Portsmouth, R.I. (February 27, 2014) – US Sailing, the national governing body for the sport, has named forty-two Olympic and Paralympic class athletes to the 2014 US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. The national team is selected annually and is comprised of the top sailors competing in the events selected for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Olympic class athletes qualified for the team at their 2013 class world championships and at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami in early February 2014. Paralympic class athletes qualified during ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami. US Sailing provides the members of the 2014 US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider with financial, logistical, coaching, technical, fitness, marketing and communications support.
"As we build towards The Games in 2016, we are pleased to announce the members of the 2014 team, and are focused on supporting our athletes to the highest degree possible," said Josh Adams, Managing Director of US Olympic Sailing. "This is a critical year of the Olympic Quadrennium, culminating in the Rio Olympic Test Event and the ISAF Combined World Championships in Santander, Spain."
The members of the 2014 US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider (listed by class):
Meet the Team:
Two-time men's 470 Olympian Stuart McNay (Providence, R.I.) enjoyed a strong first full year with David Hughes (Miami, Fla.) to kick off their 2016 campaign. A 6th place finish at the tough 470 Class World Championships in La Rochelle, France, set the tone for this new but experienced team, and they have their sights set higher for 2014. McNay and Hughes have continued to look fast, winning bronze at the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami. Returning to join them on the team are college sailing standouts Jordan Factor (Burlington, Vt.) and Matthew Wefer (Glen Head, N.Y.).
Laser Radial athlete and ISAF Rolex World Sailor and Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year (’06) Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) won bronze at the 2013 Worlds in Rizhao, China, and achieved the impressive feat of medaling at each of her events during the past year. Railey also started out 2014 strong by winning ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami for the second year running. Laser Radial Youth World Champion Erika Reineke is back on the team, after winning yet another ICSA (Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association) Singlehanded national championship as a sophomore for Boston College.
2012 Olympian Farrah Hall (Annapolis, Md.) enjoyed a career-best season of international results in 2013 and returns to the team in the RS:X, bringing years of high-level experience to the table. Marion Lepert (Belmont, Calif.) finished an impressive 4th at the ISAF Youth Worlds in 2013, and looks to continue her rapid ascent to the highest levels of windsurfing. On the men's side, Carson Crain (Houston, Texas) is back for a second year, after graduating from the US Sailing Development Team (USSDT) in 2013. He's joined by newcomer Jonathan Rudich (Clearwater, Fla.).
Two-time College Sailor of the Year Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) leads US athletes in the Laser class along with junior sailing, high school and college teammate (and fellow College Sailor of the Year) Chris Barnard (Newport Beach, Calif.). The men’s singlehanded heavyweight class, the Finn, will be manned this year by Caleb Paine (San Diego, Calif.) and John F. Dane (Pass Christian, Miss.), who is joining the team for the first time. Dane follows in the footsteps of his father and namesake, who was a 2008 Olympian in the Star class.
With the help of team partners Oakcliff Sailing, the US has built up one of the largest domestic fleets of 49er skiffs, 49erFX skiffs and Nacra 17 multihulls in the world. Representing the 49er in 2014 will be Fred Strammer (Nakomis, Fla.) and Zach Brown (San Francisco/San Diego, Calif.) who were the top American boat at the 2013 Worlds. Joining them is former Laser ace Brad Funk (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Trevor Burd (Marblehead, Mass.) who began 2014 by winning silver at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami. On the women's side in the 49erFX, Kristen Lane (San Francisco, Calif.) has moved up from the USSDT, joined by Open and Women's US Match Racing National Champion Maggie Shea (Chicago, Ill.). Genny Tulloch (San Francisco, Calif.), another Match Racing National Champion, who campaigned in the Elliot 6m class for 2012, has taken the plunge into the skiff world and will sail with Kathleen Tocke (Buffalo, N.Y./Newport, R.I). In the Nacra 17, an all-Florida group is led by North American Champions Sarah Newberry (Miami Fla.) and John Casey (Longwood, Fla.), together with multihull veteran Robbie Daniel (Clearwater, Fla.) and crew Catherine Shanahan (St. Petersburg, Fla.).
2013 was a breakout year for the women's 470 team of 2011 ICSA Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.). The pair made the podium at ISAF World Cup Events in Miami (USA) and Palma (Spain), and the 2013 Delta Lloyd Regatta (The Netherlands). Firmly established as contenders in this fleet, they will look for further improvement in 2014. Joining them will be 2012 ICSA Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year Sydney Bolger (Long Beach, Calif.) and crew Carly Shevitz (Santa Barbara, Calif.), a senior at the College of Charleston.
In the 2.4mR Paralympic class, former Marine Danny Evans (Miami, Fla.) returns with 2013 teammate Charlie Rosenfield (Woodstock, Ct.). In the triple-handed Sonar, 16-year US Sailing Team veteran Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.) leads a team of Tim Angle (Reading, Mass.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine), who took bronze at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2014. Sperry Top-Sider St. Petersburg NOOD winners Andy Fisher (Greenwich, Conn.) and Bradley Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.) join them on the Sonar squad. In the SKUD-18 double-handed Paralympic class, the new team of Ryan Porteous (Pacific Beach, Fla.) and Cindy Walker (Plymouth, Mass.) burst onto the scene in 2013 by making the podium at the C. Thomas Clagett Memorial Regatta in Newport, ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2014, and taking an impressive 4th place at the IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championships in Ireland. They are joined by veteran Sarah Everhart Skeels (Tiverton, R.I.) and Gerry Tiernan (Falmouth, Maine)
For more information on selection:
About the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider
The US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. The top boats in each Olympic and Paralympic class are selected annually to be members of the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. US Sailing helps these elite athletes with with financial, logistical, coaching, technical, fitness, marketing and communications support. The title sponsor of the team is Sperry Top-Sider; other sponsors include Harken and Team McLube. Yale Cordage is a team supplier. The US Sailing Center Miami is an Olympic training site. Oakcliff Sailing and Clearwater Community Sailing Center are US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider training centers. Chubb Personal Insurance sponsors US Sailing's National Team Tour, a nationwide presentation program for US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider athletes.
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org
Published on Jan 27, 2014
Returning to stage three years after her first TEDx talk, Sarah will share how this event inspired her to pursue the United States' Olympic Development Team.
