Pearce Mendoza – US Youth Sailing Championship
Thank you so much for your support and funding for the US Youth Sailing Championships in Wrightsville Beach North Carolina. Ever since I first stepped foot in the 29er I have been hooked on high performance sailing and have made it my goal to reach the top of the fleet. This summer I had an amazing time competing in the 29er North American Circuit. For me this included the US Youth Championships in Wrightsville Beach North Carolina, The Gorge Skiff Regatta at the Cascade Locks in Oregon, and the 29er Nationals in New Bedford Massachusetts. With your funding for the US Youth Championships, this made doing the entire circuit possible. Sailing in general and especially in skiffs is very expensive and adding in things such as lodging, food, and travel make it seem almost impossible to be competitive and to do the circuit. We were super excited to be able to place 8th against the top youth teams in the nation, but more importantly to learn from this regatta. By the end of the summer I was able to place 9th overall and the 3rd American at the 29er Nationals, sail in some incredible venues in amazing breeze, and make friendships and share incredible experiences that will last a lifetime. Thank you so much once again for your support.
Morgan Pinckney – Junior Olympics and C420 Nationals
Thank you for supporting Nathan Sih and I on our three-week Club 420 trip out East this summer. We warmed up by competing in the Junior Olympics at Mission Bay Yacht Club, placing third in the 23-boat fleet and just missing qualifying for the US National double-handed Championship, the Bemis.
Immediately after JO’s, we jumped on a red-eye from San Diego to Brant Beach, New Jersey for the C420 US Nationals, followed by the Hyannis Regatta on Cape Cod, and the C420 North Americans in Buzzards Bay.
Nathan and I are a new team and also new to the C420, so we knew we needed a good coach to help get us up to speed with the more seasoned teams as quickly as possible. We were fortunate to join up with the five-boat Peninsula Youth Sailing Foundation, out of the San Francisco area, and to be coached by 470 Olympian Udi Gal. Udi introduced us to many new techniques that had us, at times, going as fast as the top boats.
The biggest challenge for us this trip was learning how to adjust from the 20-boat starting lines we race in at home to the much larger and competitive 80-boat starting lines out east. Everything from starting to tactics is completely different than what we are used to and provided extraordinary learning opportunities during our three-week East Coast campaign.
We were continually reminded that “You can’t teach experience”, and no 20-boat fleet prepares you for a 173-boat fleet! Coach Udi was former Israeli military… need I say more!? We started our days early, with Udi holding a 40-minute chalk-talk. After sailing every day, we’d complete what Udi called his “checklist”– every part on every boat on the team had to be checked off by five sets of eyes. We flipped boats on the land, and examined every pin, every ring-ding, while methodically re-doing any taping. Udi then conducted his debrief – for two to three hours! Debriefs were like Shakespearean monologues. Udi wasn’t messing around and addressed us like a drill sergeant. Luckily, I got his humor because I’ve never heard anyone scream so loudly, as he did one day in the boatyard after racing, when his team wasn’t up to standard. When we first met Udi, we told him we placed third at JO’s and he responded with , “You mean, second loser.” Ha! That was the way Udi expected things; you do them right or not at all. The best or nothing.
We were one of the youngest teams competing, and you just have to learn through experience, before you are ready to progress to the next level. One conversation I had with Udi on the water after a bad race that should have been a good race will stick with me for a while. I was in about fifth and I let a few boats cross me, over-stood, and the race went downhill fast. Udi asked me, “Why did you let those boats cross you? Small things like that ruined your race!” I responded, “It would feel mean to not let them cross.” (That was the dumbest thing I have ever said.) At that moment Udi started screaming as loudly as he could about a bunch of different things. Eventually he shouted, “Take my anchor!! That way you can let everybody go by you, because it’s the nice thing to do!” He stood up and handed me his anchor.
It’s worth mentioning that the first day of C420 Nationals it blew upwards of 25 knots and half of the fleet went in. Half of the remaining sailors that actually stayed out were upside down. Nathan and I stayed upright, using the old chicken jibe on the last downwind leg (which Udi almost killed us for doing.)
