Kaitlyn Van Nostrand recently assumed coaching duties at the Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center on Lake Washington. She’s also a dedicated environmental pro, currently an account manager at Republic Services. She’s been working with Sailors for the Sea for following their Clean Regatta guidelines, and last weekend’s Milfoil junior regatta was deemed “Clean.” It sets a great example for other sailing and yacht clubs to follow, and by the sounds of it, it was more fun than chore. Here’s Kaitlyn’s report on the event, borrowed from an email to Sailors for the Sea.
We had a great Milfoil Junior Regatta with both sun and wind last Saturday. There were 26 participants sail in 4 fleets (Opti, Laser, V15 and FJ) from 7 different clubs in the Seattle area. We had our sailors from Mt. Baker be on our green team wearing green t-shirts with me. They rocked the pins on their life jackets. 🙂
Our first place trophies were re-purposed ones that I found in the boathouse from the 1970’s! I removed the plaque on the front (may reuse them for other awards later), put a Sailors for the Sea Sticker on them and they came out great. Our participation awards were mugs for Optis and glasses for the other classes that I got from Goodwill. Stickered them as well, they looked awesome! Each participant received a sticker too.
Our office staff was great in helping with our water bottle station, communicating to sailors they needed to BYO water bottle and we ran a nearly zero waste event since our lunch was pizza and we composted the plates and pizza boxes. 🙂
Looking forward to passing on our Clean Regatta lessons to other clubs on the Northwest circuit to get more clean regattas registered for next summer.
Joe Burcar and I were privileged to speak at The Renton (Seattle suburb) Sailing Center’s monthly meeting a couple of nights ago. Privileged, I say, because listening to Rebekah Padgett and the dozen or so sailors attending, turned on a lightbulb for me.
Sure, big community sailing programs draw a lot of attention, including mine, but perhaps this is where sailing’s future health can be found and where more of my attention should be focused.
Think oceanic, sail local. Really local.
Joe was a board member of The Sailing Foundation, and the theme he focused on was partnering. Padget and her team are doing that, working with other programs in the area that are interested in partnering and with The Sailing Foundation. Cooperating with the city of Renton they have dock space, boats (including keelboats), an education program and above all esprit de corps.
Joe and I talked about the history of sailing here in the Pacific Northwest and how we see the future of the sport in the area. But the most interesting part of the talk for me was hearing the intention, and difficulties, of getting kids sailing. The Renton club needs more families involved, but it’s hard to entice them with all the competition for kids’ attention. I can vouch for that.
One thing is clear, the Renton Sailing Center is a great alternative for anyone looking to get out sailing. You’ll find the welcome mat out. I’m going to take their offer on heading out for a sail one of these days.
Here’s the story of the Renton Sailing Center by President Rebekah Padgett:
Founded in 1965, Renton Sailing Center (RSC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community sailing organization dedicated to the sport of sailing, with a family-like atmosphere to support the interests of sailors of all abilities.
Located at the north end of Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park in Renton, RSC is has over 50 member families. While most of the members live in the greater Renton area, they extend from Olympia to Everett and Port Ludlow to Fall City.
RSC has provided small boat and keelboat instruction for many years, and over a year ago became a US Sailing Community Sailing Center. It has been offering US Sailing Small Boat instruction ever since. This year the Center held its first women only small boat sailing class, and it hopes to continue its focus on women. This summer RSC became a US Sailing-accredited Basic Keelboat Sailing School. In 2017, RSC has every course full, for a total of 41 Small Boat students and 8 Basic Keelboat students. Courses are offered through the City of Renton Community Services Department.
The Center supports an internal small boat racing/skill-building series that begins in May and goes through the summer. It also provides sailing clinics to increase members’ skills. Other activities include open sailing, a shoreline cleanup in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup, BBQs, a mentorship program for new members, and more.
Occasionally members participate in outside races in Lake Washington, and one crew even completed Stage 1 of the Race 2 Alaska in 2016, from Port Townsend to Victoria.