Day 6, Final Report - ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami
Daily Summary: Medal Race Day at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami brought with it added pressure, close racing, and a renewed breeze that was a welcome sight to all competitors. The US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider added to its medal haul with a gold in the Laser Radial, silver in the 49er, and bronze in the men's 470. Combined with bronze medals in the Sonar and SKUD-18 Paralympic classes, this year's event was a strong one for the US national team.
Laser Radial (Women): Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) continued her dominance on Biscayne Bay, winning the event for the second year in a row. Railey led the regatta from day one, and demonstrated remarkable consistency in the light, tricky conditions. Railey was quick to credit race officers for running a high-quality event, despite frequent challenges. "I think the race committee does a great job here every year. We have great courses set, and they do a good job of working with the conditions we're given." The Florida native also received the US Sailing Golden Torch Trophy, awarded to the U.S. sailor with the best overall performance at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami.
For Railey, a Laser Radial World Champion and US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, winning in home waters never gets old. "This event is always nice because it's here, in our own country, and so I'm proud to keep the trophy here for all of US Sailing."
Final US Standings: Paige Railey (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 1st, Erika Reineke (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 9th, Christine Neville (US Sailing Development Team) 12th, Hanne Weaver 15th, Dana Rohde (US Sailing Development Team) 23rd, Riley Legault 29th, Claire Dennis (US Sailing Development Team) 31st.
49er (Men): Brad Funk (Miami, Fla.) and Trevor Burd (Marblehead, Mass.) impressed many in the 49er fleet by making it onto the podium in their first major international event as a team."I can't say we expected to be here quite so soon," said Burd, while noting that this is just the beginning of a challenging journey towards possible 2016 U.S. Olympic Team selection. "We've been working pretty hard, and we were happy with how our speed was progressing, but we've got a long way to go. It means a lot to me to be on the US Sailing team Sperry Top-Sider. Representing the country is huge. We're here because we're Americans, and we want to go to The Games to represent the USA."
For Funk, a veteran campaigner who has competed extensively in the Laser dinghy, jumping into the 49er skiff has opened up new doors. "It's a completely different project for me. This is a whole new fun and exciting mountain to climb, I'm blessed to be sailing with Trevor, and it looks like we've got a bright future in the boat."
Final US Standings: Brad Funk and Trevor Burd (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 2nd, Trevor Moore and Zach Brown (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 13th, Thomas Barrows and Joe Morris 20th.
470 (Men): Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) came into the final day leading the regatta, but a medal race finish of 9th meant that in the end it would be a bronze medal for this experienced team. "We were fast all week, we just didn't sail well today," said Hughes. Nevertheless, a podium finish in a deep and talented Men's 470 fleet is a terrific start to 2014 for the pair. Like the rest of the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider, McNay and Hughes will look to peak at the 2014 ISAF Combined World Championships in Santander, Spain.
Final US Standings: Stu McNay and Dave Hughes (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 3rd, Adam Roberts and Erik Storck 19th, Wade Waddell and Henry Fernberger (US Sailing Development Team) 21st, Jordan factor and Matt Wefer (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 24th.
470 (Women): Final US Standings: Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 5th, Sydney Bolger and Carly Shevitz (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 9th.
Finn (Men), Final US Standings: Luke Lawrence 6th, Caleb Paine (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 12th, John F. Dane 17th, Henry Sprague 19th, Gordon Lamphere (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 21st.
Laser (Men), Final US Standings: Charlie Buckingham (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 7th, Chris Barnard 12th, Erik Bowers 19th, Greg Martinez 28th, Luke Muller 31st, Derick Vranizan (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 32nd.
2.4mR (Mixed), Final US Standings: Danny Evans (US Sa iling Team Sperry Top-Sider) 8th, Charlie Rosenfield (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 11th, Ted Green 12th.
Nacra 17 (Mixed) Final US Standings: Robbie Daniel and Catherine Shanahan (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 12th, Sarah Newberry and John Casey (US Sailing Development Team) 13th, Taylor Reiss and Sarah Lihan (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 21st, Steph Hudson and Dave Hein (US Sailing Development Team) 22nd.
49erFX (Women), Final US Standings: Kristen Lane and Maggie Shea (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 22nd, Genny Tulloch and Kathleen Tocke 23rd, Paris Henken and Helena Scutt (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 24th, Debbie Capozzi and Molly Vandemoer (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 29th.
Sonar (Mixed), Final US Standings: Rick Doerr, Tim Angle and Hugh Freund (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 3rd, Andrew Fisher, Kieth Burhans and Brad Johnson (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 5th.
RS:X (Men) Final US Standings: Carson Crain (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 14th, Jonathan Rudich 15th , Raul Lopez (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 16th .
RS:X (Women), Final US Standings: Farrah Hall 8th, Marion Lepert (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 12th , Solvig Sayre 14th.
SKUD-18 (Mixed), Final US Standings: Ryan Porteous and Cindy Walker (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 3rd, Sarah Everhart Skeels and Gerry Tiernan (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 4th.
Full final standings: http://bit.ly/1fnNhPJ
More interviews with US athletes: https://soundcloud.com/ussailingteam
ISAF Sailing World Cup Day 6 Event Report: http://bit.ly/1gCm3rz
More video: www.youtube.com/ussailingteam
Day 4 - ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami
Daily Summary: Wind finally returned to Biscayne bay, an event that coincided with American sailors enjoying a strong day of racing. The top US athletes in each class improved their overall standing in the 49er, 49erFX, Laser, 2.4mR, Nacra 17, RS:X Men, and 470 Men, where US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider athletes Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) moved into 1st overall. Americans held their spot in the SKUD-18, 470 Women and Laser Radial, where the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider's Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) continues to lead the regatta.
Laser Radial (Women): Paige Railey hung onto her lead in this large and deep fleet, despite conditions that were especially difficult to read. "The clouds were changing the wind every single leg we sailed, and you never knew what it was going to be like at the top [of the course]," said Railey. The defending champion, Railey indicated that she wasn't going to get ahead of herself, and worry about results. "You've got to keep focused on the here and now, keep working on the objective you set, and to not worry about winning. Tomorrow, it's just one race at a time."
