SailNewport Youth Challenge

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.

Team Results

Dana Haig 11th, Torrey Chisari 19th, 7th Blue, Liam Randall 27th, Vanessa Lahrkamp 30th, 1st White Fleet, Michaela Obrien 34th, Colleen Obrien 36th, Adra Ivancich 51st, 5th White, Galen Dean 64th

Event Results 

Team  dinner at New York YC.

Team dinner at New York YC.

Vanessa Lahrkamp - White fleet champ 2014 SailNewport Youth Challenge

Vanessa Lahrkamp – White fleet champ 2014 SailNewport Youth Challenge

Pre Opti Nationals Coaching

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.



4 SailStrong Sailors Qualify for Opti North Americans

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:


Big team racing weekend ahead for 3 SailStrong teams!

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. 

Click to access 2014_inaugural_opti_tr_promo_piece.pdf

Good luck to all our sailors this weekend. Enjoy!


USODA Team Trials 2014 wrap up

24 SailStrong team members attended the 2014 USODA Team Trials at Stamford YC May 1-4. The event presented a range of conditions with winds from 5 – 20+ knots, and strong currents from the tides on Long Island Sound. 9 races were sailed over the four days. The current lead to many more OCS and Black Flag penalties for being over early at the start than is usually seen in an event like this but the sailors that managed to start cleanly were able to maintain the best scores, especially with some sailors carrying multiple starting penalties.

Our sailors worked very hard in preparation for this event and positive results were to show for many of them, though we too fell prey to the starting penalty.

Maddie Hawkins lead the team finishing 14th overall and 4th place Girl. She was followed closely by Michael Pinto 16th and Sam Bruce 20th. We had 6 sailors in the top 50, 14 in the Top 100, and all our first time Team Trials sailors finished well even in the windiest conditions on the last day.

Team Results (217 boats)

Maddie Hawkins 14th, 4th Girl, Michael Pinto 16th, Sam Bruce 20th, Thomas Rice 27th, Walter Henry 43rd, JC Hermus 47th, Ian Jezak 59th, Harrison Bailey 61st, Michelle Lahrkamp 66th, Jordan Bruce 67th, Brendan Little 70th, Madeleine Rice 78th, Clayton Johnson 97th, Nick Chisari 98th, Dana Haig 114th, Reed Menszer 115th, Emma McInnis 120th, Chapman Petersen 130th, Jack Farrell 142nd, Torrey Chisari 145, Liam Randall 192nd, Colleen Obrien 197th, Harrison Menszer 200th, Brendan Lord 209th


Palamos International Optimist Trophy

Four SailStrong sailors headed to Spain last week for the Palamos International Optimist Trophy which each year brings together many of the top kids from around Europe. This year we had fantastic conditions with wind ranging from light to heavy and some of the biggest waves the kids will see sailing an Opti.

I will post some video later in the week of the conditions.

Thomas Rice lead the group in 35th of the 400 sailors, with JC Hermus 40th, Madeleine Rice 58th, and Michelle Lahrkamp 63rd.


Orange Bowl Regatta

Congrats to all our sailors at the Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta. We had 11 races in 3 days with unfortunately no wind on the last day. Thomas Rice lead the way for the team, narrowly edging out JC Hermus by 1 point to finish 4th. Very proud to have 2 sailors in the top 5 of such a competitive regatta. Along with Thomas and JC, we had an additional 4 sailors make the top 50 of the 240 boats, and 16 in the top 100.

A big congrats to Chapman Petersen for finishing 3rd in White Fleet. SailStrong has had a sailor on the podium in White Fleet at Orange Bowl every year we have been. It is always exciting to see the future of the class coming up.

Overall Results 

Team Results (240 RWB Optis):

Thomas Rice 4th Overall, JC Hermus 5th Overall, Gray Benson 34th, Maddie Hawkins 36th, Sam Bruce 42nd, Brendan Little 48th, Stan Picard 67th, Harrison Bailey 69th, Madeleine Rice 70th, Alex Mazzeo 72nd, Michael Pinto 77th, Chapman Petersen 79th, 3rd White, Jordan Bruce 81st, Chase Carraway 85th, Nick Chisari 86th, Michelle Lahrkamp 94th, Caroline Benson 114th, Liam Randall 133rd, Matthew Monts 145th, Torrey Chisari 156th, Ian Thomas 160th, Vanessa Lahrkamp 170th, Justin Smith 190th, Adra Ivancich 223rd, Thomas Mazzeo 235

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.