by Jake Fish
The third and final day of the 2012 US Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship was dominated by light winds. The race committee attempted to get an early jump on the day to no avail, as the weather refused to cooperate. Yesterday’s leaders Allyson Donahue and Maddie Widmeier were crowned 2012 champs after finishing second last year.
U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship 2012
The regatta concluded with six races in the books. Each team was allowed to discard their worst score. Donahue (Brigantine, N.J.) and Widmeier (Pipersville, Penn.) maintained a one point lead over Carolyn Smith (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Bayley Davidson (Costa Mesa, Calif.). Both teams put together remarkably consistent scores throughout the week.
The top two teams placed outside the top seven just once, which was dropped from their overall scores. This consistency allowed these teams some breathing room at the top of the leaderboard.
Donahue and Widmeier were able to provide perspective on competing at this event, and what bringing home this title means to them. The two have sailed together for the past four years, and had a great deal of pressure on their shoulders after finishing second last year. Widmeier explained how their mental toughness as a team allowed them to lock up the regatta: 'Coming off of the fifth race (19th place finish), we said to ourselves ‘wow that was horrible’, but we were able to go off to the side, get some food, water, relaxation and get right back in it for the sixth race.'
Donahue commented on what it meant to her to win the regatta: 'This is definitely the most important regatta we have ever won. We have done well at a lot of the big regattas over the past few years, but have never had a victory until now.'
The two girls will continue to push themselves throughout the summer, and on to their upcoming senior year of high school. The pair will compete in the Club 420 North Americans, the Buzzard’s Bay Regatta, and the US Sailing Youth Championships at the Gorge in Oregon this summer.
An awards banquet is scheduled for 7-9 PM CT, where the winning team will hoist up the prestigious Ida Lewis Perpetual Trophy.
The top three teams will also receive trophies, and the top five teams will receive US Sailing Championship Medals. The C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Sportsmanship Prize will also be awarded based on the results of a secret ballot.
* Recap content provided by Conner Blouin, US Sailing Communications Assistant.
US Sailing website