US Standings: Paige Railey (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 1st, Erika Reineke (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 9th, Christine Neville (US Sailing Development Team) 12th, Hanne Weaver 15th, Dana Rohde (US Sailing Development Team) 23rd, Riley Legault 29th, Claire Dennis (US Sailing Development Team) 31st.
470 (Men): Day 4 marked a terrific effort for new regatta leaders Stu McNay and Dave Hughes, who jumped from 3rd overall to 1st after recording a scoreline of 5,1,1. For these two, the secret seems to be focusing on the pure fun of racing 470s. "We went out there and told ourselves that we need to continue having fun, and remember how lucky we are to be on the water every day," said the always low-key skipper McNay. "That seems to do the trick, and relaxes us well."
The second-ranked US boat so far, Adam Roberts (San Francisco, Calif.) and Erik Storck (San Francisco, Calif.), have been enjoying themselves as well, showing competitive speed despite limited time training together. "The pieces kind of fell into place," said Roberts of their pairing. "We started doing the weekend warrior lifestyle. We went out for a few practices, came out here [for the event], and potentially [will do] more, but it's been great." Storck, who spent seven years training hard in a 49er skiff, and represented the United States at the London 2012 Olympic Games, said that he still had much to learn about the 470. "The [hardest] thing so far for me has been learning to get my head out of the boat. The speeds and angles are different, but it's coming together."
US Standings: Stu McNay and Dave Hughes (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 1st, Adam Roberts and Erik Storck 19th, Wade Waddell and Henry Fernberger (US Sailing Development Team) 21st, Jordan factor and Matt Wefer (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 24th.
49er (Men): Brad Funk (Miami, Fla.) and Trevor Burd (Marblehead, Mass.) won their first World Cup race as a team, and continue to improve. "It's been tough to stay consistent with the conditions we've seen, and with such a talented fleet, so we've just focused on what we can control: making sure our pre-race plan is solid and boat is set up right," explained Burd. "We've avoided getting caught up in packs of boats as much as possible, and just tried to keep the boat moving fast."
US Standings: Brad Funk and Trevor Burd (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 5th, Trevor Moore and Zach Brown (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 12th, Thomas Barrows and Joe Morris 24th.
470 (Women), US Standings: Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 4th, Sydney Bolger and Carly Shevitz (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 9th.
Finn (Men), US Standings: Luke Lawrence 8th, Caleb Paine (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 12th, John F. Dane 17th, Henry Sprague 19th, Gordon Lamphere (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 21st.
Laser (Men), US Standings: Charlie Buckingham (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 7th, Chris Barnard 12th, Erik Bowers 19th, Greg Martinez 28th, Luke Muller 31st, Derick Vranizan (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 32nd.
2.4mR (Mixed), US Standings: Danny Evans (US Sa iling Team Sperry Top-Sider) 8th, Charlie Rosenfield (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 11th, Ted Green 12th.
Nacra 17 (Mixed) US Standings: Robbie Daniel and Catherine Shanahan (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 12th, Sarah Newberry and John Casey (US Sailing Development Team) 13th, Taylor Reiss and Sarah Lihan (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 21st, Steph Hudson and Dave Hein (US Sailing Development Team) 22nd.
49erFX (Women), US Standings: Kristen Lane and Maggie Shea (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 18th, Paris Henken and Helena Scutt (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 21st , Genny Tulloch and Kathleen Tocke 24th, Debbie Capozzi and Molly Vandemoer (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 29th.
Sonar (Mixed): Rick Doerr, Tim Angle and Hugh Freund (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 3rd, Andrew Fisher, Kieth Burhans and Brad Johnson (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 5th.
RS:X (Men) US Standings: Carson Crain (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 14th, Jonathan Rudich 15th , Raul Lopez (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 16th .
RS:X (Women), US Standings: Farrah Hall 7th, Marion Lepert (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 12th , Solvig Sayre 14th.
SKUD-18 (Mixed), US Standings: Ryan Porteous and Cindy Walker (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 3rd, Sarah Everhart Skeels and Gerry Tiernan (US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider) 4th.
Full standings: http://bit.ly/1fnNhPJ
For Day 4 interviews with US athletes Paige Railey (Laser Radial), Stu McNay (470), Adam Roberts (470) and Erik Storck (470) visit our SoundCloud Channel: https://soundcloud.com/ussailingteam
ISAF Sailing World Cup Day 4 Report: http://bit.ly/1bbndpi
Photos: Samples attached. More can be found here: http://bit.ly/1hOkh3d (Press: email Will Ricketson for password, contact info below)
About US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider
Day 2 - ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami
Daily Summary: Light air returned to Miami, and forced delays of racing in all classes on Day 2. However, American athletes still delivered strong performances in the tricky conditions, and are in the top five overall in seven of thirteen classes, and are in the top ten in ten classes.
Laser Radial (Women): With three athletes in the top ten overall, the American Radial contingent continues to look strong. Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) maintained her dominant form from Day 1, and notched another 2nd. Railey remains in 1st overall. Hanne Weaver (Gig Harbor, Wash.) finished 28th in today's race, but is still lying in 6th overall. 2013 US Junior Singlehanded Women's Champion Dana Rohde (Richmond Hill, Ga.) finished 7th, and now finds herself in 8th overall.
470 (Men): Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) continued their consistent performance in the men's 470 fleet by scoring yet another top finish, this time a 4th. An impressive scoreline of 2,2,4 put them in 3rd overall.
Finn (Men): Luke Lawrence (Palm City, Fla.) didn't ease up pressure on the top end of the Finn fleet, and scored his best finish of the event, a 2nd, which places him in 3rd overall. "My expectation, honestly, was just to get out here and see how my boat speed compared with the rest of the world," Lawrence noted. When asked about possible roots of his strong showing so far, Lawrence paid tribute to the camaraderie in the US Finn fleet. "I Love the Finn class, because the Masters guys who have been in it forever have a strong support group to build and generate the junior sailors coming up."
Laser (Men): Derick Vranizan (Shoreline, Wash.) had no trouble addressing a difficult tactical situation on the Laser course, and led all Americans with a 3rd place finish in the sole race of the day. "It was really just a matter of keeping the boat moving, and looking for pressure all day long," said Vranizan. He now finds himself in 26th, and the battle for a roster spot on the 2014 US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider promises to be intense in this class. Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) was close behind Vranizan in 9th, and is now lying in 13th overall after his first race score on Day 1 was wiped out by a U flag penalty.
