Local News & Events

Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

Juan Varela Takes 8th in ISAF Youth World Championships

Vallarta Yacht Club
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July 22, 2014

When Juanito Varela joined Vallarta Yacht Club's Junior Sailing Program, everyone could see that he was special - his natural ability on a sailboat was clear from an early age.

After sailing as long as he could on Optimist dinghies, Juan graduated to Laser dinghies and RS:X sailboards. In only a couple of years, Juan's natural ability was evidenced by consistent podium finishes on the RS:X.

Juan set his sights on representing Mexico in the RS:X Boys class at the ISAF Youth World Championships in Portugal, biggest event in the world for youth sailors.

The ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship was first held in Angelholm, Sweden in 1971 where 16 nations competed for the inaugural titles in the two-person dinghies, 420 and Flipper. As the regatta evolved, more classes were added to bring the best young sailing talent from around the world together in one place.

In 1984 the Mistral windsurfer was added to the list of events, with Knut Budig (GER) taking the first gold medal in San Diego, California. This year, the ISAF Youth Worlds were held in Tavira, Portugal. The event included 367 sailors from 67 nations, competing in 5 different classes: 420, SL16, 29er, Laser Radial, and RS:X. Only one one sailor from each class may represent their country at the event.

To make the team, Juan had to qualify in a couple of major regattas: The RS:X North American Championships held in Cancun, and Copa Mexico, held in our own Banderas Bay. Juan showed everyone his amazing sailboard skill, taking first place in the Under 19 division in both events. He also placed third in the RS:X 8.5 in the North Americans, and second in the RS:X 8.5 fleet in Copa Mexico. He was ready to realize his dream of attending the ISAF Youth Worlds - clearly Mexico's choice to represent his country in the RS:X Boy's class.

Juan's perfomance at the event didn't disappoint: His final ranking was 8th place, putting him clearly among the top RS:X sailors in the world.

We are incredibly proud of Juan, and wish him all the best in his sailing future.

  Learn more about Vallarta Yacht Club

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