We wound up 27th out of 146 boats, and hit the road that night after racing, headed for the Hyannis Regatta. We had a couple of days off before the regatta and had the opportunity to train with the Wyanno YC team and visiting Tufts University Coach Kenny Legler. We got to sail downwind from Wyanno to Hyannis, about 17 miles, in the ocean in about 22 knots. Only two words, unfortunately, sum up the conditions we sailed in during the regatta: light and shifty. Almost every race we would be top ten or five, then mess up and wind up with about a 16th average. Eventually it was made pretty apparent that boat speed doesn’t matter when you’re just learning to sail in big fleets. Out of 108 boats, Nathan and I finished 32nd. We weren’t very happy about it, but I wasn’t out there to be happy. I was there to learn. I was there to get experience that I hadn’t had before.
We arrived at our final event, C420 North Americans, held in Buzzards Bay. We were hoping to get our best finish at this regatta, with 173 entrants. Nathan and I qualified for Gold in windy conditions, but then basic fundamentals in big boat fleets began to unwind us. Again, you can’t teach experience. For example: we were in third going into a weather mark, just below starboard lay-line, made the rookie mistake of letting a boat duck us and then tacked… simultaneously with the other boat. Had to spin a 720, and that put us back. With two days of NA’s left, race management cancelled racing because of thunderstorms, so we missed a day of racing. And then Nathan came down too sick to sail, so I picked up a new crew to finish out the last day.
This trip is part of our long-range plan, building for future regattas in the C420 class. We learned a ton, gained the necessary experience to get to the next level, and had a blast on our first trip east, making new friends. Our goal was to place in the top third for all the events, and we are happy to report that we were able to achieve our goal.
US Nationals: 146 boats 27th place ,18th percentile
Hyannis Regatta: 108 boats 32nd place, 30th percentile
North Americans: 173 boats 45th place, 26th percentile
This trip was huge for Nathan and me. We trained hard in preparation and learned more than we could have ever imagined over three weeks of intense training and racing. The support we received from the Foundation gave us the opportunity to learn and grow as a team, and hopefully share the lessons learned with our local sailors back home. Thank you so much for your support!
Nathan Sih – C420 Nationals/North Americans & Hyannis Regatta
Thank you so much for supporting my C420 trip to the east coast this summer. I really appreciate your help in making this experience possible for me. Here is a brief summary of my three week adventure in New Jersey and Massachusetts.
After finishing third in the SCYYRA 2018 Junior Olympic festival at Mission Bay YC in San Diego, Morgan (my skipper) and I took a red-eye flight to compete in the C420 Nationals in Brant Beach, New Jersey. In Brant Beach, we met a group of sailors from PYSF and their coach, Udi Gal, whom we would be sailing with for the rest of our stay on the east coast. The first day of the regatta was quite windy, 18 –20 knots, and was the windiest Morgan and I have sailed together in a C420. Miraculously we managed to stay upright the whole day, and topped off the day with a 9th in the last race. Unfortunately the second day was a little tougher for Morgan and I, as we were BFD one of the races. However we still qualified for Gold flight. The last day of the regatta we sailed in Gold and ended the day with a 12, 5, 23. Overall the regatta was a great experience for us, finishing 27 out of 146 in our first of three regattas with over 100 boats.