2.4mR (Mixed): Danny Evans (Miami, Fla.) came out focused after a challenging first day, and scored a 5th place finish in race 3. This moved Evans into the top 10, and he now sits in 9th overall.
49er (Men): "Team Funky Burd," the personable team of Brad Funk (Miami, Fla.) and Trevor Burd (Marblehead, Mass.) continued their strong showing despite the light and tricky conditions. By scoring another 13th, they stayed in the hunt for the podium and are in 6th overall.
Sonar (Mixed): Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.), Tim Angle (Reading, Mass.) and Hugh Freund (Brookline, Mass.) continue to lead the fleet after scoring a 5th in the sole race held today. Despite being called OCS at the start, and with few passing lanes available in the light conditions, the veteran team managed to work their way nearly halfway back up the fleet. "We actually had a bit too much speed [at the start], getting over the line by about a quarter length," said Freund. "We managed to make a pretty good move at the leeward gate, and get back in the hunt."
For Day 2 interviews with US athletes Luke Lawrence (Finn), Derick Vranizan (Laser), Joe Morris (49er), Hugh Freund (Sonar) and Sarah Everhart-Skeels (SKUD-18), visit our SoundCloud Channel: https://soundcloud.com/ussailingteam
ISAF Sailing World Cup Team Photo Gallery: http://on.fb.me/1d6YX4s
ISAF Sailing World Cup Day 2 Report: http://bit.ly/1hL5JRQ
About US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider
Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta Finishes Strong Despite Weather
MIAMI, FL (December 31, 2013) - Young sailors from around the globe traveled to South Florida for the 68th Annual Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta (OBIYR), which took place on Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove this past weekend. The four day sailing event from December 27th through December 30th took place amid soggy conditions but went off without a hitch.
One of the largest dinghy regattas for sailors ages eight to 18 in the world, the OBIYR was held at the Coral Reef Yacht Club (CRYC) in Coconut Grove, with support from the U.S. Sailing Center Miami, Lauderdale Yacht Club, Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and Shake-A-Leg Miami. This year’s event boasted 689 competitors from 27 states and 23 countries - the farthest being the Czech Republic.
The four days of competition featured several types of vessels: Optimists, Lasers (Full, Radial, and 4.7), and Club 420s. Platinum sponsors for the event included: the Orange Bowl Committee, McLaughlin, Sperry Top-Sider, and KO Sailing. Awards were distributed to the top sailors in each vessel category by government officials, Orange Bowl Committee leaders and Olympians including Magnus Liljedahl, a former U.S gold medalist who presented this year’s Magnus Liljedahl Sportsmanship Award. This year’s top local Opti sailor, Ivan Shestopalov from Coral Reef Yacht Club, was presented with a trophy sponsored by the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District.
Awards recipients in each category are as follows:
Optimist White Fleet (1st Place- Mia Nicolosi from St. Thomas Yacht Club; 2nd Place -Bella Casaretto from Lauderdale Yacht Club; 3rd Place- Chapman Petersen from SailStrong Youth Racing/Lake Geneva Yacht Club; 4th Place – Clark Samuel from Key Biscayne Yacht Club; 5th Place – Justin Callahan from Coral Reef Yacht Club; 6th Place – Lars Kunath from CCSP/LISOT; 7thPlace – Jake Mayol from Southern California/Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club; 8th Place – Mitchell Callahan from Coral Reef Yacht Club; 9th Place - Liam O’Keefe from Coral Reef Yacht Club; and 10th Place – Abby Childerley from RSYC).
Optimist Blue Fleet (1st Place Dylan Ascencios from Lakewood Yacht Club; 2nd Place – Luke Arnone from CERT; 3rd Place – Shelley Ripley from Coral Reef Yacht Club; 4th Place – Fabian Magnusson from ROSS; 5th Place – Zane Rogers from Lakewood Yacht Club; 6th Place – Simon Gomez from Columbia; 7th Place – Rayne Duff from Caribbean Mix/Royal BVI Yacht Club; 8thPlace – Thomas Hill from LISOT; 9th Place – Luca Contessi from CNMP; and 10th Place – Stefano Viale from Lima Peru).
Optimist Red Fleet (1st Place – Ivan Shestopalov from Coral Reef Yacht Club; 2nd Place – Ian Moran from Coral Reef Yacht Club/Edgewater Yacht Club; 3rd Place – Santiago Duncan from Club de Velas Rosario; 4th Place – Thomas Rice from SailStrong/Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club; 5th Place – J.C. Hermus from Sail Strong; 6th Place – Teddy Nicolosi from St. Thomas Yacht Club; 7th Place – Matt Logue from Riverside Yacht Club/LISOT; 8th Place – Shane Riera from Coral Reef Yacht Club; 9th Place – Cameron Giblin from LISOT/SSYC; and 10th Place – Jacob Ahlers from MSC).
Optimist Overall - Red, White and Blue Fleets (1st Place – Ivan Shestopalov from Coral Reef Yacht Club; Ian Moran from Coral Reef Yacht Club; 3rd Place – Santiago Duncan from Club de Velas Rosario; 4th Place – Thomas Rice from SailStrong/Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club; 5th Place – J.C. Hermus from Sail Strong; 6th Place – Teddy Nicolosi from St. Thomas Yacht Club; 7th Place – Matt Logue from Riverside Yacht Club/LISOT; 8th Place – Shane Riera from Coral Reef Yacht Club; 9th Place – Cameron Giblin from LISOT/SSYC; and 10th Place – Dylan Ascencios from Lakewood Yacht Club).
Top Overall Female Sailor: Olivia Belda from CCSP/LISOT
Optimist Green Fleet: (1st Place – Javier Garcon – Key Biscayne Yacht Club; 2nd Place – Griffin Clark from Key Biscayne Yacht Club; 3rd Place – Stephan Baker from Coral Reef Yacht Club; 4th Pace – Emily Mueller from Key Biscayne Yacht Club; 5th Place – Peter Joslin from Southern California/Balboa Yacht Club; 6th Place – Scott Mueller from Lakewood Yacht Club; 7th Place – John Franco from Lakewood Yacht Club; 8th Place – Charles Allen from Cayman Island Yacht Club; 9th Place – Jacques Rive form Coconut Grove Sailing Club, and 10th Place – Monique Hernandez from Cayman Island Yacht Club).
