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2021 ILCA Nationals, U.S. Singlehanded Championships run combined event in Norfolk

by Tyler Colvin 18 Jun 09:05 PDT June 18-20, 2021
2018 U.S. Singlehanded Championship © US Sailing

Big Blue Sailing Academy at Old Dominion University, in collaboration with Norfolk Yacht and Country Club and the Lower Chesapeake Laser Fleet 12, are set to host the 2021 ILCA US National Championship on June 18-20. The U.S. Singlehanded Sailing Championship for the O'Day, Hanley and Barrett Trophies will be run in conjunction with ILCA Nationals this week.

The U.S. Singlehanded Sailing Championship is a US Sailing National Championship. The 2021 ILCA US National Championships are supported by Xylem Tree Experts, Rite in the Rain Notebooks, US Sailing and West Marine.

The event, with 227 registered competitors, is one of the largest US ILCA Nationals in recent history. The ILCA 4 with 53 boats, the ILCA 6 with 122 boats and the ILCA 7 with 52 boats, have representation from around the United States, as well as 11 other countries. 2019 ILCA 6 North American Champion, Chapman Petersen, of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, is competing, as well as 2019 ILCA 7 North American 3rd place finisher, Benn Smith, of Bermuda. On the women's side, US Sailing Olympic Development Program (ODP) athletes Lillian Myers and Hallie Schiffman are top contenders in the ILCA 6.

North American Executive Class Secretary Scott Williamson commented, "227 entries are a big turnout, with 175 of those in the ILCA 6 and 4 fleets. These numbers show a bright future for the class on [sic] its 50th year!"

Racing will take place by Middle Ground Lighthouse, off of Craney Island, in Hampton Roads Harbor, beginning at 10:30 am ET on Friday, June 18. The PRO for the event is Chip Till and the Chief Judge is Sandy Grosvenor. There are 12 races planned for the event. In the ILCA 6, there will be two days of qualifying, followed by one day of Championship fleet racing. Conditions are predicted to be 9-12 knots S on Friday, 15-25 knots SW on Saturday and 10-15 knots SW on Sunday.

Big Blue Sailing Academy is run by Mitch Brindley, Head Coach of the Old Dominion University Sailing Team, with support from Assistant Coaches Morgan Collins and Tyler Colvin. Big Blue Sailing Academy provides elite level ILCA coaching in the Hampton Roads area, as well as an accessible avenue for local youth to get on the water and learn to sail. Brindley, Collins and Colvin have run the 2017 USODA National Championships, the 2018 College Sailing National Championships, the 2019 C420 Mid-Atlantic Championships, the 2020 ILCA Atlantic Coast Championships, and are set to host the 2021 Junior Women's Championship Mid-Atlantic Clinic on June 29-July 1 and the 2021 USODA Fleet Race Championships on July 24-29.

"We are thrilled to be running this event here at Old Dominion University," said Morgan Collins, Event Co-Chair. "The venue will be unique and challenging with flat and open water conditions. We are also excited to see a large group of sailors again and hope to kickoff a great summer of sailing here in the U.S."

Sailors eligible for the U.S. Singlehanded Sailing Championships in the men's ILCA 7 and women's ILCA 6 events must have turned 17 in the calendar year of 2021. All competitors that are U.S. citizens shall be members of US Sailing, and all non-citizen shall either be members of US Sailing or members of their World Sailing recognized MNA. Males in ILCA 7 and females in ILCA 6 that meet the requirements are eligible.

Prizes will be awarded to competitors meeting the eligibility rules for the U.S. Singlehanded Sailing Championship:

  • George D. O'Day Trophy to the overall highest placing eligible male in the ILCA 7 for the U.S. Singlehanded Men's Championship.
  • Helen Willis Hanley Trophy to the overall highest placing eligible female in the ILCA 6 for the U.S. Singlehanded Women's Championship.
  • US Sailing medals will be awarded to the top three positions in each fleet.

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