SailStrong sailors spent most of Thanksgiving week down in New Orleans at Southern Yacht Club for the USODA Midwinters, which this year was the qualifier for the Spring international teams for US Opti sailing. The sailing was tough with two days of very light air followed by shifty and choppy conditions on the third and last day. We had 21 sailors attending the regatta as well as Scott Norman and Leigh Kempton helping me out with the coaching. The kids worked hard and the team came away with some great results. JC Hermus was consistent throughout finishing 3rd overall and 2nd in Blue Fleet of the 210 boats sailing, qualifying for his second South American Championship. Thomas Rice had a tough last day and fell from 5th to 14th overall and 3rd in Blue Fleet, but still an outstanding performance. Gray Benson was our third boat in the Top 25 at 23rd place. Our youngest sailors continued their strong performances from earlier in the Fall taking 6 of the top 8 spots in White Fleet, lead by a guest member, Rayne Duff, of the British Virgin Islands. In a telling sign of the depth of the group 12 of our 21 sailors finished in the top half with a few others just outside. Way to go everyone and keep up the hard work!
We finished up our pre-Midwinters training this past weekend with 20 sailors on the water in Maryland and 5 more in New York. 23 kids are prepared and excited to be heading down to Southern Yacht Club for Thanksgiving.
JC Hermus finishes 17th of 150 boats at Opti North American’s at Valle de Bravo, Mexico. He also was part of the USA 1 team that won the North American Team Racing Championship. Way to go JC!