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Over 100 sailors race at 2021 Chubb U.S. Junior Sailing Championships in Marblehead

by Jake Fish 14 Aug 07:15 BST 11-13 August 2021
2021 Chubb U.S. Junior Sailing Championships © Bruce Durkee

The 104 young sailors representing their home yacht clubs and local sailing organizations from around the nation raced in a highly competitive youth sailing regatta this week in Marblehead. The 2021 Chubb U.S. Junior Sailing Championships, US Sailing's oldest and most historic National Championship, for the Sears Cup, Bemis Trophy, and Smythe Trophy, completed two exciting days of racing just outside of Marblehead Harbor under challenging conditions.

Friday was scheduled to be the third and final day of racing at the championship. However, the wind did not cooperate, and racing was postponed for the day, making Thursday's results final.

All three classes completed four races on Wednesday and another four races on Thursday. On Wednesday, sailors experienced light, patchy breeze, less than 10 knots, and a building southerly wind for most of day. Thursday's conditions were very similar. A major wind shift in Race 8 forced the Race Committee to make adjustments to the course and conduct re-starts to ensure the race was completed.

U.S. Junior Singlehanded Championship for the Smythe Trophy - ILCA 6 (top three, 8 races)

  1. Hamilton Barclay - 23pts
  2. Drew Mastovsky - 26pts
  3. Zoey Ziskind - 28pts
Hamilton Barclay (La Porte, Texas) of the Houston Yacht Club captured the Smythe Trophy with a strong regatta against a talented fleet. Barclay won by three points over Drew Mastovsky (Marion, Mass.) of the Beverly Yacht Club. Zoey Ziskind (Santa Barbara, Calif.) of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club / Santa Barbara Youth Sailing Foundation placed third. Barclay placed in the top five in seven of the eight races. The top four entries were separated by only six points. Barclay finished second overall in 2018 for the Bemis with Ella Beauregard.

"I was able to limit making mistakes, cue my boat speed up, and be as consistent as possible this week," explained Barclay. "I learned a lot this week from the coaches and the competitors, which is what I really like about this event. The event organizers were great with so many volunteers supporting the regatta."

The top three eligible athletes in the singlehanded fleet receive early acceptance to the 2021 U.S. Youth Sailing Championships coming up this October in Arapahoe, North Carolina.

U.S. Junior Doublehanded Championship for the Bemis Trophy - Club 420 (top three)

  1. Morgan Pinckney - 25pts
  2. Jacob Posner - 34pts
  3. Blake Behrens - 36pts
Morgan Pinckney (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Kennedy Leehealey (Newport Coast, Calif.) of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club took first place in the Bemis Trophy by nine points over Jacob Posner (Seattle, Wash.) and Peter Schnell (Portland, Ore.) of the Seattle Yacht Club. Pinckney and Leehealey finished in the top four in five of the eight races. Blake Behrens (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Richard Rychlik, Jr. (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club / NB4T finished third.

The win for Pinckney marks his second Chubb U.S. Junior Sailing Championship. He won the Bemis in 2019 with Nathan Sih.

"We have a lot of experience in this boat, having competed in this boat for four years, and Kennedy and I have been sailing together in high school for the last year and a half," said Pinckney. "Some of these teams are new to the circuit, so it seems like we had more experience than most teams."

"It's important to know when to play it conservative and when to take your gains," added Kennedy. "Everyone here had good races this week. It was our consistency that helped us most."

U.S. Junior Quadruplehanded Championship for the Sears Cup - RS21 (top three)

  1. Kyle Pfrang - 16pts
  2. Eden Nykamp - 17pts
  3. Peter Busch - 24pts
Kyle Pfrang (Suffolk, Va.), Parker Moore (Hampton, Va.), Pierce Brindley (Smithfield, Va.), and Dingkun Li (Chesapeake, Va.) of the Hampton Yacht Club edged Eden Nykamp (West Olive, Mich.), Lucas Nykamp (West Olive, Mich.), Alden Gort (Holland, Mich.), and Noah Robitshek (Traverse City, Mich.) of the Macatawa Bay Yacht Club / Traverse Area Community Sailing for the Sears Cup.

Peter Busch (San Diego, Calif.), Cam Spriggs (San Diego, Calif.), Peter Joslin (La Jolla, Calif.), and Kole Kammerer (San Diego, Calif.) of the San Diego Yacht Club finished the regatta in third place.

"Boat speed was the key to success for us this week," said Pfrang. "We focused on our trim and making sure we were powered up through the chop and transitioning between the light air stages and wavy stages. We were aiming to be at full speed at the start of each race."

Click here to the complete Final Standings.

For the sailors unaccustomed to the light breeze, locating the pressure on the first beat was key to their success. Sailors used this delay in racing to cool off and go for a swim while the Race Committee re-set the course.

Sportsmanship Awards:

  • Singlehanded - Faye Bennet Sportsmanship Award: Jack Carroll (Seattle, Wash.) of the Seattle Yacht Club
  • Doublehanded - Bemis Sportsmanship Award: Jacob Posner (Seattle, Wash.) and Peter Schnell (Portland, Ore.) of the Seattle Yacht Club
  • Quadruplehanded - Cox Sportsmanship Award: Chase Englehart (Lafayette, Calif.), Wesley Seifers (El Cerrito, Calif.), Elsa Simenstad (San Anselmo, Calif.), Charlotte Versavel (Palo Alto, Calif.) of the Richmond Yacht Club
Seamanship/Ship Shape Awards:
  • Singlehanded: Patrick Wahlig (Falmouth, Maine) of the Pleon Yacht Club
  • Doublehanded: Julius Heitkoetter (Austin, Texas) of the Austin Yacht Club
  • Quadruplehanded: Makani Andrews (Kanehe, Hawaii), Jaxon Hottinger (Kailua, Hawaii), Bryce Huntoon (Honolulu, Hawaii), Noe Velasco (Ewa Beach, Fla.) of the Hawaii Kai Boat Club / Kanehoe Yacht Club
Race organizers and the sailors came prepared for the heat and humidity this week. Sailors brought their own reusable water bottles and coach boats were stocked with water jugs with pump tops to help keep the sailors hydrated throughout the day.

The Eastern Yacht Club (EYC) played host to the 100th Anniversary of the Sears Cup this week, which was launched in 1921 and hosted by EYC 100 years ago.

Top young athletes from around the country were invited to Marblehead for this week's championships, featuring three days of racing in the waters outside of Marblehead Harbor in Massachusetts Bay. These highly-skilled young sailors tested themselves against their peers in single-, double-, and quadruplehanded competition.

Sailors competed regionally to earn an opportunity to race at this championship in one of three fleets. Competing sailors range in age between 13 and 18. Each Area was eligible to send at least one sailor/team to compete in each of the fleets for the 2021 event.

Sailors are took part in onshore and on-water clinics with a collection of top coaches from around the country on Tuesday, August 10 to hone their skills and acclimate themselves to the racing conditions and the boats.

Rich Wilson, a two-time Vendee Globe finisher who has set multiple intercontinental speed records gave a presentation to the sailors. Wilson promoted blue water racing, a mission of his Collegiate Offshore Sailing Circuit.

Many of the teams racing this week took a trip to historic Fenway Park in Boston to watch the Red Sox host the Tampa Bay Rays.

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