Chubb U.S. Junior Championships winners crowned

Chubb U.S. Junior Championships 2011
Justin Chando
The Chubb U.S. Junior Championships 2011 have come to a close with three champions being crowned at Toms River capping. The championship is a US Sailing event that celebrates top youth sailors from around the country.

All three leading skippers from Thursday held on to win their respective fleets. Nick Valente (Oakdale, N.Y.) of the Wet Pants Sailing Club won the U.S. Junior Singlehanded Championship. Sail Newport’s Pearson Potts (Newport, R.I.) and crew Tristan Sess (Center Moriches, N.Y.) won the U.S. Junior Doublehanded Championship, and the team from the Mystic River Mudhead Sailing Association, including skipper O.J. O’Connell (Niantic, Conn.) and crew members Ben Wilkinson (Noank, Conn.) and Kyle Seniff (Glastonbury, Conn.) won the U.S. Junior Triplehanded Championship.

U.S. Junior Singlehanded Championship (Laser) Recap – Smythe Trophy: The Laser fleet finished ten races over three days this week. Valente finished strong by winning both races on Friday. He posted bullets in five of the ten races overall and won by a ten point margin. Jack Swikart (Rumson, N.J.) from the Shrewsbury Sailing and Yacht Club finished in second place. He also closed out the regatta strong by posting a pair of second place finishes. There were twenty skippers competing in the U.S. Junior Singlehanded Championship for the Smythe Trophy.

Photos from Day 2 (August 12, 2011) of US SAILING's 2011 Chubb U.S. Junior Championships. Photos by Justin Chando/US SAILING. - 2011 Chubb U.S. Junior Championships
Justin Chando
'At first I had trouble playing the shifts, but I got used to it and made the adjustments,' said Valente, who will be competing in his first U.S. Youth Sailing Championships in Newport, R.I. next week.

U.S. Junior Doublehanded Championship (Club 420) Recap – Bemis Trophy: The Club 420 fleet finished ten races this week. Potts and Sess held on to win by seven points after finishing sixth and fourth today. The team from Rush Creek Yacht Club, skipper Stewart Draheim (Heath, Texas) and crew Allison Aughtry (Oklahoma City, Okla.) placed second overall. They won the final race of the regatta and finished fifth in race nine. Twenty Club 420 teams competed this week for the F. Gregg Bemis Trophy.

'We were focused more on handling the wind shifts than our boat speed,' explained Potts. 'We had to be aware and observant with everything in front of us.'

Potts and Sess will be teaming up at next week’s U.S. Youth Sailing Championship. 'It’s a good way to end here and good way to start next week,' added Potts. 'We feel good going into it, but it’s a whole new regatta with new challenges.'

Photos from Day 2 (August 12, 2011) of US SAILING's 2011 Chubb U.S. Junior Championships. Photos by Justin Chando/US SAILING. - 2011 Chubb U.S. Junior Championships
Justin Chando
U.S. Junior Triplehanded Championship (Flying Scot) Recap – Sears Cup: The Flying Scot fleet finished ten races this week. O’Connell, Wilkinson and Seniff had another great day of racing. In the fleet’s only race of the day, skipper O’Connell led his team to victory to give them an eleven point win.

The Chicago Yacht Club's Alex Curtiss (Lake Bluff, Ill.), Will Holz (Wilmette, Ill.) and Alex Woloshyn (Lake Forest, Ill.) kept their second place position intact with their fourth place finish today. There were eleven teams competing this week in the U.S. Junior Triplehanded Championship for the Sears Cup.

'This is one of the best regattas I’ve ever had,' said a thrilled O’Connell. 'We didn’t worry about the other boats, instead we just kept our heads clear and played the shifts. We all had different boat speeds at different times. It was all about finding the right shift.'

O’Connell will return to singlehanded racing in next week’s U.S. Youth Sailing Championships, where he’ll be sailing in the Laser Radial fleet.

Sailors raced in shifty, unpredictable winds today. They competed in provided boats, each identically rigged and the Championship is a true test of sailing abilities as everyone is racing on a level par.

Congratulations to the following Sportsmanship and Seamanship Winners:

Singlehanded – Faye Bennet Sportsmanship Award: Gary Prieto (Old Cove YC / New Suffolk, N.Y.)
Doublehanded – Bemis Sportsmanship Award: William and Abby Godfrey (Beverly YC / Marion, Mass.)
Triplehanded – Cox Sportsmanship Award: Sarah Fuller, Julia Fuller and Cary Anne Kane (Chatham YC)
Triplehanded – Seamanship Trophy: Zack Kaan, Aaron Kiyotoki and Kai Heitzman (Kaneohe YC)

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