RSC held its second Experience Renton Sailing event in early June, where participants sign up for a free introductory sail. This year was a record 61 participants, with 39 adult participants and 22 youth. Most of them were first-time sailors from the Renton community. RSC is proud of the growth of this event and that it was able to provide so many community members an opportunity to try sailing. This epitomizes what Renton Sailing Center is all about.
In the past, most of the vessels were donated, but RSC has been upgrading its fleet and currently has two Capri 14s, four RS Visions, a Hobie 18, Hunter 170, Ranger 20, Ranger 24, and Catalina 27.
The entire organization is run by volunteers, including the instructors. And all members are expected to contribute time and skills to the Center.
Current members of the Board are President Rebekah Padgett, Vice President Kirsten Parks, Treasurer Rebecca Ward, and Secretary Katey Lent, as well as Maintenance Chief Dean Peoples and Members-at-Large Buzz Chase and Will Wagner.
Some members have gone on to own their own boats, racing locally, living aboard, instructing at local sailing schools, or even heading out on a circumnavigation with current and past members as crew.
RSC may be an unobtrusive little sailing center at the south end of Lake Washington, but it gives people who don’t have deep yachting roots a chance to try out the sport at an affordable rate, a supportive community, a place to build skills, and it even launches big dreams.
I’m lifting this post straight from Scuttlebutt. I’m sure neither the good folk at Scuttlebutt nor the good folk at Harken will mind. It’s for the kids after all, and the future of sailing. I signed up my son Ian right away. In an industry that is focused way too often on that extra 1/100th of a knot of boatspeed (and Harken is really really good at finding that speed) it’s great to see an eye turned to the important stuff. Please share with all the little sailors you know. Bill Faude of Harken explains:
What exactly is a Blockhead?
What’s the genesis of the Blockhead program?
Harken CEO Bill Goggins and myself have young kids getting into sailing (four kids between us between the ages of 6 and 12 with younger Goggins kids to age in soon) and so were logically remembering what kind of great sailing experiences we had growing up.
We remember drilling and pop riveting…moving cam cleats and changing between cam cleats and clam cleats and rigging twings and then going back to guy hooks…moving hiking straps around…flipping boats and wet sanding…really taking care of our boats to make sure they fit us better and in the balance learning to be self-reliant.
In the midst of this, we came to the realization that kids don’t do that now. The boats they sail are MUCH better than a generation ago. They all come well rigged, and not much breaks. Even second-hand Optis and 420s work beautifully.
As Harken employees, we are charged with growing our Brand. So we’ll never disguise the fact the existence of a sailing generation growing up without learning to screw or pop-rivet an eye strap to the deck, looked like a potential business risk. We felt the obligation to expose the next generation to the link between high-performance rigging applied effectively and better results. That link was not well understood.
All told we both wanted and needed to launch a program like this.
And what kind of program have you launched?
We want to help the next generation of sailors love sailing as much as we do. Sounds like BS when I say it, but it’s true. Personally, I like sailing because it lets me go ‘off the grid’ for a few hours. There are no curbs and gutters and lines on the racecourse, so I can call my own shots.
I actually still remember what it felt like when I first took my Laser (13095) off the dock and out of hearing range of my instructors. On my own. We think once kids feel that, they’ll imprint on the sport better.
Emotionally, we want kids to feel the confidence sailing can uniquely bring. Rationally, we want there to be less Helicoptering for parents to do. Sailors should know how to maintain their own boats…the earlier they start this the better.
We’re looking to engage the kids in the media they choose. So Blockheads is an old school fan-club model bolted to a video-infused website with social media opportunities for them to share their experiences and results.
Importantly, we’re really conscious of staying in our lane, so the content we’re trying to create is all about boat care, rigging, go-fast ideas and shared experiences. We’re working hard to curate it so we don’t get into areas where others are already excelling.
So there won’t be tactical discussions or sailing technique lessons. That’s not Harken’s niche. We explain how rigging works and how to upgrade for performance.
Who can join the program?
