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


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

Congrats to Kathryn Hall on solid regatta at Opti European Championships

Kathryn Hall represented Team USA at the Optimist European Championship this past week in Hungary. She had a great regatta with several Top 10 finishes in her first IODA Championship. Kathryn ended up 35th in the 102 boat Girls Fleet, which at Europeans is sailed separately from the boys. Congrats Kathryn on all your hard work and a well sailed regatta.

Event Website



Great weekend for the team at two regattas

At the St. Thomas International Optimist Regatta in big breeze and waves, Thomas Rice finished 5th Overall and 2nd in Blue Fleet, and Madeleine Rice was 40th overall and 3rd in White Fleet. From reports back from the two of them it was a tremendous experience sailing in the ocean in conditions they had never faced before, and they can’t wait to go back next year. Thomas also won the sportsmanship award for doing penalty turns when he thought he had fouled another sailor, without being protested. Winning the right way! Results

Thomas and Madeleine with their awards for 2nd Place in Blue Fleet and 3rd place in White Fleet, as well as Thomas's sportsmanship award.  St. Thomas International Optimist Regatta 2013

Thomas and Madeleine with their awards for 2nd Place in Blue Fleet and 3rd place in White Fleet, as well as Thomas’s sportsmanship award. St. Thomas International Optimist Regatta 2013

At Fishing Bay Yacht Club for the Commonwealth of Virginia Junior Championship we had 18 sailors in attendance in the 48 boat fleet. It was quite a performance by the group as a whole and another testament to how hard they all work at getting better. JC won the event by 26 points dropping a 7th and no other race lower than 4th. The Rest of the team did nearly as well, winning every race of the regatta and finishing 1st through 10th, 13 of the Top 20, Top 6 Girls, Top 7 Blue Fleet, and Top 3 Red Fleet. It was a fun weekend as a team, great conditions and hospitality at FBYC, and great RC work by Bo Bragg. Results

The team with coaches Peter and Edgar Diminich at VA State Champs.

The team with coaches Peter and Edgar Diminich at VA State Champs.


NY State Champs – JC Hermus repeats as NY State Champion

In a tough light air and shifty day of sailing on Oyster Bay against a solid 57 boat fleet, JC Hermus finished 2nd Overall to Matt Logue of Riverside YC (CT). Being the top NY’er in the fleet allowed him to repeat at NY State Champion, though I think he would rather have won the whole regatta. SailStrong Sailors had quite a day with 4 in the Top 5, 6 in the Top 10, 10 in the Top 20, 2nd and 3rd in Red Fleet, 1st through 3rd in Blue Fleet, 1st through 3rd in White Fleet, and 1st, 3rd, and 4th place Girls. It is great to watch the group keep pushing each other to better results while continuing to have fun.

Team Results:

JC Hermus 2nd Overall (NY State Champion), 1st Blue Fleet, Thomas Rice 3rd, 2nd Blue, Kathryn Hall 4th, 2nd Red, 1st Girl, Jack Brown 5th, 3rd Red, Gray Benson 8th, Sam Bruce 9th, 3rd Blue, Michelle Lahrkamp 12th, 3rd Girl, Maddie Hawkins 13th, 4th Girl, Luke Arnone 17th, Madeleine Rice 19th, Michael Pinto 21st, Brandon Lord 24th, Thomas Hall 25th, Clayton Johnson 26th, Jordan Bruce 27th, Sarah Burn 29th, Liam Randall 36th, Brendan Little 38th, Walter Henry 39th, Torrey Chisari 44th, Vanessa Lahrkamp 44th, 3rd White, Nicholas Chisari 49th, Colleen Obrien 51st, Adra Ivancich 55th, Michaela Obrien 57th

2013 NY State Opti Champs Results 

Next up, Virginia State Champs @ Fishing Bay YC this weekend.

NY State Opti Champs – June 15

The New York State Optimist Championship will be held June 15 at the Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay, NY. There should be around 50 Red, White, and Blue Optimist sailors racing in West Harbor, the same location of the last NY State champs, in 2011. JC Hermus looks to defend his title from that year, but it won’t be easy in the always competitive NY area Opti fleet. This should be a great kick-off to the summer sailing season.

If you sailor would like coaching for this event, we have one more practice, June 1-2, before the regatta to get prepared.

2013 NYS Opti Champs NOR

2013 NYS Opti Champs Reg. Form