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
“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.”
The 2017 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship for the Nancy Leiter Clagett Memorial Trophy was hosted by the Houston Yacht Club.
- 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 Lucija Ruzevic (Denton, Texas)
- The Most Improved Award was awarded to Sydney Monahan (Fort Myers Beach, Fla.).
- Richard Feeny – US Sailing Junior/Youth National Championships Head Coach
- Elizabeth Kratzig – Seven-time US Sailing Team member
- Scott Ikle – Head Coach, Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
- Hannah Tuson-Turner – Sailing Director, Sail Orcas
- Beka Schiff – San Diego Yacht Club
Results & Coverage
- 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.
- Photo Gallery
- 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.
Social Media Highlights
— US Sailing (@ussailing) July 11, 2017
— US Sailing (@ussailing) July 11, 2017
— US Sailing (@ussailing) July 11, 2017
— US Sailing (@ussailing) July 10, 2017
#Leiter17 Carlson takes the win in race one.
— US Sailing (@ussailing) July 9, 2017
— John Pearce (@Jg_pearce) July 7, 2017
The 2017 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship is sponsored by Gill North America. This US Sailing National Championship is participating in the Sailors for the Sea’s Clean Regattas program.
Contact: Jake Fish, US Sailing Communications Manager, email@example.com
About US Sailing
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.
About Gill North America
Gill NA, with headquarters near Atlanta, GA is the exclusive importer and distributor of Gill-brand foul weather gear in North America including Caribbean, US and Canada. Gill is a worldwide apparel and accessories brand serving the marine industry with over three decades of experience. Gill specializes in high tech, breathable waterproof clothing. The company develops and markets a variety of performance-oriented, award-winning apparel and accessories for virtually every type of boating activity with product lines that include foul weather gear; interactive layering systems; footwear; gloves; bags; junior gear; scholastic gear and team wear. Gill products are available through hundreds of independent dealers and select West Marine Stores. For further information, please contact: Gary Barker at 941 505 2111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.