420 Top Ten Finishers (1st Place Skipper - Gabriel Elstrodt/Crew - Philipp Essle from YCSA Brazil; 2nd Place Skipper - Scott Sinks/Crew - Rebecca McElvain from San Diego Yacht Club; 3rd Place Skipper – Campbell D’ Eliscu/Crew – Katie Calder from Newport Harbour Yacht Club; 4th Place Skipper – Matthew Kaplan/Crew- Sean Walsh from Larchmont Yacht Club/American Yacht Club/LISOT; 5th Place Skipper – Martina Sly/Crew – Jamie Craven from Coral Reef Yacht Club; 6th Place Skipper – Augie Dale/Crew – Macey Ann McCann from LISOT/Pewaukee Yacht Club/Texas Corinthian Yacht Club; 7th Place Skipper - Andy Reiter/Crew – Charlie Miller from SDYC; 8th Place Skipper – Ty Ingram/Crew- John Sipp from LISOT/Larchmont Yacht Club; 9thPlace Skipper – Rose Edwards/Crew- Katherine Jones from Chicago Yacht Club; and 10th Place Skipper – Thomas Walden/Crew – William Hundahl from St. Thomas Yacht Club).
Top All Girl Team: Skipper - Rose Edwards and Crew - Katherine Jones from Chicago Yacht Club.
Laser 4.7: (1st Place - Skipper Alexander Boite from S.R. Havre; 2nd Place - Skipper Pablo Berttran from Cayman Islands Sailing Club; 3rd Place - Skipper Gage Wilson from Edison Sailing Center; 4th Place – Skipper Paige Clarke from DWST/St. Thomas Yacht Club; and 5th Place – Skipper Abigail Affoo from Trinidad and Tobago Yacht and Sailing Club and Sailing Association).
Laser Full: (1st Place – Skipper Erik Weis from Lauderdale Yacht Club; 2nd Place- Skipper Richard Didham from San Diego Yacht Club; 3rd Place – Skipper Clay Broussard from Lakewood Yacht Club; 4th Place – Skipper Matt Long from Santa Barbara/Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club; and 5th Place – Skipper Thomson Butcher from C-Vane/Texas Corinthian Yacht Club).
Laser Radial: (1st Place – Skipper Luke Muller from Lauderdale Yacht Club; 2nd Place – Skipper William Marshall from FAST Sailing Foundation; 3rd Place – Skipper Malcolm Lamphere from C-Vane Sailing Team/Lake Geneva Yacht Club/Chicago Yacht Club/Lake Forest Sailing; 4th Place – Skipper Andrew Puopolo from Marsh Creek Sailing Club; 5th Place – Skipper Addison Hackstaff from St. Petersburg Yacht Club; 6th Place – Skipper Haddon Huges from TCYC; 7th Place – Skipper Henry Marshall from FAST Sailing Foundation; 8th Place – Skipper Jack Marshall from FAST Sailing Foundation; 9th Place – Skipper Nic Baird from St. Petersburg Yacht Club; and 10th Place – Skipper Colin Brego from St. John).
Laser Radial Female: (1st Place – Skipper Haddon Hughes from TCYC; 2nd Place – Skipper Dana Rohde from Lauderdale Yacht Club, Beaufort Yacht and Sailing; 3rd Place – Skipper Lindsey Baab from San Francisco Yacht Club/St. Francis Yacht Club; 4thPlace – Skipper Riley Legault from LYC; and 5th Place – Skipper Sophia Reineke from Lauderdale Yacht Club).
Staging for the four day regatta took place at several locations including the CRYC, Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, U.S. Sailing Center Miami, and Shake-A-Leg Miami. For more information or to view video and photos from the event, please visit www.coralreefyachtclub.org.
A chat with the 2012 Orange Bowl winning skipper for the Club 420 Class, Will La Dow from San Diego, CA.
In this edition of Clever Pig's Sailor Spotlight, Chris Love talks to Thomas Rice, an Opti sailor from New York, about his training on SailStrong Youth Racing in preparation for the 2013 Orange Bowl International Youth Sailing Regatta.
Off-Season Regatta Prep
Making the most of your midwinter regattas
By Russ O'Reilly
Heading down to Florida for some winter club 420 sailing? For many sailors the Orange Bowl Regatta and Club 420 Midwinters are a great opportunity to get some sun and warm weather in the cold months but trapeze and spinnaker-style sailing isn’t what they’ve been focusing on since the summer season. Here are a few tips to make sure you and your teammate can make the most out of the experience:
Russ O’Reilly is in his 5th year as head coach for SUNY Maritime. He graduated from College of Charleston in 2007 where he was a two-time All American.
[420 photo courtesy of Coral Reef Yacht Club]
Heading South for the Winter
A sailing director from the North goes South to the Orange Bowl
By Kurt Thomsen
As the Sailing Director for the Columbia Yacht Club in Chicago, one of the biggest challenges I face every winter is getting my team ready to compete down south in Florida. Below, is a brief description of what it takes to prepare for and execute a successful trip, from coaching suggestions, to the actual logistics of transporting a team and their equipment across the country.
We are constantly battling to keep athletes interested in sailing, especially during the winter months. Competing across the country in a place like Florida when temperatures in Chicago are below zero degrees is a great way to keep kids engaged.
High school sailing is growing in Chicago; most of our kids who compete in the Orange Bowl or one of the other mid-winter events have been competing throughout the fall. Opti’s and Lasers have some changes, long courses and big fleet tactics. 420 sailors have to get back into spinnaker and trap mode most importantly they have to get in sync with a new partner that usually differs from their high school teammate. With high school sailing ending in Mid-November, school commitments, and maybe even a burnt out sailor, before you travel to Florida to compete you have to know there is not enough time to do everything you want to do in preparation.
If you are lucky enough to have the same coach with your kids throughout the year, they should be able to come up with a plan of the most important areas of the athletes “game” to work on over the winter. Athletes need a high level of self awareness and humility in order for this process to be most effective. Some athletes might find this process to be difficult, having a constructive conversation were you give positive feedback as well as some negative, then receive the same, is the only way to make sure you are on the same page before and during the event. The process is as important for Opti and Laser sailors but they are being critical of themselves not a partner. The trip is an undertaking for everyone involved so it is vital to make sure the athlete, coach, and parent all share the same expectations.