At the end of the C420 Nationals Morgan and I took a 6 hour drive up to Morgan’s grandparent’s house in Hyannis, Massachusetts, where we would stay for about a week, ending with the Hyannis Regatta. In Hyannis we met up with Wianno Yacht Club’s team and their coach, Brent Jansen, whom we spent three days practicing with. Lucky for us, we also met Tufts University coach, Ken Legler, who briefed us on the expected conditions for the Hyannis Regatta. The first day of Hyannis was tricky for us, as our starts were not very good. However, by the second day we figured out what went wrong and we were able to get off the line. Finally, the third day was extremely light and shifty, and we would do well until we would make a major mistake. Although we feel we could have done better, placing 32 out of 108 boats, this second regatta was extremely helpful for us in figuring out our starts and getting a better feel of these big fleet regattas. For the third and final regatta, C420 North Americans, Morgan and I drove over to New Bedford where we stayed at a friend’s house. The first and second days of the regatta were a frustrating for us, as we would constantly make it around the weather mark in the top ten, but make a single mistake or get fouled, which would send us back to around 20th or 30th. For the third day, we qualified for gold, but unfortunately, there was a possibility of squalls and thunderstorms so they didn’t send any boats out. To end it all with a bang, that night I found myself with a fever and was unable to sail the last day. In the end we finished the regatta in 45 out of 173 boats. Although the last regatta did not go as planned, this trip was an amazing experience that I feel lucky to have been able to do. On this trip Morgan and I learned more than we could have ever learned back at home and are excited to put our new learnings to use at our next local regattas. Thanks again for making this trip possible for me to do.
Gretchen Hohenstein – Women’s Double-Handed Championship
Thank you sincerely for giving me the chance to go to the Women’s Doublehanded Championships in Mentor, Ohio this July. I had been sailing the C420 for about three months, and it was my first time traveling outside of California for a regatta. Competing taught me valuable skills on and off the water. I learned how to air travel with sails and gear, how to handle a charter boat, and what it’s like staying with a host family.
The event included two days of clinic and three days of racing. We began each day with a talk over breakfast from the provided coaches. Then we broke into smaller groups of about 10 boats to two coaches. The groups rotated each day so we could get individual experience with each coach. I learned how to read certain clouds, got experience in breeze and square chop on the lake, and connected with college coaches. The venue provided a range of breeze over the 5 days that we sailed, from just about 0 to 18 knots. The first day of racing was incredibly light, and less than half the fleet finished two out of the three races we sailed that day. The second day was breezy, and I gained experience on hot reaches and in chop. The third day we did the best in breeze about 8 knots.
Overall, the experience helped me feel comfortable as a crew in the C420. The Association’s support was essential in helping me grow at this regatta, and I can’t wait to compete in more!
David Wood – 2018 French Match Racing National Championship
Thank you so much for the funding provided to send myself and the three other members of the Checkmate Racing Team to France to race in the 2018 French Match Racing National Championship. The lessons we learned and the friends we made were unlike anywhere else I had travelled in the world. Below is a short debrief on how the event went, please enjoy!
When we first arrived on the grounds of the APCC Yacht Club we were very anxious. We had never attended an event that was as challenging as we knew this one would be, although, our coach Mike Pinckney found a way to settle us down and help us prepare mentally for the long day ahead. After rigging and having a team meeting we headed out to the course to practice maneuvers and check the wind. After winning our first match against last year’s champion, we were feeling great about the regatta. Although, in the following 5 races our lack of experience in the boats showed as many of the older more experienced j80 sailors had much better boat speed. We ended the day on a 1-5 record. While we were upset with this performance we knew that we had a lot of races left to improve on and could easily turn our record around. At the start of the second day it was quite windy around 16 knots and large chop. We were very excited for the day of racing ahead and quickly were able to get into a good sailing mode and come out of the day with a 2-2 record. We were very happy with this performance but unfortunately missed the quarter finals by about two wins. After debriefing for the day we headed back to the hotel eager to get back out on the water soon for some more training. Once again thank you to the foundation for helping fund the Checkmate Racing Team to attend the 2018 French Match Race National Championship. We truly could not have done it without you!
Alex Stauffer – 2018 Club 420 National Championship
Thank you for your financial support in helping me to attend the 2018 Club 420 National Championship held at Brant Beach Yacht Club, Brant Beach New Jersey. I attended along with my skipper Sophia Devling.
We arrived in Brant Beach early on Monday morning. We quickly started getting our charter boat ready to sail. We then went out sailing with the Chicago Yacht Club team and their coach, Matt Peter. Tuesday was the first day of racing. The day started breezy and built up to 20 plus knots. We started the first race and were doing well on the first upwind beat, but when we started on the downwind, we capsized after gybing. Due to how shallow the water was, our boom got stuck in the mud and our spinnaker filled with water making it extremely difficult to right the boat. After help from a safety boat and Mr. Devling kindly jumping in the water, we were able to get the boat up but were not able to finish the race. We went into the second race with renewed enthusiasm and finished! In the last race of the day, we bow plowed so much that our boat filled with water that we were not able to continue sailing. Even though we were not able to finish all the race we gained a lot of experience racing in wind that we are never able to experience in Newport.
