For Carrson Pearce, Christmastime may never have been so amazing. After earning a spot in the 46th annual Aon Youth Sailing World Championships with a victory in the U.S. Championships in mid-August, the Manahawkin teenager headed to Auckland, New Zealand, early last week to sail against the best in the world.
On Tuesday, Dec. 20, he became one of the best in the world by placing third with 69 points in the Laser Radial competition. He finished just five points behind runner-up Paolo Giargia of Italy, while Australia’s Finnian Alexander took the title with 45 points.
“I had a really blessed regatta,” Pearce said via text from New Zealand. “God brought me this far, and He sealed the deal today with my finish in third place. He deserves all the credit.”
The competition began on Dec. 16 and Pearce got off to a decent start, placing ninth in the first race and 10th in the second. The next day, Pearce finished 21st in the third race – which ultimately was his “throw-away” race – but rebounded in the fourth race to finish second.
On Dec. 18, Pearce started the day with an 11th-place finish, then ended up in 12th during Race 6. This past Monday, Pearce finished fifth in the seventh race and followed up with an 11th-place spot in the eighth race. His ninth-place finish in the final race on Tuesday was good enough to keep him in third overall.
Poland’s Jakub Rodziewicz finished five points behind Pearce, while Spain’s Ismael Iess Falcon rounded out the top five with 80 points. The field was comprised of 57 sailors from around the globe.
Open to males and females age 19 and younger, the Youth Sailing World Championships were first held in Angelholm, Sweden, in 1971. Pearce was part of a 42-member contingent representing the United States.
The Junior Commodore of Surf City Yacht Club, Pearce earlier this year won the Laser National Championship title, the Junior Olympic Festival and SCYC’s Junior Commodore Regatta.
– Reposted from The Sandpaper