Chip Schaffner Wins First U.S. Offshore Championship

ANNAPOLIS, MD (September 17, 2023) – Eight teams representing their respective US Sailing Areas from regions around the country vied for the Lloyd Phoenix Trophy this week at the 2023 U.S. Offshore Sailing Championship. Skipper Chip Schaffner and his crew from Edgewater Yacht Club (Ohio) emerged as the winners after three days of challenging racing in everything from five to twenty-five knots.

Schaffner, who normally sails with this crew on a J/105 Fall Line out of Edgewater Yacht Club, credits the win to clean sailing and teamwork. 

“We came to this regatta in 2017 and didn’t have as great a result then,” said Schaffner. “So, coming into this year’s event, we had a goal and were able to pull it off! We were able to sail clean, stay out of the protest room, and not get involved with the other competitors.

Thanks to the Naval Academy, Jahn Tihansky, and the race committee for putting this event together – it’s not an easy task.”

Close behind Schaffner was Matt Beck and his crew from Annapolis Yacht Club with 28.8 points, followed by three-time trophy winner Bruce Kuryla and crew from Milford Yacht Club and Eastern Connecticut Sailing Association with 30.3 points.

The Race Committee was able to complete three buoy races and four distance races on Chesapeake Bay during the event. Races were sailed in the vicinity of Thomas Point Lighthouse. Friday’s races were sailed in the remnants of Hurricane Lee, with the wind gusting over 26 knots. Saturday was a light air day, starting at 12 knots and dwindling down to un-sailable conditions, causing the race committee to abandon the day’s second distance race. Conditions picked up again for Sunday, treating competitors to a 14-16 knot southerly straight up the Chesapeake Bay.

“Naval Academy sailing is delighted to continue to host this regatta, it’s a special event for our midshipmen to be able to participate in against sailors of a high caliber from across the country,” said Jahn Tihansky, Director and Head Coach of the U.S. Naval Academy Offshore Sailing Team. “The mids that sail with the visiting teams all come away with huge lessons learned regarding how offshore racing is done in the ‘outside world.’ It’s a symbiotic relationship – competitors love sailing with our mids, and our mids love getting to sail with these teams.” 

The U.S. Offshore Championship is a biennial event, hosted at the U.S. Naval Academy in the Navy 44 MKII Sloops

The Notice of Race requires competing teams to have a certain amount of consistency in their crew arrangements — A minimum of five competitors on each team must have raced together (including the designated skipper) in a minimum of five regattas in IRC, ORC, ORR, PHRF, Offshore One Design, Offshore Level Class Racing or Portsmouth Numbers rating systems in the past 18 months. They are also required to sail with a U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman from the varsity offshore sailing team aboard. 

US Sailing would like to thank Gill Marine and AeroVanti Yacht Club for their support and to the US Naval Academy Offshore Team for continuing to host the U.S. Offshore Championship.


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