On the second day, the wind was much closer to what we’re used to in Newport. We raced 4 four races. On the last day, the fleets were split into gold and silver fleets. Due to the conditions on the first day, we were not able to have a chance of being in gold. The last day of racing was the closest to Newport conditions, between 7-10 knots. We finished the last few races of the regatta strong with a 6th place in the second race of the day.
Overall, We finished the regatta in 107th place. Though it is not the place we thought we might finish in, we had a great learning experience. There were more boats on the line than either of us have ever experienced (75 boats in each start). The breeze also presented new challenges for us to conquer. Everything we learned will now definitely play a big roll in our practice…helping us to improve further and be more prepared and better experienced for next year. Thank you again for all of your support!
Thank you so much for your consideration in helping fund myself and the rest of my team to attend the 2018 U.S. Youth Match Racing Championships at Oakcliff Sailing Center. The experiences and lessons I learned were unlike any other event I have ever attended. Without your help, I would never have been able to participate in the event and get one step closer to attending the ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championships.
I wanted to give a brief review of the regatta to describe how the event went. We began the event with two training days that contained a variety of conditions including 15-knot winds to thunderstorms to no wind and rain. Although these two days were difficult we learned a ton from our competitors and Dave Perry. The first day of racing was very light, and we did not begin racing till around 2:30 in the afternoon. Once we began racing the conditions were very shifty and unpredictable. We ended the day on a record of 3 wins and two losses. As the second day of racing began, we knew that we had to have a good day, so we could make the semi-finals. Once again there was no wind, so we didn’t begin racing till around 3:30. The conditions at that time were almost un-sailable. There were approximately 2 knots of wind and 1 knot of current with dangerously shifty conditions. These posed very difficult for our team, and we ended the day on a one win and three loss record. Although, this was very disappointing to us we knew that we could learn from the experience and better prepare for the next time we experienced these conditions. The final day of racing turned out to be the worst yet. We ended up not even sailing due to lack of wind. While we were disappointed with our final result of 7th place we knew that we could learn from our time at Oakcliff and keep striving to achieve our overall goals.
Once again, thank you so much for your support. Without your help and funding, we never would have been able to attend the 2018 Rose Cup and further develop our match racing skills in our journey to the 2019 ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds.
I sailed c420 Midwinters with my crew Emma Batcher. We were coached by Isaac Clark (University of Pennsylvania’s sailing coach) and Johnny Norfleet (Fordham University’s sailing coach). The day before the regatta my dad and I flew out of Orange County. We took the last flight we could to West Palm Beach. I had a test in school that Friday I did not want to miss. Unfortunately for us we missed our connecting flight in Houston by 10 minutes due to a lengthy delay in Orange County. I really did not want to miss the start of the regatta and that would have happened if we had spent the night in Houston. My mom re-routed us on a flight that evening to the closest airport to Jensen Beach. Unfortunately, for us it was not really close. The airport in Mobile, Alabama was our only option. We landed and my dad drove 10 hours to Jensen Beach. The skipper’s meeting was at 9am and I arrived at 9.30am. The wind at the start of the race was very light and racing was delayed 3 hours on the first day. The second day was also light and racing again was delayed until the wind picked up. Due to the light wind, the first 2 days of racing determined the fleet (gold or silver). We made gold! The last day was very windy. A few boats flipped. Emma and I were able to keep our boat flat and we moved up 6 places. We had great coaching the entire regatta with Isaac and Johnny always giving us their best input and advice. Overall I had a great time and learned a lot! I want to thank all of the individuals who support Bahia Sail Racing Association as the grant from Bahia Sail Racing Association helped make this trip possible.
