Sears, Bemis and Smythe Trophies
Grand Traverse Yacht Club and Traverse Bay Community Sailing - Traverse City, MI
August 4 – 8, 2014
It was a memorable experience for the 93 sailors racing this week in Northern Michigan. These sailors from all over the country had a blast in competition and in practice. Sailors were surrounded by outstanding coaches, an incredible race committee, and supported by loyal volunteers from the Grand Traverse Yacht Club and Traverse Bay Community Sailing. On Friday, new titlists were crowned at the 2014 Chubb U.S. Junior Championships.
The Byte CII and Interlake fleets managed to squeeze in one more race Friday, while the Club 420 fleet had to call off their final race attempt due to a late wind shift and another postponement.
About the Championships
In 1921, Commodore Herbert M. Sears of the Eastern Yacht Club at Marblehead, MA placed in competition a Cup bearing his name for competition among juniors of Massachusetts yacht clubs. The next year eligibility broadened to include clubs such as Larchmont and Seawanhaka Corinthian on Long Island Sound and Cedarhurst on the south shore of Long Island, NY. How racing has changed since then is reflected in the fact that boys in those days were required to wear caps, neckties and jackets and girls dresses while sailing.
In 1930, Commodore Sears of the Eastern Yacht Club at Marblehead, confident that NAYRU was here to stay and deeming it desirable that the competition be national in scope, deeded the trophy to NAYRU for triplehanded sailing among juniors over 12 and under 18 whose parents or guardians are members of some Yacht Club in the United States recognized by the Union. Under the deed, the Cup is “for the purpose of promoting the sport of yachting by encouraging proficiency in seamanship and sportsmanlike conduct in sail yacht racing on the part of boys and girls of school age”. By the 1950’s, NAYRU was inviting the Associations to make selections of teams to compete. Until the US Yacht Racing Union was formed in 1975, teams from Canadian Yacht Clubs also competed. Spurred by the growing number of sailors in singlehanded boats, led US Sailing to the addition in 1974 of the U.S. Junior Singlehanded championship for a trophy in honor D. Verner Smythe, a long‑time chairman of the Sears Cup Committee.
The U.S. Doublehanded Championship is of similar vintage as the U.S. Junior Singlehanded. F. Gregg Bemis was best known for his work on the racing rules which included a long tenure as chairman of the Appeals Committee, but it was his leadership role in judging at junior and intercollegiate regattas that inspired a group of co-judges to donate in 1975 a trophy for doublehanded junior sailing. The Championship are ladder events in which eliminations are open to the 1000+ yacht clubs and 150+ community sailing programs in the Yacht Racing, or District, Associations that today comprise US Sailing. In 1999 the singlehanded and doublehanded divisions were expanded to include two teams per Area (groupings of Yacht Racing or District Associations) with the exception of Areas H and L, each of whom send one team.
Championship Facts & Features
- Competitors must have reached there 13th birthday but 19th in 2014 calender year
- Each Area is eligible to send at least one sailor / team to compete in each of the fleets.
- Sailors race in boats provided by US Sailing and the host at the event site to ensure the quality of the equipment and a level playing field.
- A one day racing clinic led by US Sailing’s Junior National Coach will be held prior to the start of the championship.
- Coaches provide instruction on charter boat assignments, rigging and handling, starts, and practice races.
- Other speakers and presentations may be scheduled to educate these you sailors on opportunities in college sailing and pathways to Olympic sailing success.
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.
Area Map: Click to find what Area you are in and then locate your NOR