2014 Final Report
The final day of racing at the U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship shaped up to be an exciting conclusion, as Thursday’s leaders, Lucy and Sally Wilmot (Orinda, Calif.), had a one point lead heading into Friday. The regatta’s most consistent duo pulled away from a competitive field of 41 teams to capture the Ida Lewis Trophy.
This year’s U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship was hosted by the American Yacht Club in Rye, N.Y. for three days of racing in the Club 420. Teams were greeted with sunny skies over Western Long Island Sound and breezes ranged from 9 to 15 knots, mostly out of the Northwest.
Team Wilmot placed second in Race 9 and 10 to seal the win. Placing second overall was Alie and Liza Toppa (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). The Toppas were the overall leaders through Wednesday’s four races. The hottest team over the past two days was Cassie Obel (Marina del Rey, Calif.) and Annika Garrett (Culver City, Calif.). They finished third overall, but won four of the final six races.
Lucy and Sally were exceptionally excited about the win, especially considering it was their first regatta sailing together. “We were able to start working together better and I think it helped a lot that we both had experience as skipper,” said Sally.
The Wilmots plan on competing in San Diego for the Club 420 National Championships and are also looking forward to training in the International 420.
“The camaraderie with the other sailors here is outstanding,” said Lucy. “There were so many volunteers and they took great care of us. It is truly unlike any other event.”
About the Championships
The U.S. Junior Women’s Championships Committee annually hosts two events: a Singlehanded and a Doublehanded championship. Both championships are open events. However, participants must be young women aged 13-18, members of US Sailing, and U.S. citizens. Each championship combines two clinic days with three racing days. The National Head Coach and staff are hired for the entire event to provide equal guidance to all competitors. No private coaching is allowed.
Support of the U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship and the U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship as well as the clinics is made possible by funds provided by the late C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. to perpetuate his unwavering dedication to Junior Women’s Sailing. His support is in memory of his late wife, Nancy Leiter Clagett, a world class sailor, and of Ida Lewis, the heroic daughter of a lighthouse keeper. 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 first event was the Singlehanded sailed in Laser Radials which was started by Tom Clagett in 1980 at the Ida Lewis Yacht Club, Newport, RI and sailed for a trophy named in memory of Tom’s wife, Nancy, who died in April, 1977. In 1985, USYRU (now US Sailing) agreed to support the event on a trial basis. In 1986, it became the U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship for the Nancy Leiter Clagett Memorial Trophy.
The U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship for the Ida Lewis Trophy championship was started in 1995 when it became apparent that a second championship in a doublehanded boat was needed to complement the singlehanded event. It became a US Sailing national championship in 1996. The event is sailed in Club 420s.
A separate sportsmanship prize was later added to both championships in 2001, following Tom’s death in June of that year and a family logo was created for the championships incorporating Tom’s and Nancy’s private yacht signals. Nancy’s signal was a green ladder on a yellow rectangle since “Leiter” is German for ladder. Tom and Nancy’s first boat was named “The Barefoot Girl” after Nancy’s preference not to wear shoes. Tom’s private signal became two white bare feet on a blue triangle. The Singlehanded class flag is Nancy’s signal flag, and the Doublehanded class flag is a representation of the Ida Lewis lighthouse.
Championship Facts & Features
- Club 420
- Open Entry
- Competitors must be women who have reached their 13th birthday but not their 19th birthday during the
- calendar year in which the event is held
- Competitors must be individual or family members of US Sailing at the time of registration and of the
- Helms must be current members of the Club 420 class association
- The regatta will be sailed in Western Long Island Sound in the vicinity of “bell 42”
Participants will be expected to be able to fly a spinnaker on a trapeze and manage a boat in up to 20 knots of breeze. Once registered, crew changes are not permitted except in case of an emergency.
Ida Lewis Trophy