I would like to thank the local sailing foundations who provided funding to my team. Without financial support, Cricket Racing would not have been able to attend this event. Those foundations are: Balboa Yacht Club’s Maritime Sciences and Seamanship Foundation, Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s Newport Harbor Sailing Foundation, Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club’s Bahia Sail Race Foundation and my own club, Balboa Yacht Club’s Race Council.
Thank you so much for helping fund my trip to Miami, FL to sail the Nacra 15 North Americans and Youth Olympic Country Qualifiers this past November. Max Mayol and I began sailing the boat together just a couple months before the regatta. I was new to catamaran sailing, but it was such a blast to learn a different boat. We trained in Long Beach as many days a week as possible, and I gladly set aside homework to go sailing.
This was my first international regatta, and it was exciting to sail on a higher level. The fleet consisted of 17 boats but was none-the-less competitive. We were tested in three different venues and three different breeze conditions. Max and I were fast in the light to medium breeze we were used to from Long Beach and were in close contention to win for the first two days. However, when the wind picked up to the mid-20s on the last day, we ended in 5th place. It was a great regatta, and I’m so happy to have had this exciting opportunity. This regatta was so fun, and I am really grateful for the opportunity to continue to develop myself as a sailor. Thank you again for making this possible.
I just started sailing C420s in September. Prior to Orange Bowl we had competed in 3 regattas (2 Perry regattas & the Halloween regatta at ABYC). So Orange Bowl was a big deal for me. Sadly we had to leave the morning of Christmas. We arrived very late in the evening in Miami. Early the next day we walked down to the US sailing center to check out our chartered boat. Luckily for Marbella (my crew) and I, our friends from back east arrived early and were generous enough to rig it. We practiced that day and it was fun. We did a few drills and races and just focused on getting used to the venue. The first day of racing was really nerve racking. We ended up on yellow fleet with friends Ansgar Jordan and Jeffery Peterson and their crew. The first race was rough, but then we started to crawl our way back up in the standings. It was a huge fleet (80 boats) and the courses were everywhere. The first race (on day 2) was a DSQ. We worked hard to shake it off and focus on racing better….we started to get top 15 finishes. Once we got used to starting with 40 boats on the line it got easier. The first 2 days were rather light. We had hoped for more breeze. At the end of day two we found out if we made the silver or gold fleet. To help pass time, my dad, took us out to eat. About half way into dinner we found out we made the gold fleet! Day 3 was a good day. All to 15 finishes except for our UFD. We were over early that race. Racing in the gold fleet was rough for us, but Marbella and I were just happy to be at Orange Bowl getting mostly top 15 finishes. Day 4 was even worse. It was really windy, which is usually great for us, but there was really shifty and puffy conditions which threw us off. However, we need to get better in all conditions so it was a good learning experience for us. Orange Bowl was a great experience for me. We finished pretty decent out of 80 boats. We had wished to have done better, but hopefully, if we go this year we will do better. We learned a lot over the week. I would love to come back and sail Orange bowl again, I had a blast! The people we met were so nice and the community there was spectacular. I definitely recommend others to go. I also wanted to say thank you to everyone who made this journey possible, my family, my crew Marbella & her family, my coaches and especially the grant from Bahia Sail Racing Association. Thank you!
