US SAILING Communications Manager
TOMS RIVER, N.J. (August 12, 2011) – Three champions were crowned Friday on Toms River capping an exciting and successful 2011 Chubb U.S. Junior Championships, 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 10 races over three days this week. Valente finished strong by winning both races on Friday. He posted bullets in 5 of the 10 races overall and won by a 10 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 20 skippers competing in the U.S. Junior Singlehanded Championship for the Smythe Trophy.
“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 10 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.”
U.S. Junior Triplehanded Championship (Flying Scot) Recap – Sears Cup
The Flying Scot fleet finished 10 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 11 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 11 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.
Visit the event website at for daily recaps, final standings, videos, photo galleries and more. To get up-to-the-minute updates from the championship, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Competition is just a part of the experience associated with this great series. Clinics were held for each fleet, including the Gill College Night seminar featuring Frank Ustach, US SAILING’s Junior National Coach.
US SAILING’s Chubb U.S. Junior Championships, hosted by Toms River Yacht Club, is sponsored by Chubb Insurance Group, LaserPerformance, Gill North America and SWITLIK Survival Products. The Championship is a Sailors for the Sea - Clean Regattas certification event.
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)
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 AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org .
About Chubb Group of Insurance Companies
Member insurers of the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies form a multi-billion-dollar organization providing property and casualty insurance for personal and commercial customers through 4,000 independent agents and brokers worldwide. Since its founding in the seaport district of New York City in 1882, Chubb has been a leading insurer of marine-related operations. Chubb provides comprehensive insurance and loss control services to private yacht clubs, marina operators and yacht owners. Chubb’s global network includes branches and affiliates throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia. More information on Chubb may be obtained at www.chubb.com.
LaserPerformance is a global company formed from a merger between Vanguard Sailboats and Performance Sail craft Europe. LaserPerformance is the world’s largest supplier of recreational and high performance sailboats. LaserPerformance products include the Sunfish and the Olympic class Laser, two of the most recognized brands in the sailing world. LaserPerformance has offices in Portsmouth RI (US), Long Bucky (UK), Melbourne (AU), Middle East (UAE), and Hong Kong. For more information on LaserPerformance, call 401-683-0960 or visit their website at www.laserperformance.com.
About Gill North America
Gill NA, with headquarters near Atlanta, Ga. is the sole distributor and licensee of Gill-brand foul weather gear in North America including Caribbean, Central America, US and Canada. Gill is an apparel and accessories leader in the worldwide marine industry for over three decades and specializes in high tech, breathable waterproof clothing. The company tests, designs and markets a variety of performance-oriented, award-winning apparel and accessories for virtually every type of boating activity with product lines that include foul weather gear; interactive layering systems; footwear; gloves; bags; junior gear; scholastic gear and team wear. Available through hundreds of dealers nationally, Gill NA is the sole distributor and licensee of Gill-brand foul weather gear in North America, where it is the top selling yachting clothing brand. For more information on Gill NA, visit the company website at http://www.gillna.com/orcontact Lance Jones at Gill NA, (678) 730-5581 / e-mail: email@example.com.
About SWITLIK Survival Products
SWITLIK is proud to be a sponsor of the U.S. Youth and Junior Sailing Championships, the pinnacle of performance dinghy sailing for America’s young adults. These fine young sailors exhibit the same type of drive, performance and perseverance that goes into every SWITLIK product.
Established in 1920, SWITLIK has been family owned and operated for four generations. Known worldwide as a manufacturer of the highest quality personnel safety and survival products for the marine, aviation and military/government markets, SWITLIK products are designed and manufactured in the USA to meet the toughest performance standards. From the world's finest race marks to the most trusted survival equipment and technical protective clothing, SWITLIK products are defined by Quality, Performance and Innovation, every day, in all we do. SWITLIK - Simply the best for over 90 years. For more information, please visit www.SWITLIK.com.