US Junior Women’s Championship Underway at Roger Williams University

BRISTOL, R.I. (July 18, 2023) – Girls ages 13 to 18 from across the US will gather at Roger Williams University for the 2023 US Junior Women’s Championship presented by SouthCoast Wind, hosted by US Sailing July 17-21.

The U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship for the Leiter Trophy and the U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship for the Ida Lewis Trophy are US Sailing’s National Championships for young women 13 to 18 years of age. In 2023, the Leiter Trophy will be held in the ILCA 6, while the Ida Lewis Trophy will be held in the 29er.

The US Junior Women’s Championship is a unique event that provides junior sailors with a chance to build their skills in an all-female environment and foster friendships for a lifetime. In 2022 and 2023 the Leiter and Ida Lewis events have been held concurrently at the same venue, allowing singlehanded and doublehanded sailors to interact and enjoy shared learning experiences, coaching, and networking. 

This year, the Leiter and Ida Lewis events include a three-day clinic followed by two days of championship racing. No private coaching is allowed, instead US Sailing Coaches are provided to lead world-class training and coach all competitors to enhance the experience, sailing skills, competitiveness, and sportsmanship of the group. This year’s US Sailing Coaches are: 

  • Caroline Young – MIT Co-Head Coach  
  • Alana Marks – ICSA Quantum Women’s Sailor of the Year 
  • Cori Radtke – Bowdoin Assistant Coach  
  • Ali Blumenthal – Coast Guard Assistant Coach  
  • Janel Zarkowsky – #2 Ranked US Women’s Match Racer 
  • Elizabeth Kratzig – Sailing Coach Legend  
  • Nic Muller – Olympic Campaigner 49er  
  • Kelly Cole – Olympic Campaigner 49er FX

“It’s an honor to be a part of this incredible event that brings together youth women sailors from the across the US,” said US Junior Women’s Championship Committee Chair Alana Marks, who is also serving as a US Sailing Coach this year. “A special thank you to the Clagett Trust, Roger Williams University, Bristol Yacht Club, and all of the race officials and volunteers for supporting these two great championships.”

Sailors are also given the opportunity to stay in the Roger Williams University dorms, providing an accessible communal space for sailors to network, debrief, and create life-long friendships.  

This regatta is made possible by the generous support of the C. Thomas Clagett Trust. The Singlehanded Championship 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. 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 value of Tom Clagett’s vision behind both the Ida Lewis and Leiter trophies is immeasurable. For the past 28 and 43 years respectively, the opportunity for Junior Women Sailors to have the combination of clinics and competition to help them improve their sailing skills has been not only an exceedingly valuable experience, but for many a memorable and prominent step in their sailing and racing experiences,” said Judy and Stephanie Mclennan, Daughter and Granddaughter of Thomas Clagett and Nancy Leiter Clagett. “For many, Ida and Leiter have been where young women have met, made lifetime friends, shared coaches and improved their sailing skills all while attending these clinics and regattas. This camaraderie amongst the girls has been a backbone to their sailing.”