We had a great 9 day trip to Sandusky, Ohio for Opti Nationals. The kids participated in Team Racing, Girls, and Open Nationals and had success in all three.
For Team Racing we had three teams, two of which, our White and Blue teams, were made up mostly of kids doing their first team race regatta. It was tough but a good learning experience for all.
SailStrong Red, made up of JC Hermus, Thomas Rice, Gray Benson, Porter Kavle, and Stephanie Houck, had a great regatta and finished 4th of the 26 teams. They were 2-2 vs the winner, Team FOR, and won a close race against the second place Lauderdale YC, but in the finals round they lost 2 of three races. Being one of the youngest teams in the group, they all came away with a lot of confidence for their next team race.
Girls Nationals proved to be another good event for the team, with 10 girls sailing. It was a long day with 4 races and 102 boats. Highlights for the team included Sinead McManus 6th Overall, Julia LaForgia 10th and 3rd in Blue Fleet, Caroline Benson 15th overall and 1st in White Fleet, Stephanie Houck 21st, Camille White 28th, Madeleine Rice 38th and 2nd in White Fleet, and Michelle Lahrkamp 46th. Nice job to all the girls.
At this point, the week was just getting going, with the four days of the Open Nationals remaining. Racing was tough with very shifty medium wind and a lot of boat chop on Sandusky Bay, which created a washing machine effect. Because of bad weather, the RC was not able to get many races off during the qualifying portion of the regatta, so we had 7 races on the first three days to determine who would be in the Gold (top 94 boats) and Silver Fleet (next 188). Of the 25 sailors we had in attendance 10 made the Gold Fleet. JC Hermus ended up 4th overall and 1st in Blue Fleet. Thomas Rice was 16th overall and 5th in Blue Fleet. Sean Crabb was 18th Overall. In Silver Fleet we were lead by Julia LaForgia in 10th and Camille White in 27th. Lots of good sailing by all the kids and a big group qualified for Team Trials.
Off to Newport next for New England Champs.
SailStrong Red waiting for a race while finishing 4th of 26 teams in Team Race Nationals.
Most of the team after the awards ceremony.
JC Hermus finishes 4th overall and 1st in Blue Fleet at 2012 US Opti Nationals.