by Jake Fish
The 2013 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship (USJWSC), hosted by the Beverly Yacht Club in Marion, Mass., gets underway this Wednesday, July 17 for three days of racing on Buzzards Bay. Top-notch youth sailors from all over the country will take part in the chase for the Nancy Leiter Clagett Memorial Trophy. Forty-three sailors from all over the country will be racing in Laser Radials, and five of the top six competitors from last year’s championship in Chicago have returned to take another shot at the title.
The 2012 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship Runner-up Lindsey Baab (Saratoga, Calif.) was edged out by four points through 10 races by Hanne Weaver on Lake Michigan in Laser Radials. Baab continues to climb the ladder at this Championship. She was third in 2011 and fourth in 2010. This will be her fifth attempt at the USJWSC.
Dana Rohde (Richmond Hill, Ga.) was also in contention last year and finished third – one point behind Baab. She is also making her fifth appearance at the USJWSC. Rohde was 12th out of 53 Laser Radials at the 2013 ISAF Youth World Qualifier and the second best female finisher. Rohde is a member of the US Sailing Development Team.
Lola Bushnell (San Francisco, Calif.) placed fourth last year. She was top finishing junior women’s sailor at the 2013 Laser Radial Midwinters West Championships in Marina del Rey, Calif. Massachusetts' own Sophie Naughton (Marblehead, Mass.), who was fifth a year ago, returns to compete this year.
Racing will take place on Buzzards Bay near Centerboard Shoal off of Converse Point. Racing begins at 11:00 am, Wednesday through Friday.
Competition is just part of the overall experience for the sailors this week in Marion. US Sailing Junior National Coach Rich Feeny is running a two-day clinic that precedes racing on Monday and Tuesday of this week, 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.
As part of the 2013 Olympic Sailing Night Series, Josh Adams, Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing will educate the participating young sailors about the many pathways to Olympic sailing success on Thursday night, July 18.