I like to have a goals conversation when we start planning the trip in August. I will plan out practices at the end of high school sailing season (maybe some mixed throughout the season if able) with drills working on the plan that came out of this talk. With the weather getting worse the later we go, we are quickly down to half day practices before the cold becomes unsafe, so we are really trying to focus on the discussed goals and plan. After the fall, as we prepare to head to Florida, as well as the day before the event starts, we will once again check in on goals and expectations.
It is important to get to the event with enough time to be in the boat and sailing before the race starts. If you have the time to run a full practice that is an added bonus, but at the very least you want to get in the boat and sail to knock off some of the rust and start working together as a team.
There are now training camps run by some of the top coaches in the country becoming available before winter events. If you have the time and money, I would strongly recommend taking advantage of these unique coaching opportunities. If you are like most sailors, this might be out of reach financially; which is OK considering that the experience of the actual event is the most important part. Parents and coaches alike want to give their athletes as much as they can for a price that is reasonable. It should be noted that scholarships are available, but you have to invest considerable time to look and apply for them.
The cost for chartering boats and hiring coaches for winter events adds up quickly. If you spend the money and hire a new coach, there are a couple things you should consider as there is no shortage when it comes to great sailors willing to coach at these events. How many kids will they be coaching at the event? There is no way to actively coach a single sailor when you are trying to spot them in a crowd of 80 boats a half mile away and you have to keep track of the 10+ others. While this situation may be necessary to ease the financial burden of the trip amongst a large group, it is not acceptable for coaches charging upwards of $200 per day. What is the skill level of the group being coached? As a coach, you pick a side of the course to head up and try to stay in line with your sailors, it helps if they are on the same skill level. They more they spread out, the harder it is to watch them all.
If your club is unable to bring its own trailer, try to find a trailer headed that way with another club or family. If you are the group bringing the trailer, reach out to others in your area to help fill the space. Splitting cost is the most cost effective way to get equipment to events, even by bartering with other clubs or groups. We are very fortunate in Chicago to have a few good sized programs in a small area, all of which work very well with each other and are happy to contribute. We all regularly put boats on each other’s trailers for these trips, as well as help with coaching.
One of the qualities that make our sport differ from all others is the sense of community, if you are trying to sail during the winter months, someone in this community will help you succeed in doing so, do not be shy about reaching out for advice and support.
Capt. Kurt Thomsen is the Sailing Director at Columbia Yacht Club, Chicago. He is a US Sailing Level 1 Instructor Trainer, Keelboat and Powerboat instructor.
[420 photo courtesy of Coral Reef Yacht Club
Trailer photo from Columbia Sailing on Facebook]
In this edition of Clever Pig's Sailor Spotlight, Chris Love talks to Elena Vandenberg, the Annapolis based Club 420 skipper who has been on a tear lately on the youth sailing circuit.
Preparing for the Optimist RWB Fleet at Orange Bowl
In particular, for sailors who have been out of the boat for some time
By Peter Strong
The 300 or so Opti sailors at Orange Bowl are made up of a whole range of sailors, from the world championship level to the sailors for whom this will be their first big travel event. No matter their level, however, many of these sailors have not been training consistently nor gone to a big regatta in the last couple months. You might be doing a clinic pre-Orange Bowl or just a short training on December 26th before the regatta starts and you want to focus on the two or three things that are going to help you have a productive regatta. At a 3 or 4 day clinic, coaches are going to cover a lot of ground, and a half or full day before a regatta is tough to shake all the cobwebs. What should you focus on?
Boat handling and decision making during the start sequence seem to be the major killers for rusty or inexperienced Opti sailors at Orange Bowl. If you have not been around a big fleet for some time, it often has you feeling a bit timid or overwhelmed. There are strategic things that you can work on with your coach at the event to help you get off the line, but there are a few boat handling techniques you can work on in practice to get you warmed up.
Acceleration drills. You will probably do a lot of rabbit starts in your practices, but ask your coaches if you could do some line-ups instead, to work on getting your boat moving in a tight group. All the boats line up bow even and work out some type of timed acceleration with your coach or training partners. On the first couple you want to give plenty of space between boats, but as you are having success getting up to speed, reduce the space between boats, making it harder to accelerate.
Time and distance, line sights, etc.: If you haven’t been in the boat for a while, your brain probably needs some retraining with how things work around the starting line. Make sure you have a good feel for how long it takes to get up to speed and how long it takes to get to the line from different spots. Put yourself in the middle of a long line and see if you can get yourself on it in a simulated start.
If the opportunity arises, try to get your team together with other groups so you can get in at least a couple of starts with a few more boats on the line.This will make life a lot easier going into the first race of the regatta.
Obviously there is a lot more to an event like this, but if you haven’t been practicing for a while or if this is one of your first big events, improving your starts, especially your boat handling and control, will go a long way to having a better event.
Sail fast and have fun.
Peter Strong has coached Optis since 2006 and worked with the USODA and the US National Team. He founded SailStrong, a youth racing program represented by 25 sailors at Orange Bowl this year. Find out more at sailstrong.net.
[Opti photo courtesy of Coral Reef Yacht Club]
PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (December 12, 2013) – The time is now for the hundreds of talented young sailors around the country to start looking ahead to the 2014 U.S. Youth Championships. US Sailing has determined the selection process for next year’s premiere youth racing regatta in the United States. This US Sailing Youth Championship regatta will be hosted by the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club (Mich.) on August 10-14. The seven classes participating in the 2014 championship include the Laser, Radial, Club 420, 29er, International 420, Formula 16, and RS:X.
Invitations will be issued to U.S. Youth Championships applicants using one of two criteria: The resume review process currently in place or a new, early acceptance process determined by a sailor's placement at designated national and regional events. US Sailing has collaborated with the class organizations to determine these events. Sailors who finish within the prescribed placing at selected events will be automatically invited to participate, provided their 2014 U.S. Youth Championships application is completed by the due date on the U.S. Youth Championship Notice of Race, which will be posted in January. All invitation events will occur between January 1 and June 20, 2014. Approximately half the total number of places available to sailors at the U.S. Youth Championships may be allocated using this method. Any places left unfilled will go in to the pool of places available to sailors applying by resume.
