US Sailing’s Chubb US Junior Championships to Race on San Francisco Bay
Tuesday, 07 August 2012
San Francisco Bay sets the stage for the next chapter of the US Sailing National Championships season. St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club, and Tiburon Yacht Club will host the three fleets of the 2012 Chubb U.S. Junior Championships for the Sears Cup and the Bemis and Smythe Trophies. First sailed in 1921, this is US Sailing’s oldest Championship. Three days of racing on San Francisco Bay begins this Wednesday, August 8.
This year’s selected disciplines include the Byte CII, Club 420, and J/22. Races are scheduled for August 8-10. Each Area within US Sailing can send at least one team to compete in each of the fleets providing an Area Semifinal is held. Sailors race in boats provided at the event site to ensure the equal quality of the equipment and a level playing field.
In the 20 boat, singlehanded fleet Hanne Weaver (Gig Harbor, Wash.) is competing in her third US Sailing National Championship this summer. In July, Weaver won the US Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship, and finished second overall in the US Women’s Singlehanded Championship. The latter was sailed in Zim Sailing’s Byte CII, which gives her an advantage of experience and familiarity this week. Weaver faces a deep and competitive group of sailors, including Cooper Weitz (Marina del Rey, Calif.). Weitz placed ninth at both the 2012 Laser Radial North American Championship and the Laser National Championship. Weaver and Weitz are ranked second and fourth respectively out of 140 ranked sailors in the Laser North American Class’s Grand Prix Standings. The standings are a compilation of how sailors have done at the most important events in the Laser Radial Class throughout the United States and Canada.
In the doublehanded Club 420 fleet, which utilizes a spinnaker and trapeze, newly crowned C420 National Champions Will La Dow (San Diego, Calif.) and Nikki Obel (Marina del Rey, Calif.) make the short trip north to compete for the Bemis Trophy. La Dow returns to the Chubb U.S. Junior Championships after a fifth place finish last year. While he is now sailing with a different crew in Obel, La Dow is the only sailor to return from last year’s top five. Also in this immensely talented fleet are the new C420 North American Champions Bradley Adam (East Greenwich, R.I.) and Charles MacBain (Portsmouth, R.I.). The doublehanded division also has 20 entrants, and is shaping up to be the most competitive of the three fleets this week.
This year’s J/22 fleet sailing for the Sears Cup will have an added twist to the competition. Competitors have weight requirements as prescribed by the J/22 class, and all have added a fourth sailor to meet those requirements. Two members of last year’s winning team, Ben Wilkinson (Noank, Conn.) and Kyle Senniff (South Glastonbury, Conn.), return to defend their title. Wilkinson takes the place of former skipper OJ O’Connell, and adds Kristen Cathcart (Old Lyme, Conn.) and James Sowa (South Glastonbury, Conn.) to the team. Wilkinson has competed in this event every year since 2009, and has finished in the top three each. This is the first time competing without O’Connell, and the first time competing in the J/22 Class. Siblings Nick and Katja Sertl will be competing as well. An experienced J/22 sailor, Katja took eighth place at last year’s US Sailing’s Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship. Two local teams are racing at this event, and is ready to defend their home waters. Will Dana, Taro Duncan, Francesca Dana, and Nolan Van Dine are members of the St. Francis J/22 Sailing Team. Their experience in San Francisco Bay, and in the J/22 fleet is gives them a significant advantage this week. The other local team is led by skipper Jack Barton (San Anselmo, Calif.), who has extensive knowledge and experience on these waters.
Competition is just a part of the experience associated with this great series. Clinics will be held for each fleet and there will be a Gill College Night seminar led by Brian Clancy, US Sailing’s Junior National Coach and a presentation by the America’s Cup group one evening.
US Sailing’s Chubb U.S. Junior Championships is sponsored by Chubb Insurance Group, Zim Sailing, Gill North America, and SWITLIK Survival Products. The Championship is a Sailors for the Sea - Clean Regattas certification event.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 August 2012 )