Young sailors in search of great competition, quality coaching instruction and a fun time on and off the water, will find a special experience at US Sailing youth racing events in 2013. Another exciting season of youth racing is rapidly approaching at the many US Sailing coordinated events from two popular circuits. The USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival (JO) and the US Sailing Championships series collectively organize a combined 27 regattas around the country for youth sailors from June through December 2013.
2013 USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festivals
In its 17th season, this program is a nationwide series of regattas for youth, ages eight to 21. There are 23 regattas slated for 2013 in the continental United States and Hawaii and over 4,000 sailors are expected to participate. Last year, 4,038 youth sailors participated, which is the highest total since 2004.
The action begins in June and the series culminates with the 37th annual Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta, the largest junior sailing event in the country, on December 27-30 in Miami, Fla. The Orange Bowl is hosted by the US Sailing Center, Coral Reef Yacht Club and Key Biscayne Yacht Club. At last year’s Orange Bowl, 652 junior sailors from around the world participated. The regatta includes four days of competition on Biscayne Bay.
This youth development program, sponsored by West Marine, Gill North America, and Sperry Top-Sider, is a nationwide series of regattas hosted by yacht clubs and community sailing organizations. All events share a common goal. They are designed to promote the enjoyment of sailing, develop the skills of young sailors, and to provide a pathway for hopeful Olympic competitors.
During the course of the 2013 JO season, sailors will race Optimists, Lasers, Radials, Laser 4.7, Sunfish, Byte, El Toros, Club and International 420s, CFJs, 29ers, windsurfers, Hobie Cats and more. Since the inception of the program in 1997, more than 50,300 sailors have participated in 338 events offering various levels of competition, skill building and fun activities designed to encourage a life-long involvement in the sport of sailing. US Sailing continues to add events to the circuit in areas around the country where junior sailing is growing.
2013 US Sailing Championships
US Sailing has been coordinating first-class championship regattas for junior sailors since 1921. These championships are hosted by local yacht clubs and sailing organizations around the country, and they offer a wide variety of opportunities to participate. Each championship is steeped in its own unique tradition. A long, distinguished line of the best sailors in the world sailed through the ranks of our youth championships. To name a few, 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe and 2010 America’s Cup Champion Tactician John Kostecki, both participated in US Sailing Championship events as young promising sailors.
During the 2013 season, young sailors will race the Byte CII, Club 420, Formula 16, International 420, Laser Radial, Laser, RS:X, Sonar and 29er. These prestigious events provide junior sailors with an opportunity to test their skill at the national level. Each championship has three days of racing, often preceded by a clinic under the guidance of coaches, which are provided by US Sailing.
The summer schedule gets underway with the U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship on June 22-27 at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club in Corona del Mar, Calif. Weeks later, the U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship takes place in Miami, Fla. on July 14-19 at the Beverly Yacht Club in Marion, Mass. US Sailing’s Junior National Coach Rich Feeny will be running sailing instruction clinics on-site prior to the start of racing at each of these events.
Exciting new stipulations have been incorporated into the 2013 U.S. Youth Championships, hosted by Corpus Christi Yacht (Texas), on August 12-16. This year’s event will serve as a mandatory qualification event for the 2014 U.S. Youth Worlds Team. The pinnacle of youth sailing competition in the United States will expand to host more youth sailors including seven classes: 29er, Club 420, Formula 16, International 420, Laser, Laser Radial and RS:X. The country’s top single- and doublehanded youth sailors, both girls and boys, ranging from 13 to 18 years of age will be on hand.
While expanding the base of youth sailors engaged in high performance boats, the regatta is open to private coaches and will also provide coaching from US Sailing’s national coaches to all competitors.
Qualifiers will begin in June for US Sailing’s Chubb U.S. Junior Championships, a nationwide elimination series that precedes the U.S. Youth Championships in LaPorte, Texas and Kemah, Texas on August 5-9. This unique regatta is among the oldest of the US Sailing Championships. Each team represents their home sailing organization. The top teams from each Area qualifier will advance to compete for the Sears, Bemis or Smythe Trophies. National single-, double-, and triplehanded champions will be crowned in this historic event, hosted by the Houston Yacht Club and Texas Corinthian Yacht Club. The three boats for this year’s championship are the Sonar, Club 420 and Byte CII.
There are also opportunities for junior sailors to compete at the adult level. The U.S. Singlehanded Championship is open to male and female sailors 16 and older. Sailors qualify through qualifiers , both at the Area level but also via specific regattas including the Interscholastic Singlehanded Championships and the ICSA Men’s and Women’s National Singlehanded Championships. Qualifying events for this prestigious championship run through June. Additionally, this year’s winners of the U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship, the U.S. Junior Singlehanded Championship, and the male winner of the Laser fleet and the female winner of the Radial fleet in the Youth Championship will qualify for the 2013 U.S. Singlehanded Championships to be sailed in September at Manasquan River Yacht Club in New Jersey.
For more information on US Sailing Championships, please visit our site or contact US Sailing Championships Director Liz Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It seems a little hard to believe that it was three and half years ago that I first sailed the Weta, off Takapuna Beach on Auckland’s North Shore. An invitation to have another test sail soon got upped into a Media Race – competing against Boating New Zealand, and one of my sons.