Sailors invited to participate through designated events, must also meet three eligibility criteria:
Sailors may also apply for invitation to the 2014 U.S. Youth Championships by submitting a resume in January. Learn more about the selection process and criteria for the 2014 U.S. Youth Championships.
The 2014 U.S. Youth Championships is sponsored by Sperry Top-Sider and Gill North America.
MIAMI, FL (December 10, 2013) - Young sailors from around the globe are preparing to travel to South Florida for the Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta (OBIYR). This event from Dec. 26-30 on Biscayne Bay is the largest youth regatta in the U.S. and a boon to the South Florida economy.
One of the largest dinghy regattas for sailors ages eight to 18 in the world, the OBIYR will be held at the Coral Reef Yacht Club (CRYC) in Coconut Grove, with support from the U.S. Sailing Center Miami, Lauderdale Yacht Club, Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and Shake-A-Leg Miami. This year’s event boasts 689 competitors from 27 states and 23 countries - the farthest being the Czech Republic.
“The Coral Reef Yacht Club is proud to be involved in this premier event, which provides up-and-coming sailors with an opportunity to race competitively and become more active within the sailing community,” said OBIYG Chair Henry Chau. “Besides the excitement of the regatta, more than half of the sailors and their families come from outside of South Florida and spend an average of 5-6 nights here, which helps support our local economy in the form of hotel nights, food, transportation, and retail sales.”
The four days of competition feature several types of vessels: Optimists, Lasers (Full, Radial, and 4.7), and Club 420s. This year’s regatta has already reached its cap in both the Optimist and Laser categories, and fleets are being put on a wait list. Platinum sponsors for the event include: the Orange Bowl Committee, McLaughlin, Sperry Top-Sider, and KO Sailing. Awards are distributed to the top sailors in each vessel category by government officials, Orange Bowl Committee leaders and Olympians including Magnus Liljedahl, a former U.S gold medalist who will be presenting this year’s Magnus Liljedahl Sportsmanship Award. In addition, this year’s top local Opti sailor will be presented with a trophy sponsored by the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District.
Staging for the four day regatta will take place at several locations including the CRYC, Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, U.S. Sailing Center Miami, and Shake-A-Leg Miami. For more information or a daily schedule of events, please visit www.coralreefyachtclub.org or call 305-781-5177.
St. Petersburg, FL (November 24, 2013) – The Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) Match Race National Championship for the Cornelius Shields, Sr. Trophy was completed today after three days of racing. The event began on Friday, November 22 and was hosted by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club and the University of South Florida. Competitors sailed out of the St. Petersburg Sailing Center and racing took place on Tampa Bay.
Ten college sailing teams qualified to compete in the championship having advanced from their own conference qualifiers. Each team had four crewmembers one of which was required to be female. The teams sailed 23 foot Sonar Sloops.
Match racing is a unique racing format in that it is just one versus one. One boat is pitted against another boat and a team of umpires supervises each race. This is not an average dinghy regatta; it takes a great deal of organization and contribution from many people. St. Petersburg Yacht Club helped to run a great event and the team of umpires was fantastic. Thanks to: Glenn Oliver, John Pratt, Don Becker, Barbara Farquhar, Charlie Arms, Vicki Sodaro, Carrie Greene, Phil Pape, Susan Wallace, Eric Robbins and Tom Rinda for your hard work.
The match race regatta format is five stages and racing took place on a Windward/Leeward course with mark rounding’s to starboard. Races in the first stages of the regatta are meant to take 15 to 17 minutes to complete and in the Semi-Final and Final rounds 18 to 20 minutes to complete.
In stage one all ten teams competed in a single round robin. This stage lasted the entirety of the first day of racing. The day began with winds out of the East at about 8 to 10 knots, but the breeze gradually decreased throughout the day. Light winds made for difficult to match racing. Maneuvering the boats is slow in light air and teams had to be on their toes to keep their boats moving fast.
After day one Yale University was in the lead with only one loss to Georgetown University. Boston College was in second with two losses followed by St. Mary’s College of Maryland in third place also with two losses.
Stage two consists of two rounds of racing. One between the top six teams from stage one or the Gold Round and the other between the remaining four teams or the Repechage Round. This racing began on day two with about 8 knots of wind, which started to shift and eventually die causing about a four-hour postponement in racing. The breeze filled back in from the Northwest and built to around 10 to 12 knots so racing could resume. By the end of the day, the sailors were hiking to keep the Sonars flat.
The Gold Round was a single round robin and determined the seeding for the Quarter Finals. The Repechage Round was also a single round robin and the top two teams advance to the Quarter Finals with the Gold teams. This stage took the entirety of day two. Yale University held onto their lead, while St. Mary’s College moved up to second place and Georgetown University moved into third place. From the Repechage Round the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin advanced into the Quarter Finals.
Today, the third and final day of the regatta contained a lot of racing and luckily the wind was the strongest it had been throughout the weekend. The day began with breeze out of the Northeast at about 12 knots. It continued to build up to 18 knots at times and teams were hiking hard. Waves also got bigger throughout the day to add to the challenge of the racing.
Stage three or the Quarter Finals was the first racing of the day. The eight teams in this round were paired to compete so the highest seed sailed the lowest seed (1 v 8, 2 v 7, etc.). This was a knock out series. The winner of each pair was the first team to score at least two points.
At the same time the ninth and tenth place teams raced each other, the first to two points, to determine ninth and tenth place. The University of West Florida defeated Oregon State University in two races to finish the event in ninth.
The only flight in the Quarter Finals that went beyond two races was between Boston College and the College of Charleston. Charleston came out on top winning the third race and therefore scoring two points to advance into the Semi-Finals. Also in stage four, the Semi Finals was Yale University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Georgetown University.
In the Semi Finals the winner of the 1 v 8 Quarter Final was paired against the winner of the 4 v 5 Quarter Final, and the winner of the 2 v 7 Quarter Final was paired against the winner of the 3 v 6 Quarter Final. The College of Charleston sailed Yale University and St. Mary’s College of Maryland sailed Georgetown University.