Anyone can join and it’s free, but we’re writing for a target between the Opti Green Fleet and the end of College Sailing. There’s free SWAG when you become a Blockhead. And we hope the program will grow so we can offer the benefits of becoming a member to more kids. Right now, we’ve budgeted for 1000 new members kits for this year.
The Seattle area seems to churn out champion sailors at a impressively steady pace. The latest is Abbie Carlson, who’s been quietly making her way through the ranks of local, regional and now national sailing. Abbie is part of the Seattle Yacht Club team, and the latest in a line of very successful junior women singlehanders including Hanne Weaver and Talia Toland. We did run the US Sailing press release, but took a shot at asking Abbie to come up with a few words – hopefully they’ll inspire more junior women, and sailors of all types and ages, to join the fun. We’ll keep tabs on all the men and women who are “out there” in the big regattas. Results. Here’s Abbie:
I had an amazing time winning Leiter Cup this year at the Houston Yacht Club. After placing third at Leiter Cup last year in Seattle, my goal for this year’s regatta was to be first.
The first two days consisted of a clinic to adjust to Galveston Bay, the racing venue. The other three days were race days. Overall, this regatta had very light wind conditions with the occasional thunderstorm. On the first race day, after being postponed on the water for several hours due to no wind, we were finally able to sail one shifty and light wind race. I had a great start to the regatta winning this race by half a leg. We started a second race that day although it was abandoned due to an oncoming thunderstorm that brought 20+ knot of wind. The next day we weren’t able to get on the water until 5pm due to thunderstorms and the absence of wind. During these long postponements, it was challenging to remain focused. I found that staying patient and hydrated were essential in achieving this.
However, once the wind came up a bit, we were able to sail two more races in very light wind conditions. Due to the lack of the desired number of races, the race committee moved the start time from the daily 11am time to 9:30am for the final day of racing. By the last day, we had sailed a total of six races meaning that we were able to drop our worst score. The race committee considered starting a seventh race, however a thunderstorm started approaching us so they decided to call it off.
The girls that placed in the top five were all really close in points so I had no idea that I had won the regatta until I got to the dock. I was so excited to achieve my goal. I had such a fun time meeting new talented sailors from across the country and reconnecting with old friends. It’s exciting to know that the Leiter Cup has now been won by three sailors in the Northwest form the Seattle Yacht Club in the last six years. Without the help and support of my coach, Cameron Hoard, Brian Ledbetter, West Coast Sailing, and many others including US Sailing, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I can’t wait to attend Leiter Cup next year in Connecticut.
Some press releases are just a lot more fun than others to repost. Seattle Yacht Club Sailing Director Brian Ledbetter clued us into this one. His Seattle Yacht Club race team, and Seattle sailors, continue to establish themselves as a force on the national scene. Brian’s quick to point out that this is the third time SYC women have won the Leiter Cup in recent years, including Hanne Weaver in 2012 and Talia Toland last year. Congratulations Abbie and the support network we know you have!
2017 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship Comes Down to Final Race
SHOREACRES, Texas (July 11, 2017) – The 2017 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship finished as one of most closely contested US Sailing National Championships in recent history on Tuesday. In the end, it was Abbie Carlson (Bellevue, Wash.) who earned first place honors and the Nancy Leiter Clagett Memorial Trophy following a strong showing over three days on Galveston Bay in the Laser Radial. She placed third at last year’s championship in Seattle. For the second straight year, a sailor representing the Seattle Yacht Club has won the Leiter Trophy.
Carlson trailed leader Grace Austin (Greenwich, Conn) by seven points through five races in a very competitive fleet. The first five races of the series were dominated by light wind, but just before the sixth race the seabreeze filled from the Southeast at 8 to 10 knots, providing the best sailing conditions of the week.
Carlson placed fourth in the final race, ahead of her rivals for the overall title. This, combined with the dropped score that came into effect upon the completion of six races, gave Carlson an 11-point turnaround and a four point win over Austin. Marianna Shand (Chula Vista, Calif.) finished third overall and posted the top results in Tuesday’s three races.
