Chubb U.S. Junior Championship Preview - Top youth sailors to race

Chubb U.S. Junior Championships
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At the Chubb U.S. Junior Championships, sailors from all over the United States, have arrived just southeast of Houston, Texas for three days of racing for the Sears Cup and the Bemis and Smythe Trophies.

Top junior single-, double-, and triple handed sailors who have earned the right to compete by participating in regional qualifiers will race for these coveted titles on Galveston Bay. This 2013 US Sailing National Championship will be hosted by the Houston Yacht Club (HYC) and Texas Corinthian Yacht Club (TCYC). Racing begins Tuesday, 6th August and the regatta wraps up on Friday, 9th August.

First sailed in 1921, this is US Sailing’s oldest Championship. Each Area is eligible to send at least one sailor/team to compete in each of the fleets. Sailors race in boats provided at the event site to ensure the quality of the equipment and a level playing field. A one day racing clinic led by US Sailing’s Junior National Coach Rich Feeny will be held prior to the start of the championship at HYC and TCYC on Tuesday, sixth August . The clinics will include U.S. Senior Olympic Coach Luther Carpenter and College of Charleston’s Ward Cromwell. Instruction will cover charter boat assignment, rigging and handling of the boats, starts, and practice races. As part of the 2013 Olympic Sailing Night Series, Carpenter will educate the participating young sailors about the many pathways to Olympic sailing success on Monday night, fifth August . A Gill College Night seminar will take place on Thursday night for the participating sailors.

The U.S. Junior Singlehanded Championship for the Smythe Trophy will feature 20 skippers competing in the Byte CII. Addison Hackstaff (St. Petersburg, Fla.) is returning to defend his title from last year’s event on San Francisco Bay, also raced in the Byte CII. He recently finished 16th overall the U.S. Youth World Championships in Limassol, Cyprus. Hackstaff is the current Sunfish Junior World Champion and a member of the US Sailing Development Team. Drake Lyon (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) has returned after finishing third last year. Also on hand will be 2012 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Champion Hanne Weaver (Gig Harbor, Wash.) and Byte CII North American Champion Henry Marshall (Auburndale, Mass.).

The U.S. Junior Double handed Championship for the Bemis Trophy includes 20 teams racing in the Club 420. Kristopher Swanson (Kentfield, Calif.) is back after placing second last year. He’ll be joined by new crewmate Alexander Ron (Belvedere, Calif.). The 2013 C420 North American Champions Charlie Lomax (Annapolis, Md.) and Evan Morgan (Shady Side, Md.) will be aiming to add another title to their racing year. They also won the Chesapeake Bay Junior Olympics. Elena VandenBerg (Annapolis, Md.) and Lilla Salvesen (Edgewater, Md.) placed fifth at the Club 420 North American Championship and earlier this summer they finished third at the U.S. Junior Women’s Double handed Championship.

The U.S. Junior Triple handed Championship for the Sears Cup has 11 teams ready race in Sonars. Two members from last year’s winning team, Jack Barton (San Anselmo, Calif.) and Sammy Shea (Kentfield, Calif.), will make a bid at defending their title with new crew mate Alex Moody (Tiburon, Calif.). Barton was named to the 2013 Jobson Junior All-Star Team. He won the silver fleet at the U.S. National Laser Championship. Shea crewed aboard the winning youth match racing team at the 2013 Rose Cup in Sheboygan, Wis. last June. Moody, the team’s new edition was second at the U.S. Junior Double handed Championship last year in San Francisco.

Johannes McElvain (San Diego, Calif.) is also returning to this championship after crewing on the second place boat last year. McElvain has experience racing keelboats and at age 13 was the youngest crew at the 2011 Etchells World Championship. His team includes three San Diegans including Jack Augustine, Jack McGraw and Mercedes McPhee. The team regularly competes locally in J/22s. Crews may consist of either three or four sailors with a minimum weight of 500 pounds and a maximum weight of 600 pounds.

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