The College of Charleston defeated Yale and Georgetown defeated St. Mary’s in close racing to move them into the Finals. Mike Callahan, the head coach of Georgetown University, felt that their pairing with St. Mary’s was the most challenging racing for them of the event, “St. Mary’s was the best prepared team there,” he says. Georgetown had lost to them twice in earlier rounds in the regatta. “It was a confidence boost to beat them,” Callahan says.
In stage five, the Finals determined first and second in the regatta and the Petite Finals determine third and fourth. St. Mary’s defeated Yale in the Petite Finals taking third place in the event.
The Finals came down to the College of Charleston and Georgetown. Georgetown was controlling Charleston during the starting sequence of the race, but both boats were over the line early. Georgetown was able to clear the line first and come into the race with starboard tack advantage. They were then able to cover Charleston for the remainder of the race and win the Cornelius Shields, Sr. Trophy for the ICSA Match Race National Championship.
Callahan says that their team was able to practice a little bit in Sonars before the event thanks to their assistant coach Janel Zarkowski who helped to find Sonars for them to sail. “We did not get much practice, but enough to feel ready for the event,” he says. Their practice was in heavy wind, so the first two days of the championship they struggled with boat speed. But by the third day the wind was stronger and the Georgetown sailors felt more comfortable.
1. Georgetown University
2. College of Charleston
3. St. Mary’s College of Maryland
4. Yale University
5. University of Wisconsin
6. Stanford University
7. Boston College
8. University of Michigan
9. University of West Florida
10. Oregon State University
Georgetown University team of (left to right) Nevin Snow ’16, Alexander Post ’15, AJ Reiter ’17, and Katia DaSilva ’15
To learn more about the event, the competitors and results visit the event website: College Sailing website: http://2013matchrace.collegesailing.org/.
Results are updated in real time on the College Sailing Scores site: http://scores.collegesailing.org/.
The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) is the governing authority for sailing competition at colleges and universities throughout the United States and in some parts of Canada. Visit www.collegesailing.org to learn more.
Source: Jen Vandemoer Mitchell | Toile à Voile for ICSA
Photo Credit: Genoa FedyszynRead more >>
Clever Pig interview with Claire Dennis third overall and top female at the 2013 US Laser Radial Nationals
Clever Pig: Congratulations on a successful event! It looks like you are setting out on a pretty exciting journey! Can you tell us about your plans for RIO 2016? How are you going to prepare?
Claire: Right now I am spending a lot of time sailing the laser radial and identifying which skills I need to focus on in the short-term and longer-term. After four years of college sailing I am loving laser sailing again and being able to concentrate full-time on just one boat and one type of racing! I have a great schedule set up through October with lots of training so that I can work on specific areas for improvement. I’ll be training in southern California, Vancouver, and mostly in San Francisco – home! We have a great training group of other US and international sailors who all have different strengths
Clever Pig: Why did you choose the Laser Radial?
Claire: I have loved laser sailing since I first sailed the boat when I was fourteen. I enjoy the physical aspect of laser sailing and the emphasis placed on the sailor as there are hardly any differences between boats.
Clever Pig: What might be some of the biggest obstacles or challenges you for see in your campaign?
Claire: Based on what I have heard from other sailors who have campaigned, I envision that one of the biggest obstacles will be making sure I maintain the proper balance between training and racing. Also making sure that the training is in logical locations that provide a variety of conditions. And then there’s the fundraising aspect!
Clever Pig: How did you prepare for US Nationals? Will you modify your training for the next event based on how you performed?
Claire: For the US Nationals I was able to spend only a few days training in Santa Cruz prior to the event. I hadn’t sailed lasers since before graduation so I was a bit rusty and focused mainly on just getting back in the boat and getting comfortable in breeze again. As the summer progresses I will be focusing more on speed and then smaller technique elements. Getting back my downwind speed will certainly be a focus as well as general hiking fitness.
Clever Pig: How did this year’s event feel different than previous years?
Claire: I hadn’t sailed a US Laser Nationals in over four years so it was really exciting to be back at Laser event with youth and adult sailors and not just women! I was able to reengage with a lot of people I hadn’t seen since I went off to college including some of my past coaches. I also really enjoyed meeting many new faces and the up and coming youth sailors.
Clever Pig: What makes you laugh on the racecourse?
Claire: I’m generally very serious while I am racing but at the US Nationals I was able to get in a few laughs with other sailors about how far we thought we would make it in the race before the breeze died and switched from the Westerly to the Easterly (this happened every day sometime during our second race).
Clever Pig: Who are your sailing mentors? And why?
Claire: Beyond my parents, Craig Healy and Steve Bourdow were two of my early sailing mentors. Craig always helped me keep sailing in perspective and fielded my questions about Olympic sailing when I was still sailing Optis and into my early years in the laser. Steve coached me during high school and helped me develop a strong work ethic and a system for working on various aspects of my sailing. He showed me the professional side of the sport and bridged the gap beyond youth sailing . Steve also shared a lot of mental aspects of the sport and how to manage disappointment.
Zack Leonard, my college coach at Yale, has certainly been my greatest sailing mentor since high school. I didn’t always have the easiest time with college sailing or double-handed sailing in general but I knew that Zack was always there. Zack’s experience with Olympic sailing was extremely valuable to help me keep in touch with laser sailing during college and, now, transitioning to full-time campaigning.
Clever Pig: Were there any points in the regatta when you felt nervous? How did you over come it?
Claire: I went into this event with process goals rather than result goals since it was my first event back in lasers since the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Miami (OCR). I was nervous before the first day just because I hadn’t been on a start line with more than 18 boats in a while or sailed a 15minute upwind. I had prepared myself for a bit of a rusty start back and so was pleased with how I did . During the regatta I kept track of what I need to work on in training over this summer and down the road. I also made sure to stay realistic about my expectations for the event given the limited amount of time I have had in the laser recently .
Clever Pig: What other events do you plan on sailing in this summer?
Claire: I just finished racing the PCCs that were held in Cascade Locks, Oregon where I was the top woman and third overall, again! I will be going to Ireland at the end of August for the Women’s Radial European Championships followed by the World Championships at the end of September in China.
Clever Pig: Thank you Claire!
For Results visit:
US Laser Radial Nationals- Santa Cruz, CA.
To Follow Claire's Campaign visit:
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