The top five sailors on the leaderboard at the conclusion of the championships were separated by only seven points. There were also six different race winners in six races. Due to insufficient wind and stormy conditions, only one race was conducted on Sunday and two races on Monday.
Final Standings – Top 5
1. Abbie Carlson, Seattle Yacht Club, 1--5-2-8-4- ; 20
2. Grace Austin, Belle Haven Club / LYC, 5-2-2-10-5-- ; 24
3. Marianna Shand, Mission Bay Yacht Club, 9--9-1-3-3- ; 25
4. AnaLucia Clarkson, Seattle Yacht Club, 13-1-3-3--6- ; 26
5. Anika Boicheff, St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 3-4--11-7-2- ; 27 Full Results
“Honestly, I was kind of surprised because everybody was so close in points, so I didn’t find out until I came in,” said Carlson. “It was hard to stay positive during all the postponements, but I stayed focused. It was really shifty today and it wasn’t what I was expecting. Overall, I thought my speed was pretty good on the upwinds and downwinds.”
High-level coaching and skill development is a key component of this championship. Prior to racing, teams took part in a two-day clinic on Friday and Saturday led by a collection of top coaches from around the country.
“One of the things that sets the Leiter Trophy apart from other regattas is the clinic and the US Sailing provided coaches for all competitors,” said John Pearce, Youth Director of US Sailing. “It creates an atmosphere of collaboration and pushes the sailors to focus on building their skills while also striving for a great result in the Championship.”
“Our coaching staff comprised of Head Coach, Richard Feeny, and coaches Elizabeth Kratzig, Scott Ikle, Beka Schiff, and Hannah Tuson-Turner have worked with all of the sailors as a group throughout the event. During the on-shore postponement Monday, Elizabeth presented to the sailors about her career as a sailor, including her current work with the Magenta Project, and other opportunities for women in sailing. It really inspired the sailors to seek out big challenges and leadership roles within the sport.”
“I was really impressed with all the girls and the close racing, especially on the last day,” said Kratzig. “It’s an honor to be here as a coach, especially having participated in this event growing up and now to give something back towards women’s sailing and helping grow the knowledge and enthusiasm of the young female sailors is really exciting. This is a broad spectrum of sailors with varying experience. By bringing them all together it shows everybody that we have a strong contingency of women in sailing and we need to continue to build on that. This event is critical to their development as a sailor.”
For Twitter updates from the racecourse, results and standings, photos (to come later in the week), final report, and more information from the 2017 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship, please visit the event website.
Take part in the conversation on social media using #Leiter17.
Support of the U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship as well as the clinics associated with the event is made possible by funds provided by the late C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. to perpetuate his unwavering dedication to junior women’s sailing. This support is intended to encourage young American women to enhance their sailing ability, with emphasis on sportsmanship, by providing the opportunity to compete in national-level competition with guidance from high-level coaching. Tom Clagett’s family continues to assist in fulfilling his vision
The U.S. Junior Women’s Championships Committee annually hosts two events: a Singlehanded and a Doublehanded championship. Both championships are open events.
The U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship started in 1980.
The Nancy Leiter Clagett Memorial Trophy is the perpetual trophy presented to the winning sailor.
US Sailing Championship medals were awarded to competitors who finish first through fifth.
Trophies were awarded to competitors finishing in the top three places.
The C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Sportsmanship Prize was awarded to a sailor based on the results of the competitors’ ballots. *To be announced at awards ceremony Tuesday night.
Ed. Note: We’ll try to get the story straight from the winner’s mouth, plus hopefully some good photos.