I flew out Christmas day to Miami, FL to attend Orange Bowl. I had so much fun. On the first day, practice day, I met my coach, Mauricio Galarce. He taught me a lot of new things in a short period of time. For example, we reviewed how to set up my sprit pole and how to adjust my outhaul to the correct place for the correct wind speed. In addition, I met a lot of new people that first day. I also saw a lot of my other friends that I met before I started sailing optimists. The next day, the first day of racing, I was a little nervous. When I arrived at Coral Reef Yacht Club (CRYC), I was surprised how many boats were there. I was shocked how CRYC could fit so many optimists in one small area. There were at least 300 boats competing in all of the optimist classes. I had about 70 boats on the line for each of my 12 races. On the first day it was a very light on the water, about 3-5 knots, and I did surprisingly well. I met a lot of new people, some from Great Britain (GBR) and a lot from Bermuda (BER), I even met one person from Puerto Rico (PUR). I felt like I learned a lot more about tactics and speed racing in Florida that will help me in sailing my sabot. I saw a lot of people that I knew in the c420 class and in the laser class. Over the next 2 days, I thought I had the racing down to a science. I was so wrong. On the last day, I tanked the last race. The wind built from 7-8 knots to 11-12 knots. It was very shifty, and it was hard to see all the shifts. In addition, the inconsistent choppiness of the water didn’t help at all. I hope to go back to Florida to sail soon in some upcoming races and regattas. I am so very thankful that I was able to attend this regatta. Bahia Sail Racing Association gave me a grant to make it possible. I know that if I do this same regatta next year, that I will do better than I did this year, because I only started optimist sailing in August. I ended the event 6th overall in the optimist green fleet. This experience is one that I will never forget because not only did I make a lot of great memories, but I also learned a lot, too.
Over the course of the two weeks I spent in Medemblik, Netherlands, I learned so many amazing skills that will carry me through the rest of my sailing career, regardless of the boat. The first five days were training, getting to understand better how the wind and the water worked at the venue. The wind was very consistent, and the shifts were about 10 to 15 degrees. It was very flat in most wind directions, which made downwind sailing a little harder. This is because we were unable to surf as much without getting penalized by the judges. Once I had completed my training days, I prepared myself physically and mentally for the six-day regatta that I knew would be intense.
Although I did my best at the event, I knew that with a couple of small adjustments here and there I could easily have done better. Some of these included starts, downwind, and clear air. Starting is always hard when you have fleets of up to 70 boats. My biggest problem was that I wasn’t aggressive enough and was accelerating too late. This left me in a bad position off the starting line and left me with minimal options up wind. Second, getting clear air after a bad start is as many know very challenging especially in big fleets. This posed problematic because I was unable to make up the entire deficit from the bad start in one tack because the shifts were so small. Once you were in the back, you weren’t going anywhere. Finally, downwind in a laser is the most challenging part for me. If you don’t have a lot of time put into the “downwind”, you won’t be able to keep up. This was very difficult for me to do in the heavy wind conditions because of my lack of familiarity. On the flip side, in the light winds (which I practice often) I was passing boats left and right. All in all, I need to gain more exposure and time on the water doing downwind sailing.
All sailing aside, without the funding provided by the Foundation none of this would have been possible. I would never have been able to learn as much about sailing competitive laser regattas and meet such amazing people. Thank you so much for this opportunity of a lifetime!
Thank you so much for helping fund my trip to New Bedford, MA, to sail C420s at the Buzzards Bay Regatta. Michael Farris and I trained for this event over the summer, and we were very excited to compete at a national level!
This regatta, with 167 racing boats, was the largest attended event that I’ve yet sailed. With such a big fleet, it was unfortunately difficult for the race committee to recall most of the over-early boats that were surrounded by a large pack. However, as Mikey and I unhappily learned, it was quite easy to be caught a second over-early if we positioned ourselves near the mid-boat. Our first two races (and our highest placing ones) ended up getting penalized. A couple of other disappointing errors added up, but it was encouraging that we were always gaining boats despite rough situations. The next couple of days we noticed a lot of improvement in boat handling and communication.
Overall, Buzzard’s Bay Regatta provided a valuable experience in a shifty and historically breezy venue. I got a lot more comfortable in the boat, and I have a much better feel for racing in the C420 after this event. It was highly competitive and was a lot of fun. I think that our scores could have better reflected our abilities, but it was a tremendous learning experience. To me, time on the water is never wasted!
