We are in the middle of our first clinic of the summer at Little Egg Harbor YC.
Friday we had a great sea breeze fill after a no wind morning and did some great downwind practice.
Here is a video from Thursday’s training of the kids doing the Diamond Drill, basically a chaotic boat-handling drill which forces them to do every maneuver imaginable continuously. The marks start spread out with plenty of space between boats and slowly are pulled closer together to make it more difficult.
Congrats to all our sailors who sailed the SailNewport Youth Challenge this past weekend. It was a fun event and SailNewport did a great job as usual. Thanks to the Lahrkamps and Obriens for organizing a team dinner at New York YC.
Dana Haig lead the team in the 91 boat Opti fleet in 11th. Vanessa Lahrkamp was 1st in White fleet.
We are looking for a coach boat to charter, ideally an inflatable, for Opti Nationals, July 21 – 27. If you know of anyone in Los Angeles area with a boat they would be willing to rent please let us know.
We have pre Opti Nationals training dates set for July 21-22 with coach Leigh Kempton. If your team is not arriving early or you are not team racing and would like to get a couple extra days of practice in on site we have open spaces for those dates. Contact us if you are interested.
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.
Congrats to Ian Jezak, Harrison Bailey, Michelle Lahrkamp, Madeleine Rice, and Nick Chisari will join SailStrong Coach Scott Norman on the USODA team heading to the British National Championship this August in Weymouth, the sailing venue for the 2012 London Olympics.
With three teams traveling to two events this weekend the kids were busy. SailStrong Red finished 5th of 20 teams at the Trofeo Marco Rizzotti in Venice, Italy. It was the first international team race for SailStrong. There was definitely a lot learned about a different style of racing than we usually see here in the US. SailStrong Blue and White were at Southern YC for their inaugural Opti Team race. Being a first time event it was a small turnout with 6 teams but SYC put on a great regatta and given the low number of teams the teams were able to get in a lot of races relative to a two day event with 15-20 teams. Racing was also close with all teams winning races and victory for SYC Black coming down to the last race. Our White Team finished 2nd and Blue Team 3rd.
Both events produced lots of good preparation for Nationals in July.
Congrats to the 4 SailStrong Opti team members that have qualified to represent the USA at the IODA North American Championships in Nayarit, Mexico in July. Sam Bruce, Maddie Hawkins, Michael Pinto will all make their first trip to a continental championship and Thomas Rice will be heading to his second North Americans.
More info at the event webiste: http://www.optinam2014.org/
SailStrong teams will be traveling to two team race events this weekend.
First, SailStrong Red ( JC Hermus, Thomas Rice, Gray Benson, Maddie Hawkins, and Clayton Johnson ) are headed to Venice, Italy to compete in the Trofeo Marco Rizzotti. They qualified for this international team race by winning the USODA Team Race Midwinters back in February. This is one of the most competitive Opti Team races in the world and a great honor to represent USA there.
At the same time SailStrong Blue ( Michelle Lahrkamp, Ian Jezak, Nick Chisari, Jordan Bruce) and White (Madeleine Rice, Walter Henry, Sam Bruce, Torrey Chisari, Vanessa Lahrkamp) are traveling to Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans for their inaugural Junior Team Race. It looks like it is going to be a great event with a similar format to the Lauderdale YC Opti Team Race with provided boats and sails. It’s always nice to be able to arrive with just your sailing gear and lifejacket to sail. Thanks to SYC for putting this together and hopefully it builds into a great team race in coming years.