Seattle Yacht Club hosted the first ever Seattle Junior Leukemia Cup Regatta on Sunday, May 21st. Fifteen SYC junior sailors stepped up and collectively raised nearly $10,000 to help cure blood cancers. We sailed the V15s on Portage Bay and we had great weather, with sunshine and plenty of wind and had an all around great time. Kit Stoll won the top fundraiser award, raising over $2,000 and also won top skipper. Luke Gibbons won top crew. A big shout out to our coach Cam Hoard who volunteered his Sunday to run the regatta. Thanks to all of the SYC junior sailors who participated and did such a great job fundraising. We are all excited to make this an annual event at SYC and are looking forward to raising even more money next year. Join the fight to beat blood cancers! – Owen Timms
Ed. Note: Thanks Owen and Seattle YC for putting this together and showing that the youth of today have it figured out, doing good and building community while having a great time. And for placing sailing front and center.
Owen Timms, an up and coming force on the Laser scene already, is behind the Seattle Yacht Club Leukemia Cup Junior Regatta, which will take place in Portage Bay at the Seattle Yacht Club on Sunday. For more information and registration check out this page. For Owen’s fundraising page, go here. We’ll try to get info on the regatta and fundraising next week.
Remember when we reported that our friends on the Charles Wright High School Sailing Team were headed back east for the high school nationals? Well, they went, they saw, but they didn’t quite conquer, finishing 20th/20. That said, spirits were high as it was yet another building block adding onto the high school sailing scene here. And there were many positives worth noting. Again, we have Charles Wrights’ Alyosha Strum-Palerm with some “embedded” reporting:
“We had low expectations going into the event. NWISA (Northwest District Interscholastic Sailing Association) has been a historically weaker district on national regattas due to its relative young age, lower funding, and generally smaller size. Saturday was a tough day vs the larger teams with subs etc.. Sunday(races 15-20) was much better for me, averaging an 11 score over those 6 races.
“The “A” division was so incredibly deep. Everyone had high level boat handling and boat speed so if you made one mistake four boats would pass you. If you got on the wrong end of a shift then half the fleet would pass you. With the frequency and drama of shifts on the Charles, that was the key factor of the weekend. Teams who got consistent good starts had a much easier time of picking their lanes and sailing where they wanted. Everyone else had to pick through chopped up air and second choice lanes and shifts.
“It was incredible to compete against the best in the country and being in the mix on Sunday was an awesome experience. Hopefully in the next 5-10 years we will have built the culture here in the Northwest to the point where we can compete with the Southern California and east coast teams. Lots of new, young, and motivated coaches are really helping to push the district into a more prominent position in ISSA.”
Support Our Kids!
I’ll just add that we as a sailing community here need to do more to support high school sailing in the area. The scene is active and exciting and the kids are having a blast. That’s all good. But if we want them to do well on the national scene, and graduate kids into high-power university programs, they need more support. While support can mean simply writing checks, there are other ways to help as well like volunteering, donations etc. On a personal note, if you catch wind of a high school regatta near you, go see it. Once you do, it’ll be hard not to offer some kind of support. As Alyosha says, “more involvement from the racing culture is what drives youth programs.”
Earlier today I published a post on the UW Sailing Team, which is headed to South Carolina for the college Nationals women’s and coed doubles at the end of this month. Good luck to them!
A general report and the results from the Mallory Cup, won by Point Loma, can be found here. There was actually live video coverage of the events, and those video links are available on this page.
Eight Varsity and 14 JV high school sailing teams descended on Sail Sand Point May 4-6 to take part in the NWISA 3 on 3 Team Race Championships, with a berth to the National Championships up for grabs. The NWISA Team Race Championship along with the NWISA Fleet Race Championship hosted on Orcas Island April 29 & 30 are the two final district high school regattas for the 2016-2017 school year and a culmination of hours and hours of practice and hard work put in by the teams. A total of 18 district regattas during the fall and spring NWISA sailing seasons were completed leading into the championship regattas, and that is a lot of racing.
Check out these photos by Jim Skeel. And there are lots more on his Facebook page. Thanks, Jim for allowing us to use them and promote high school sailing.
