Birkett wins 2014 U.S. Sunfish Youth North American Championship

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - John Birkett sailed over St. Louis Bay as if he was sailing at home in Ecuador.  The Bay-Waveland Yacht Club is hosting the 2014 Sunfish Youth and Senior North American Championships and Birkett got the Youth Trophy with a decisive victory. He had 10 points.

Daniela Rodriguez who sails out of the Salinas Yacht Club in Ecuador placed second.  She had 20 points.

Local sailor Boyd Housey of the Pass Christian Yacht Club entered the second day of competition in fifth place.  Housey came on strong and almost leaped past Rodriguez for second place, ending day two with a second place, first place, eleventh place and first place finishes for 21 points.  That eleventh place finish in the sixth race of the day cost him a shot at second place.  He settled for third place overall for a super showing.

Jose Boccalandro placed fourth overall.  He entered Tuesday's final four races in second place, one point behind Birkett.  He closed out with 26 points.

John Pereira of Fairhope, Alabama had 28 points, ending the Youth Championship in fifth place.

The big boys and girls set-sail Wednesday in the Sunfish North American Championships, for the first of 11 races to decide the 2014 champion.

Former North American and World Champion, Jonathan Martinetti of Ecuador says he's been competing since he was 11-years-old.

"In 2009 I won North American Regatta in Charleston, South Carolina," stated Martinetti. "I raced Youth World in 2010 and won Youth World in Bermuda and then I won the Senior World in Italy."

He's one of three former Sunfish World Champions competing at the Bay-Waveland Yacht Club that runs through Saturday.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.