West Coast Champs Practice Days

We will be training October 8-10 at Cabrillo Beach YC in preparation for the USODA Spring Teams Qualifier, and have some open spots for any sailors whose teams won’t be in California until later in the week. Can do one, two, or all three days. Contact for availability and pricing.

NJ State Optimist Championship

Clayton Johnson (far left) and JC Hermus (3rd from left) coming off the start at the NJ State Optimist Championship.

Clayton Johnson (far left) and JC Hermus (3rd from left) coming off the start at the NJ State Optimist Championship.

26 SailStrong Sailors took part in the NJ State Optimist Championship August 19-20 at Brant Beach YC. Saturday the RC got off 4 races in very shifty and light conditions. Sunday they were able to get off three more in steadier but still light air. Our sailors did very well in the 111 boat Gold Fleet and 25 boat Silver Fleet.

JC Hermus won his second straight USODA event, though this one was much closer than New England Champs. Going into to the last race JC trailed two other boats by one and two points, and lead another by only one. He won the last race and came away with a one point win.

Sarah Burn, 8th, and Thomas Hall, 10th, also cracked the Top 10 in the competitive fleet with sailors from all over the country. The team as a whole sailed very well in addition to the three in the Top 10, with 8 in the Top 20, 11 in the Top 30, and 18 in the Top Half. 

Link to Overall Results

Team Results

Gold Fleet – 111 Boats: JC Hermus 1st Overall & 1st Red Fleet, Sarah Burn 8th Overall & 3rd Blue, Thomas Hall 10th Overall & 1st White, Sam Bruce 12th, Maddie Hawkins 13th, Stan Picard 14th, Kathryn Hall 16th, Clayton Johnson 17th,  Jordan Bruce 24th, Brendan Little 26th, Eloise Burn 30th, Daven Subbiah 33rd, Brendan Lord 34th, Michael Pinto 37th, Liam Randall 39th, Jack Farrell 41st, Jagan Subbiah 45th, Nich Chisari 53rd, Fritz Sellig 64th, Colleen Obrien 68th, Cordelia Burn 69th, Torrey Chisari 70th, Justin Smith 87th, Michaela Obrien 88th, John McCarthy 96th

Silver Fleet – 25 Boats: Adra Ivancich 13th

Holiday Optimist Clinic

We will be hosting our 3rd annual Holiday Opti Clinic December 20-24. This year we are moving it from Miami to the US Sailing Center Martin County in Jensen Beach, FL. Partial attendance is ok and additional dates prior to the 20th are available as well. Please contact for price and additional details.


CORK Optimist Regatta

Two of our sailors left straight from New England Champs in Maine to make it to Kingston, Ontario for racing the following day at the CORK Optimist Regatta. Gray Benson sailed a great regatta to finish 3rd, just 3 points out of 2nd Place. Clayton Johnson sailed well too, finishing 13th of the 99 boats sailing. Way to go boys!

New England Championships Recap


August 5th through 8th we were in Portland, ME for the USODA New England Championship hosted by SailMaine. The conditions were great with 9 races over three days in light to medium wind, thought the water was a little chilly. The team sailed a great regatta and took home awards in the Overall, Red, Blue, White, and Girls Fleets.

JC Hermus lead the group, winning the regatta in convincing fashion with 8 bullets in 9 races  and dropping a 5th place. We also had 1st through 3rd in the Girls: Kathryn Hall 1st, Sarah Burn 2nd, and Michelle Lahrkamp 3rd. As a group we had 16 sailors make the Top 100 of the close to 300 boats sailing. We also had a solid group of younger and less experienced sailors make great steps in improving their sailing. Great job by everyone!

Team Results:

JC Hermus 1st Overall, 1st Red Fleet
Kathryn Hall 12th, 1st Girl, 8th Red
Jordan Bruce 17th, 6th Blue
Sarah Burn 19th, 2nd Girl, 7th Blue
Thomas Rice 20th, 8th Blue
Michelle Lahrkamp 22nd, 3rd Girl, 9th Blue
Sam Bruce 27th
Maddie Hawkins 28th, 6th Girl
Thomas Hall 42nd, 3rd White
Gray Benson 51st
Walter Henry 56th
Stan Picard 57th
Clayton Johnson 65th
Eloise Burn 75th
Michael Pinto 78th
Madeleine Rice 79th
Brendan Lord 99th
Brendan Little 106th
Nick Chisari 119th
Liam Randall 153rd
Cordelia Burn 156th
Torrey Chisari 168th
Colleen Obrien 190th
Maddie Kaller 216th
Michaela Obrien 228th
Vanessa Lahrkamp 230th
Adra Ivancich 285th

USODA National Championship Report

26 team members spent 10 days in Detroit for the three USODA National Championships; Team Racing, Girls, and Open Fleet Racing.

For the Team Race we had two teams, SailStrong Blue and SailStrong White. The Blue team made up of Gray Benson, Maddie Hawkins, Madeleine Rice, Sam Bruce, and Jordan Bruce finished 2nd in Gold Fleet (Top 8 teams) and the White team (Brendan Little, Nick Chisari, Torrey Chisari, Stan Picard, and Caroline Benson) finished 3rd in Silver Fleet. The Blue team overcame Gray being sick on the first day, went in to the final round in fourth, and only lost one race in Gold Fleet to finish second. They were also the only team to beat the eventual National Champions LISOT Black. The future is bright for SailStrong Team racing with all the team members from both theses teams, along with their teammates that missed Nationals while sailing at North Americans and Worlds.

In the Fleet Racing portion of Nationals we also had a great showing, lead by Thomas Rice finishing 3rd Overall and 1st in Blue Fleet. Other standouts were Thomas Hall finishing 9th Overall and 1st in White Fleet and Maddie Hawkins finishing 10th Overall and 3rd Girl. We also had 15 sailors make the Gold Fleet (Top 85 of 250 boats).

Team Results

Gold Fleet: Thomas Rice 3rd Overall, 1st Blue, Thomas Hall 9th Overall, 1st White, Maddie Hawkins 10th, 3rd Girl, 3rd Blue, Boyd Bragg 23rd, Sam Bruce 26th, Michael Pinto 28th, Stan Picard 47th, Brendan Little 51st, Reed Menszer 54th, Jordan Bruce 64th, Madeleine Rice 67th, Caroline Benson 69th, Chapman Petersen 72nd, Jagan Subbiah 79th, Gray Benson 81st

Silver Fleet: Daven Subbiah 1st, Nick Chisari 5th, Eloise Burn 40th, Harrison Menszer 57th, Liam Randall 74th, Cordelia Burn 82nd, Torrey Chisari 86th, Ellie Menszer 93rd, Michaela Obrien 112th, Colleen Obrien 117th