Thank you again for making this possible,
Thank you so much for funding my crew, Riley Foster, and I for our trip to Annapolis, Maryland to compete at the US Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship this July. The regatta consisted of five days of sailing, including two days of clinic and three days of racing. However, Riley and I flew to Maryland a week beforehand to participate in a clinic at Severn Sailing Association, a local sailing organization. As soon as we arrived in Maryland, we were welcomed by almost a thirty degree temperature increase from what we were accustomed to back in California. The clinic did not start until Monday, so we spent our first day touring the US Naval Academy and exploring downtown Annapolis. The next three days, we sailed out of Severn Sailing Association under the direction of some of the country’s greatest coaches: Ian Burman from the United States Naval Academy, John Vandemoer from Stanford University, and Bill Ward from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. During the clinic, we worked on boat speed and boat handling in very challenging conditions. Unlike anywhere I have sailed on the West Coast, the wind in Annapolis was extremely shifty and unpredictable. One minute the wind would be blowing around 18 knots, and before you can switch gears, the wind would die down to 2-3 knots. Although it was very frustrating at times, I quickly learned how to tune my boat for shifty conditions and was able to apply the knowledge I learned from the clinic to the following regatta. Because the whether is so unpredictable, we had to retire from sailing one morning due to lack of wind. However, the coaches used this opportunity to help us look at sailing from a different perspective. Split into groups, we analyzed video and boat rigging and discussed the benefits of the many different approaches to boat handling and boat set up.
We had one day between the clinic and the regatta, and we spent this day exploring more of the east coast, touring Georgetown University, the United States Capitol, and even going to Georgetown Cupcakes! However, we understood that this trip was dedicated to sailing, so we went to bed early to prepare for the next five days of sailing. The first two days were clinics held by more amazing sailors. Here, we worked on the fundamental skills in sailing club 420s, such as trapezing, flying spinnakers, tension, and sail shape. Having sailed in a 420 for a very short time, we used this time to ask as many questions as we could so we would be prepared for any conditions for the next three days of racing. The first day, however, there was very little wind due to the thunderstorm later that day. We only got in one race, and only half the fleet was scored because the second half did not finish in time. However, we made up the time we lost that day during the next two race days. Each day was concluded with a planned social activity, such as a scavenger hunt in downtown Annapolis, Chesapeake Bay trivia night, and a swim party (which was cancelled due to thunderstorms). These events not only strengthened my friendship with the girls I travelled to Annapolis with, but it also led me to meet new friends and future sailing partners from all over the country.
In conclusion, participating at the 2017 US Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship has opened so many doors for me. I have made connections with coaches that I look forward to working with in the future and with sailors that I can stop calling my rivals and now call my friends. I have realized my sailing strengths and have discovered places where I can improve, and I can now say I have competed in a national championship! Thank you!
Thank you so much for facilitating my endeavors in sailing this summer. The trip to Annapolis, which included the Light Air Speed and Boat-handling Camp and the U.S. Junior Women’s Double-Handed Championship, taught me a great deal about sailing. Between the experienced and knowledgeable coaches at both of the events, I was able to improve my skills in all aspects of crewing. Although the Light Air Camp brought heavier winds than expected, it was still extremely valuable to be able to acclimate to the Chesapeake Bay and its brackish waters. By the time Ida Lewis came around, I was equipped with many new skills to put into practice. With a camp and the two days of clinic in breezy conditions behind me, the days of racing naturally fell on a light and shifty course. We spent the better part of two days on postponement or stuck under the tent waiting for a thunderstorm to pass through. While this challenged my skipper and I greatly, as we ended in 23rd out of 35 boats, we still learned a great deal and overall it was an incredible experience. C420 North Americans took place in Fort Erie, Canada at the Buffalo Canoe Club. Although the days leading up to the regatta looked promising conditions-wise, the days of racing brought light and tricky breeze. At the Canoe Club, I furthered some relationships I had started earlier this summer and was able to garner much helpful information from all the coaches and competitors I encountered. In this event, my patience was tested and I am stronger for it, and I re-learned the valuable lesson that sailing is at least ninety percent attitude. Although we finished further down than we had hoped (49th in the gold fleet), the knowledge and practical skills I gained from this trip will last me a lifetime.
2017 Orange Bowl C420 Event Report: Alex Stauffer
Thank you so much for your financial support, which helped me attend the 2017 Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta held at Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami, Florida. Sadly due to some unforeseen circumstances, my skipper Jean Marie Wanlass, who I had trained with for months, was unable to attend. Fortunately, Jeffrey Petersen was able to join me as my skipper.
