Two current St. Mary’s College of Maryland students and an alumnus have each earned a spot to participate in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup—a first-ever competition for talented youth sailors, ages19 to 24, to gain the experience they need to contribute to an America’s Cup team. With three competitors selected, St. Mary’s College is the most represented of any college in the program.
After an intensive two-day trial, Jacob La Dow ’15, John Wallace ’14, and Michael Menninger ’11 were selected by ORACLE TEAM USA to compete on two U.S.-based, seven-man teams: Team America Racing and American Youth Sailing Force. La Dow and Wallace will both compete on Team America Racing, while Menninger will compete on American Youth Sailing Force.
“This is a big step in my sailing career,” said La Dow. “This just goes to show that if you set your mind to doing something, you can do it. All it takes sometimes is a strong effort and the right people.”
Both teams will make periodic trips to San Francisco to train under the tutelage of ORACLE TEAM USA in the coming months, with more extensive training to take place in the summer. They will then compete in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup scheduled for September 1-4, 2013, in San Francisco, during the heart of the 34th America’s Cup racing season.
“Having the opportunity to train under ORACLE TEAM USA is a dream come true and I plan on taking full advantage of this awesome opportunity,” said Wallace. “Balancing training and school is going to be a challenge for sure, but after balancing school with college sailing for a couple years now I am used to it and understand what it takes.”
The youth teams are made up of collegiate All-Americans, youth world medalists and members of U.S. Sailing’s Development Team.
La Dow, 19, hails from San Diego, Calif., and Wallace, 20, from St. Petersburg, Fla. Menninger, 23, is a native of Newport Beach, Calif. La Dow and Wallace are both members of the St. Mary’s College Seahawks sailing team, and Menninger, a former member.