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Champions in five classes decided on Sunday at West Marine US Open Sailing Series

by US Sailing 14 Jun 02:44 BST
2021 West Marine US Open Sailing Series – San Diego © US Sailing

It was a mad dash to the finish in champagne conditions on Sunday at the 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing Series - San Diego. Top athletes competing in the ILCA 7 (Laser), ILCA 6 (Laser Radial), ILCA 4 (Laser 4.7), Finn, and 29er events this week raced over two days this weekend at the launch for the West Coast tour of the 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing Series.

Sailors raced in moderate breeze, 10 to 12 knots, under sunny skies for most of Sunday. Sailors on both courses experienced swells with choppy conditions and three to four foot waves rolling through. The wind held steady on the right side of the course for most of the day.

The young and talented ILCA 7 (Laser) fleet featuring 18 sailors included action-packed and close racing throughout the weekend. Leo Boucher (Annapolis, Md.) closed out a successful regatta on Sunday with another strong performance. After posting 1-2-2-1 results on Saturday, he remained consistent on Sunday with scores of 2-2-[5]. Boucher edged Ford McCann (Kemah, Texas) by two points. McCann won three races in the regatta including the final race of the event to pull within two points of the lead. Connor Nelson (Tampa, Fla.) took home third place honors. The win for Boucher marks his second West Marine US Open title of 2021. He also won last February in Clearwater.

"We had more pressure and breeze today which put more sailors in play at the top, so it was super competitive," added Boucher.

Thomas Kraak (Palos Verdes Estate, Calif.) won first place overall in the ILCA 6 (Radial) fleet, while Katharine Doble (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) was the top performing female sailor in the fleet and second overall. Kraak sailed fast on Sunday with a 1-3-2 scoring line to win by four points. Doble had a strong regatta this weekend after jumping out to an early lead on Saturday by winning two of the first three races of the event.

"I had some great moments this week, especially yesterday with the starts," said Doble. "We had a couple of pin favorite starts and I was pleased with how they went for me. I made a good decision on the first beat, and I think that was really important to break out from the fleet and then have all the options."

"It's great to have the series come here in California," she added. "Being able to compete against such a talented fleet in San Diego is a great way for me to train without having to travel too far."

The Finn class had a race thrown out from Saturday due to a drifting mark and made up that race on Sunday. They had ample breeze on Sunday and sailors were allowed to pump and rock the boats around the course. In the end it was Rob Coutts (La Jolla, Calif.) who just edged AJ Nosar (Long Beach, Calif.) in a tiebreaker to take home first place. Coutts won two races this weekend including the final race of the regatta to win the championship. Nosar was second in Race 6. James Buley (San Diego, Calif.) placed third overall, just one point off the lead.

Sammie Gardner and Alice Schmid (San Diego, Calif.) continued their dominance in the 29er fleet on Sunday. The duo capped off a successful regatta with another strong day on the water. They won four of the seven races this week and won the championship by two points over Anton Schmid and Peter Joslin (San Diego, Calif.) who were close behind. Kelly Holthus and Jon Seawards (La Jolla, Calif.) finished third.

"The highlight of the weekend for us was being able to go out in the ocean with waves and practice surfing, especially since we had such great wind today," said Alice Schmid. "It helps us get a better feel for racing in different conditions. We're stoked that we won. It came down to the last race and was very close."

Oscar Parzen (San Diego, Calif.) led the pack in the ILCA 4 (4.7) fleet and won by six points over Talia Hamlin. Parzen won four of seven races this weekend.

Final standings available here.

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