by Jake Fish
At the 2013 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship (USJWSC), hot and humid temperatures settled on Buzzards Bay with gusty winds, as the 42-boat Laser Radial fleet completed three more races on the final day of racing in Marion, Mass. Dana Rohde (Richmond Hill, Ga.) led from start to finish and won her first Nancy Leiter Clagett Memorial Trophy in her fifth attempt.
'My sisters and I have been racing at this event for a long time and I wanted to get our name on that trophy,' stated Rohde.
Despite recording an OCS in Race 7, Rohde bounced back and placed third and Races 8 and 9 to win the Championship by six points. 'After the OCS, I just told myself that these were the last two races I would ever have in this event so have fun and be conservative at the same time,' said Rohde.
She got off to a great start this week by winning four of the first five races of the event. Rohde tallied 30 points over nine races this week. 'The first day was great because it allowed me to relax. People say you can't win the regatta on the first day, you can only lose it,' she said.
She finished third in last year's Championship raced on Lake Michigan. Rohde was 12th out of 53 Laser Radials at the 2013 ISAF Youth World Qualifier and the second best female finisher. She is also a member of the US Sailing Development Team. The win qualifies her for the U.S. Singlehanded Sailing Championship on September 13-15 in Brielle, N.J. Rohde, along with several other competitors from this week, will be competing at the Laser Radial North American Championship on July 24-28, hosted by CORK/Sail Kingston in Ontario, Canada.
Lindsey Baab (Saratoga, Calif.) moved up the leaderboard on Friday by posting a 3-2-2 scoring line to place second overall again for the second straight year. Lola Bushnell (San Francisco, Calif.) won Races 8 and 9 and finished fourth in Race 7 to place third overall. She was fourth last year.
Racing took place on Buzzards Bay near Centerboard Shoal off of Converse Point.
On Thursday night, Josh Adams, Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing, presented to the participating young sailors about the many pathways to Olympic sailing success, as part of the 2013 Olympic Sailing Night Series.
On Monday and Tuesday, US Sailing Junior National Coach Rich Feeny conducted a two-day clinic with a distinguished list of high school and college coaches, including two-time Olympian Amanda Clark, US Sailing Paralympic Coach Betsy Alison, and Old Dominion Head Coach Mitch Brindley.