by Jake Fish
The U.S. Junior Women's Doublehanded Championship 2011 has resulted in Sarah Williams and crew Ali Blumenthal taking and maintaining a commanding lead. They won four of the first seven races of the championship to take an eight point lead going into today's final two races.
U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship 2011
On Thursday, Williams and Blumenthal finished seventh and fifth to win by a six point margin and will have their names engraved on the prestigious Ida Lewis Trophy. Forty youth teams competed in Club 420s this week on Barnegat Bay in this three-day Championship.
Allyson Donahue (Brigantine, N.J. / Brigantine YC) and crew Maddie Widmeier (Pipersville, Pa. / Brant Beach YC) finished in second. They raced well today and posted fourth and second place results. With a ninth and third in today's races, Tuesday's leaders Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick (Darien, Conn. / Noroton YC) and crew Caroline Atwood (Killingworth, Conn. / Kollegewidgwock YC) finished third and eight points behind the winning team.
Sailing conditions were ideal throughout the racing this week. 'We had good breeze all week, which is great because we sail better in these conditions,' said Williams. 'Downwind sailing was our strength. We did a good job getting inside people at the leeward mark gates.'
Williams is excited to win this championship close to her hometown of Bay Head, N.J. 'It's awesome to win this championship and have so many family members and friends around. I'm on the road so much. It's great to win here.'
U.S. Junior Women's Doublehanded Championship 2011
Blumenthal said, 'We started sailing together in the fall and our communication in the boat has been really good, so we decided to keep racing together. We've come leaps and bounds with our teamwork.'
Williams and Blumenthal will be on their way to Tavira, Portugal to compete in next week's International 420 European Championships on July 20-29. They will also be competing at US SAILING's 2011 U.S. Youth Sailing Championship in the C420 division, hosted by the New York Yacht Club, Ida Lewis Yacht Club and Sail Newport (R.I.) on August 14-18.
The U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship is an open event… Racing took place on Barnegat Bay at the Green Island course… Trophies were awarded to the skippers and crew finishing in the top three places. US Sailing medals were presented to the top five finishing teams. The C. Thomas Clagett Sportsmanship Award and Most Improved Award will be announced Thursday night.
US Sailing website