Coaching available for St. Thomas International Optimist Regatta

We still have a couple spots open for the St. Thomas International Optimist Regatta. We will be arriving on the 17th and practicing the 18th and 19th. If you are already doing the clinic there but need coaching for the regatta we can accommodate as well.

Contact us for more information.

SailStrong Red wins 2013 Lauderdale YC Team Race Championship

SailStrong Red (JC Hermus, Thomas Rice, Gray Benson, Maddie Hawkins, and Clayton Johnson) bested 20 other team to win the Lauderdale Yacht Club Optimist Team Race Championship. They had a tough first day, losing a few more races than they had hoped, and were sitting in 7th after 2 1/2 qualifying rounds, tied with SailStrong Blue. On Sunday they came together as a team and went on to win every race in the following 1 1/2 rounds before the finals. This put them in first on points, just one ahead of Coral Reef YC 2 and gave them a pass through to the finals. The next four teams would face off to get to the finals.

SailStrong Blue (Madeleine Rice, Michelle Lahrkamp, Jordan Bruce, Sam Bruce, and Walter Henry) had similar struggles on Saturday to the Red team, though they didn’t make their Red teammates too happy when Blue beat Red, the more experienced team. Red got revenge on Sunday though, giving Blue their only loss before the Top 5 eliminations. Blue came up against eventual second place finisher Coral Reef 2 in the Quarter Finals and lost the best of two series 2-0 and ended up 5th overall after losing a close race to Coral Reef 3 in the 4/5 deciding race. They showed great potential and came together as a team for the first time at this event.

SailStrong White (Alex Ellis, Nick Chisari, Torrey Chisari, and Jack Farrell) had a much less experienced squad but learned a ton at this event. They finished 13th of the 20 Teams, but are looking forward to improving their result at Team Race Midwinters in January.


3 Day Clinic this weekend @ Little Egg Harbor YC

Any Opti Sailors not making the trip to California this weekend, should take advantage of the long weekend and get three days of training in with Coach Will Brown. He will be doing a clinic at Little Egg Harbor YC on Long Beach Island, NJ with what is likely to be a small group. It is a great chance to get some one on one training time and a solid number of on the water hours. Please contact if interested.

USODA Atlantic Coast Championship Wrap-Up

The team enjoyed a great weekend at Seawanhaka Corinthian YC. We had two days of practice on Thursday and Friday with some of the team and then two days of beautiful sailing over the weekend. Saturday we got 4 races in 6-10 knots and another 3 on Sunday in about the same wind. When the breeze got light it was really tough in the leftover chop and a couple of the races had some tough to predict persistent shifts along with the ever present current on Long Island Sound. Altogether the kids handled the conditions well and were able to post some solid scores, though consistency was hard to come by. For several of our sailors this was their first USODA event so that was a big shock relative to the summer local regattas.

We had 41 sailors which is definitely the biggest group we have supported to date, but with 5 coaches on the water, the ratio worked out well. I have to thank all our outstanding coaches ( Scott Norman, Leigh Kempton, Will Brown, and Randy Hartranft) for joining me this weekend. They all do great work with the kids and are able to help every kid from the back to the front of the fleet.

Some standout performances by the team in the 233 boat Championship Fleet include 3 sailors in the Top 10, 4 in the Top 12, 5 in the Top 25, 15 in the Top 50, and 27 in the Top 100.

Congrats to JC Hermus for finishing 2nd Overall to continue his incredible run of results after 1st at New England Champs and NJ State Champs. Sam Bruce was within a couple points of the lead going into the last coupe races and finished up winning the tie breaker for 6th place (2nd Blue Fleet) with Thomas Rice who finished the regatta 7th. Maddie Hawkins sailed a consistent regatta finishing 12th Overall, 2nd Girl, and 5th Blue Fleet. Stan Picard continues to climb the standings each event, finishing up 23rd and Top 10 in Blue Fleet.

As always thanks to all the families for all your help with the logistics of getting these kids on the water.

teamshot accs

Overall Results

Team Results:

JC Hermus 2nd OVerall, 2nd Red Fleet, Sam Bruce 6th Overall, 2nd Blue Fleet, Thomas Rice 7th Overall, 5th Red Fleet, Maddie Hawkins, 12th Overall, 2nd Girl, 5th Blue Fleet, Stan Picard 23rd Overall, 9th Blue, Emily Haig 31st, Gray Benson 32nd, Walter Henry 34th, Daven Subbiah, 35th, Michelle Lahrkamp 36th, Ian Jezak 38th, Jordan Bruce 40th, Clayton Johnson 44th, Mark Bourdin 48th, Brendan Lord 49th, Bella Casaretto 55th, Alex Mazzeo 59th, Austin Ando 60th, Jagan Subbiah 62nd, Chase Carraway 63rd, Michael Pinto 64th, Madeleine Rice 66th, Jack Farrell 74th, Nick Chisari 92nd, Caroline Benson 93rd, Brendan Little 99th, Liam Randall 100th, Harrison Bailey 102nd, Colleen Obrien 117th, Dana Haig 119th, Torrey Chisari 129th, Michaela Obrien 131st, Lauren Krim 145th, Vanessa Lahrkamp 150th, John McCarthy 176th, Justin Smith 177th, Nati Arad 186th, Zachary York 189th, Patrick York 209th, Thomas Mazzeo 222nd, Adra Ivancich 228th.

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!

Make the switch to refillable water bottles.

At SailStrong we have been using refillable water bottles for a while now, but here is a great video to remind everyone why it is so important to make the switch away from single use plastic bottles. It’s also nice not to have to clean up so much trash in the RIB.

USODA South East Champs

Thomas Rice wins the 2012 SE Champs held at Camp Seagull in North Carolina!

Camp Seagull was a great host for the regatta and we got in 6 races over the two days in winds from 5-12 knots and flat water with a surprising amount of current. The turnout for the event was great, with 90+ boats from all over the east coast.  The whole SailStrong contingent had a successful showing with 2 sailors in the top 10, 4 in the top 15, 3 of the top 5 Blue Fleet, and 4 of the top 5 in White Fleet. Way to go everyone!

Thomas Rice 1st Overall, 1st Blue Fleet, Maddie Hawkins 6th Overall, 1st White Fleet, Porter Kavle 11th, 3rd Blue, Brendan Little 13th, 5th Blue, Jake Vickers 14th, Sam Bruce 17th, 2nd White, Jordan Bruce 28th, 4th White, Aidan Morgan 36th, Madeleine Rice 37th, 5th White, Kimmie Leonard 39th, Michael Pinto 48th


This coming Saturday Sept 22

Much of the team will be in North Carolina at the USODA South East Champs but we are still having practice at the Dinghy Shop on Saturday. Our usual assistant coach, Leigh Kempton will running the practice. There are only 5 kids signed up right now so it could be a great chance to get some one on one, in a small group. Let me know if you are interested. Practice will be from 9am to 4:30 pm.