Kuryla Wins Third U.S. Offshore Championship

Annapolis, Md. (September 27, 2015) – Ten teams put their offshore racing skills to the ultimate test over three days on Chesapeake Bay. The 2015 U.S. Offshore Sailing Championship, hosted by the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron, was decided on Sunday following a series of races in various formats that challenged these sailors’ navigational and offshore racing skills including boat handling.

In the end, it was Bruce Kuryla’s (Milford, Conn.) team who earned the Lloyd Phoenix Trophy. The win for Kuryla marks his third U.S. Offshore Championship, including three of the last four (2015, 2011, 2009). His highly skilled crew featured Blake Marriner, William Tyler, Thomas Jankun, Rod Swift, Phillip Williamson, and Bruce S. Kuryla. His crew has been consistent at this event for all three his championships. They entered Sunday’s racing with a six point lead over the team representing the U.S. Naval Academy led by skipper Jackson Niketas (Birmingham, Ala.).

On Sunday, the Navy 44 fleet rounded out this weekend’s racing with one buoy race and one distance race totaling seven races for the regatta. Kuryla won the final race of the championship this afternoon in lightest air of the regatta. It was their second win of the championship, both wins were distance races. They won by a 17-point margin over the Naval Academy. Final Standings

The championship featured medium and long distance races with a variety of courses, as well as shorter buoy races. On Friday the fleet completed two buoy races and one medium distance race in winds ranging from 10 to 17 knots. On Saturday they completed two distance races. The first race was 18 nautical miles and the second was 35 nautical miles in 18 to 22 knots. All distance races were worth double points in the standings. The fleet raced 116 nautical miles over three days, and 101 nautical miles in distance races.

Each team consisted of a crew of eight, including one skipper, six crew members, and one U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman from the varsity offshore racing team. A minimum of five of each competitors’ team must have raced together in at least five regattas in AMERICAP/ORR, IMS, IRC, MORC, PHRF, Offshore One-Design, Offshore Level Class Racing or Portsmouth Numbers rating systems in the past 18 months. Each team’s skipper must have been the regular helmsman for the five qualifying regattas.


Bruce Kuryla

  • “The format is a nice mix. You really can’t beat the formula here, maybe if the windward leeward races were a little longer, but it was great.”
  • “You have to get here first. It took us two years to qualify and it came down to the last race each time. It’s not easy to get here and we don’t take that for granted.”
  • “These are tough boats to sail in wind. They are very physical. Everything is big and heavily loaded.”

Jackson Niketas (quote from Friday) – Senior, U.S. Naval Academy

  • “I had never been on a sailing boat before I came to the Naval Academy.”
  • “A big part of sailing these Navy 44s is having speed and clear air at the line.”

Media & Coverage

  • For results, final standings, video highlights (to be posted this week), photos, Twitter updates, and more information from the 2015 U.S. Offshore Championship, please visit the event website.

Prizes on the Line

  • The Lloyd Phoenix Trophy will be engraved with the winning skipper’s name and area, and will be showcased at the United States Naval Academy Sailing Hall of Fame.
  • US Sailing medals were awarded to the top three teams.
  • First place prizes were awarded for each race.

Social Media Highlights

Day 2 of U.S. Offshore Championships. #offshorechamps15 A photo posted by US Sailing (@ussailing) on

Day One of the US Sailing Offshore Championships and Navy is off to a banging start! Bullet in the first race of the…

Posted by USNA Varsity Offshore Sailing on Friday, September 25, 2015


The 2015 U.S. Offshore Championship is sponsored by Gill North America and Switlik Survival Products.

US Sailing Media Contact: Jake Fish, jakefish@ussailing.org

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 Sperry. 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 gary.barker@gillna.com.

About Switlik Survival Products
Established in 1920, Switlik Parachute Co. has been owned and operated by the Switlik family for four generations and is known worldwide as a manufacturer of the highest quality sewn and heat sealed inflatable safety and survival products for the aviation, marine, and military/government markets. Our capabilities include a wide variety of anti-exposure and anti-g suits, inflatable life rafts, inflatable life vests, inflation systems and other specialty textile-based military equipment all manufactured at our 85,000 sq. ft. facility located in Trenton, NJ USA. www.switlik.com