needs with excellence!



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