FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jake Fish, US SAILING Communications Manager
REMSENBURG, N.Y. (July 24, 2009) – A great week of racing with an outstanding field of 49 competitors concluded today on the waters of Moriches Bay for the 2009 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship, sponsored by LaserPerformance and hosted by the Westhampton Yacht Squadron.
Molly McKinney (Sarasota, Fla.), 17, representing the Sarasota Youth Sailing Program had never before competed in a national championship. She overtook defending champion, Arielle deLisser (Miami, Fla.), on the third and final day of racing. deLisser had a six point lead through six races with two to go on Friday. McKinney (pictured) won race seven, and held on to win the Nancy Leiter Clagett Memorial Trophy despite a 12th place finish in the eighth and final race of the regatta.
McKinney tried to explain how it felt to win this prestigious event, “It hasn’t set in yet. I know my motivation and hard work has paid off.” This first time experience was special for McKinney, “It was cool because I had never been around a regatta like this. I met so many different people. I liked the interaction with the other competitors, and we all learned so much from the coaches.”
McKinney edged Callie Naughton (Marblehead, Mass.) by two points. Naughton collected a second and seventh today to move up from fourth place. deLisser finished the regatta tied for third overall with US Youth World Team member, Marissa Lihan (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), who moved up from fifth with fourth and fifth place finishes today. Last year’s third place finisher, Sky Adams (Santa Barbara, Calif.) finished fifth.
Today's sunrise revealed a bright sunny start to the day. A moderate northerly started the race day with winds at 7 to 8 knots. The wind was up and down and fairly shifty in the final race with winds at 4-5 knots.
The field of competitors, who range in age from 13 to 18 years old, took part in a two-day advanced racing clinic on July 20-21 led by US SAILING’s Junior National Coach and Stanford University Head Coach, John Vandemoer.
Regatta Chair, Roger Baker said, “Thanks to all the competitors, committee, race committee, judges, coaches, volunteers, Westhampton Yacht Squadron staff, and host families for their outstanding efforts and teamwork.”
The event is part of US SAILING’s National Championship series, and was founded in 1980 to encourage women’s sailing in the United States by providing an opportunity for young women to compete at the national level. Among the past winners of this event is former Olympian, Amanda Clark and ISAF’s top ranked Laser Radial sailor, Paige Railey who won the championship three times.
Support for the U.S. Junior Women's Singlehanded Championship is made possible in part by funds provided by the late C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. to perpetuate his unwavering dedication to Junior Women's Sailing. His support is in memory of his late wife, Nancy Leiter Clagett, a world class sailor, and of Ida Lewis, the heroic daughter of a lighthouse keeper. This support is intended to encourage young American women to enhance their sailing ability, with emphasis on sportsmanship, by providing the opportunity to compete in national-level competition with guidance from high-level coaching. Tom Clagett's family continues to assist in fulfilling his vision.
For complete results and photos, please visit the event website at http://championships.ussailing.org/Youth/USJrWomensSinglehanded.htm.
Place, Name, Yacht Club, Results, Total Points
1. Molly McKinney, Sarasota Youth Sailing Program, 11-2--1-2-4-1-12- ; 33
2. Callie Naughton, Pleon YC/Eastern YC, 1-9-1--4-11-2-7- ; 35
3. Arielle deLisser, Coral Reef Yacht Club/Barnegat Light Yacht Club, 2-17-2-5-3-2-9-- ; 40T
4. Marissa Lihan, Lauderdale Yacht Club, -5-3-15-5-3-4-5- ; 40T
5. Sky Adams, Santa Barbara Yacht Club, 5-4--10-1-1-11-10- ; 42
About US SAILING
The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership 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 AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.
LaserPerformance formally Vanguard Sailboats has a long history of providing benefits and support to US SAILING, its members, events, and programs. Today, LaserPerformance has the role of official sponsor of the US Youth Championships, the U.S. Junior Women's Doublehanded Championship, the U.S. Junior Women's Singlehanded Championship, the U.S. Singlehanded Sailing Championship, the U.S. Junior Singlehanded and Doublehanded Championships, and the U.S. Team Racing Championship. LaserPerformance's commitment to supplying the boats and support for these events is what helps to ensure high caliber competition at these Championships. Many of the world's most popular dinghies are built by LaserPerformance. Boats being supplied to US SAILING Championships are the Laser, the Laser Radial, and the Vanguard 15. For more information on LaserPerformance, call 401-683-0960 or visit their web site at www.laserperformance.com.
About Westhampton Yacht Squadron
The Westhampton Yacht Squadron was established in 1890, and is one of the most historic sailing clubs on Long Island. The club resides on the Moriches Bay and hosts a variety of sailing events. The club has a rich history of sailors that have competed on the bay for generations. For more information, please visit http://www.yachtsquadron.com/.