Sail Sand Point hosted the event, and did a fantastic job organizing the 36 FJ’s making up six fleets racing on two digital N courses. The SSP pier provided spectacular viewing of the racing, fast rotations and a big lunch BBQ for all. Light winds both mornings turned into 4-9 knot northerlies by mid-afternoon both days making for perfect team racing conditions. A total of 137 races were completed between the two courses for the weekend. That is a lot of team racing and a big shout out to Nino Johnson Varsity PRO, Scot Boye JV PRO, the judges and all the volunteers who made it all happen. The high school sailors showed all of us who were watching how much they have improved their team racing skills the last few years, with a lot of close races decided on the final beat. It was so close in fact that after 61 races on the varsity course, it all came down to the last race of the day on Sunday, Orcas versus Olympia when the two teams tied for the regatta lead with 13-3 records. Orcas was able to win the final race and the regatta and are now headed to Northfolk, VA for the ISSA Team Race National Championships, “The Baker Trophy.” Olympia placed second and Bainbridge grabbed third. Regatta report and scores can be found here:
If you haven’t been following the high school sailing scene in the Northwest, you are definitely missing out. It’s exciting, active and very competitive. Teams are fighting every inch of the way around the course, and having a great time doing it. If you’ve got a high-schooler, or soon to be high-schooler, you should really be aware of this. For the rest of us, keep a watch on these kids ‘cause they’re really good already and just getting better. Don’t let that first sentence slip by you: 40 teams and 200 sailors. Following is a report from Alyosha Strum-Palerm, part of the winning Charles Wright team.
Three 10% regattas had already been completed and only the District Championship remained, counting for 80% of total points (you throw out your worst 10% regatta score). Winning two of the three 10% regattas, Orcas Island High School had to be favorites coming into the regatta, especially considering they were sailing on their home turf on West Sound. Bainbridge High School, Anacortes High School, Charles Wright Academy, Oak Harbor High School and Olympia High School were all also in the running. The first A division set was sailed in a strange 3-6 knot easterly, and Nicholas Lee ’20 and I (’17) took both races. After four races in A division and 4 races in B division, Charles Wright held a slender 6-point lead over Bainbridge.
A light 3-6 knot easterly greeted some 40 teams and 200+ sailors from around Washington and Oregon last Saturday for the NWISA (North West Interscholastic Sailing Association) Fleet Race Championships. Of these 40 teams, 17 were vying for one berth to fleet race nationals hosted at MIT on May 13th and 14th.
All Photos by Burke Thomas. (If anyone wants to chime in with photo IDs I’ll be happy to update the post!)
Day two brought seemingly much different conditions, a steady 8-12 knot westerly was blowing and it looked like we would have a wonderful day of quick rotations and maybe 6 or 7 races in each division. The Charles Wright A pair went on to win the first two of the day’s races, but the Orcas B pair of Dominick Wareham ’19 and Matia Schwartz ’17 matched with two bullets of their own. With Bainbridge also having a solid set from both their A and B pairs, Charles Wright and Bainbridge were tied with 57 points apiece going into the final set of 4 races. In A division, the Charles Wright A pair went 1,2 in their final two races and put crucial points in between them and Bainbridge going into the final two B races.
In race 7B, Jack Corddry ’19 and Hayden Flaskerude from Charles Wright pulled a crucial 2nd place, meaning that mathematically all they had to do is not get last in the final race to win the regatta. They went on to take 4th in race 8B, putting Charles Wright 17 points ahead of the second place team Orcas and 26 points ahead of the third place team Bainbridge.
I know that all the sailors involved in this wonderful event would like to thank Burke Thomas and Hannah Tuscon Turner for hosting the regatta at Orcas Island Yacht Club, as well as all the volunteers who made food for over 200 sailors over the course of three days. We also want to thank Bob Brunius for doing an excellent job with scoring, Dick Rose and Jared Hickman for being on the water judges, Brendan Fahey the PRO and all the other volunteers who spent their weekend in whalers trying to square the course to each infinite variation of wind direction and speed. Charles Wright Academy is the first South Sound team to take the district championship and is the 7th team to have won. Over the last 5 years we have had 5 different winners, which is a testament to the growing diversity and strength of NWISA as a conference. Wish us luck at Nationals!