BRIELLE, N.J. (September 14, 2013) – In a thrilling finale to the women’s Byte CII division at the U.S. Singlehanded Sailing Championships, Simone Staff (Los Angeles, Calif.) came from behind on Saturday to edge Hanne Weaver (Gig Harbor, Wash.) for the Helen Willis Hanley Trophy. In the men’s Laser division, Clay Johnson (Point Pleasant, N.J.) easily defended his title to stake claim to the George D. O'Day Trophy. The 2013 U.S. Singlehanded Sailing Championships were hosted by the Manasquan River Yacht Club.
Staff overcame a two point deficit through eight races by winning Race 9 and placing second in Race 10 on Saturday to win by two points. Weaver finished second in Race 9 and dropped to fifth in Race 10. The two talented young sailors have gone head to head for three days.
“I played it more conservative at first by just trying to stay close to Hanne,” said Staff. “It was puffy and shifty and I wanted to get off to good first start. Going downwind I took more risks today. I gained in the downwind, which is unusual because I had been gaining upwind for most of the week. In the last race I saw a big right shift and that put me in good position.”
In July, Staff finished fourth out of 42 sailors at the U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship in Marion, Mass.
Women's Byte CII Final Standings – Top 5
1. Simone Staff, California YC, 1-2-2-1-2-1-3-2-1-2: 17
2. Hanne Weaver, Seattle YC, 2-1-1-2-1-3-1-1-2-5: 19
3. Charlotte List, Corinthian YC Cape May, 3-3-3-3-5-2-2-3-3-3: 30
4. Sophie Naughton, Eastern YC, 5-4-4-4-4-4-6-4-4-1: 40
5. Bridget MacCormack, Toms River YC, 4-5-5-6-3-5-5-6-6-6: 51
Johnson capped a fantastic regatta with two more wins on Saturday to win the Laser fleet by 20 points. Finishing second was Marc Jacobi (Norwalk, Conn) who edged Stephen Long (Santa Barbara, Calif.) by a point.
Over the past two U.S. Singlehanded Sailing Championships, Johnson has won 20 of 22 races. The four-time All-American is a Laser National (2009) and North American (2011) Champion. This year he won the Atlantic Coast Championship, held in Beach Haven, N.J.
“It’s nice to win this championship in my home state,” said Johnson. “It’s a great venue here being so close to the ocean.”
Johnson is coaching a group of talented young Optimist sailors in Barnegat Bay. “I’d really like to help build up the sailing here in the Barnegat Bay area, similar to what it was like in the 90s.”
Johnson plans on competing at the Laser World Championships this November in Oman.
Men's Laser Final Standings - Top 5
1. Clay Johnson, LEHYC, TRYC, EYC, 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1: 10
2. Marc Jacobi, Cedar Point YC, 5-2-2-3-3-3-2-3-5-2: 30
3. Stephen Long, Santa Barbara/Cabrillo Beach YC, 2-3-3-2-2-2-5-2-6-4: 31
4. Glen Dickson, Bay Head YC, 4-4-4-4-5-6-3-4-8-3: 45
5. Mike Russom, Greater Wildwood YC, 3-6-5-5-6-7-4-7-2-6: 51
There were cooler temperatures in the low-60s today on the Atlantic with winds at 10-12 knots from the Northwest.
The regatta exhibits a rich history of great sailing athletes. Over the years, many past Olympians and US Sailing Team members have participated at this Championship, including Paul Foerster, Morgan Larson, Andrew Campbell, Anna Tunnicliffe, Sally Barkow, and Sarah Lihan.
Visit the official event website this week for the Notice Race, full rosters, standings, photos, real-time Twitter updates, daily recaps, and more.
The U.S. Singlehanded Sailing Championships is a US Sailing National Championship regatta, sponsored by Hobie Polarized, Zim Sailing and Gill North America. The championship is a Sailors for the Sea – Clean Regattas certification event.
About US Sailing
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 Sperry Top-Sider. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.
About Hobie Polarized
Hobie Polarized is a leading designer, developer, marketer and distributor of polarized eyewear. The brand’s innovative lens technology allows total glare reduction, 100% UV protection, enhances contrast and provides optimum visual acuity. The company’s products are sold worldwide and are used by watermen at all skill and lifestyle levels. The Hobie Polarized headquarters is located in Plainview, New York. For further information, please visit the company’s website at www.hobiepolarized.com.
About Zim Sailing
Zim Sailing, headquartered in Warren, R.I. is the fastest growing manufacturer of one-design sailboats in North America. Currently, Zim manufactures and distributes the Optimist, Club 420, CFJ and the Byte CII. Zim’s customers include high schools, colleges, yacht clubs, community sailing centers and the passionate dinghy sailor. Zim boats have won several local, regional, National and North American championships since the company’s creation in 2008. Zim is dedicated to the success and growth of dinghy sailing. Zim’s experienced staff and support vehicles can be found at many regattas. For more information, please visit www.zimsailing.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Gill North America
Gill NA, with headquarters near Atlanta, GA is the exclusive importer and distributor of Gill-brand foul weather gear in North America including Caribbean, US and Canada. Gill is a worldwide apparel and accessories brand serving the marine industry with over three decades of experience. Gill specializes in high tech, breathable waterproof clothing. The company develops 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. Gill products are available through hundreds of independent dealers and select West Marine Stores. For further information, please contact: Gary Barker at 941 505 2111 or email@example.com.