We were able to quickly make up lost time. On our first day, we prepared our boat and started practicing for racing.The next day was the first day of racing. The first two days of racing were qualifiers for silver and gold. The 80 boats attending the event were split into two fleets. After two days for racing and six races, the top 40 made up the gold fleet and the bottom 40 boats made up the silver fleet. For the next two days, we raced in the silver fleet. We were very happy with our performance in the qualifiers since we had only sailed together three times by the end of them. On our first race in silver, we finished in third but sadly got U flagged at the start but we were still very proud. We used that excitement into the next race placing sixth. Sadly during that race, I was hit in the head and we were not able to compete in the last race of the day. On the last day for racing, we had a decent first race, but due to my injury the previous day, we were again not able to race in the last race of the regatta. We finished in 56th place overall in the regatta.
Even with all the crazy events that occurred during the regatta, we learned so much and both hope to return another year with more planning beforehand. We were able to experience different conditions than California offers which opened many new challenges and new opportunities to learn. I am so happy that I was able to have the opportunity to experience and learn everything that I did at the event. I’m very thankful to BSRA for your help in helping me to having this opportunity. Thank you again! Alex Stauffer
2017 Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta: Jeffrey Petersen
I recently (and very unexpectedly) competed in this year’s Orange Bowl Regatta at Coral Reef Yacht Club in the C420 class. It was about 1 p.m. on Christmas Eve, while my dad and I were at the grocery store doing some last minute meal shopping for dinner that night, when my mom gave us a call. She asked if I wanted to go to the Orange Bowl Regatta this year. Not really believing her, my response was SURE! Later, we sat down and I asked why am I all of a sudden going to a regatta that I haven’t trained for, nor have crew for. She told me the team of Jean Wanlass and Alex Stauffer was prepping for this event when Jean, the skipper, came down with the flu and was not well enough to sail the event. Less than 13 hours later, I was on a plane on Christmas morning, flying out to Miami. What a Christmas present! I met Alex and her mom in the airport and we drove to the venue for our first day of practice together. Note this was our first time sailing the boat together and would be my first C420 regatta, ever…in an 80 boat fleet! The practice was a bit rough. We were uncomfortable in the boat and were not in any sort of groove whatsoever. Later that night, we stayed up talking…getting to know each other’s sailing styles and abilities. This gave us our best chance at doing well in the regatta. We scored in the low 20’s range out of a 40 boat flight. After 2 days of racing we qualified in the silver fleet, only missing gold by a few points. Although we were discouraged, we kept our chins up and saw this as a new opportunity to gain more valuable time on the water. So, day three came and we were ready to go! We started the first race with a substantial lead and rounded the weather mark in second by 1/4 of a boat length. By the time we got to the leeward mark, we were in an all out dogfight for first. In the fury of the race, another boat slipped in between us and the first place team. We proceeded to fight hard but, ended up crossing the line in 3rd in that race. But, as we later found out, we must have had too good of a start because we were scored OCS, so we were disqualified from that race. Even though we were DSQ, we took it as a moral win. It showed us that we had the potential, even as a new team, to go and fight with the big dogs. The second race was a bit more interesting. We started out around mid-fleet and rounded the mark in 11th place. Going downwind we picked off a few boats. As we rounded the leeward mark, Alex got caught by the boom and had a massive blow to her head and went down. She popped right back up and gave me the thumbs up, so we fought on. We passed more boats and finished in 6th place. A great comeback for us but, at a costly price. Alex had suffered a concussion and was feeling a bit sick after the 2nd race, so we were forced to retire from the last race of the day. The next day she was feeling better, so we went out and raced. We had an okay race, but after the first one, Alex began to feel sick again so, we had to retire and sail in. Unfortunately that was the end of our regatta. We came out feeling quite good about ourselves. We were a last minute team, with no hope of winning due to our lack of experience. We gave it a great run and learned a lot. We would like to thank the Wanlass family for supporting us even when their daughter was no longer sailing and the Bahia Sail Racing Association for their generous support of our sailing.