US Sailing announces changes and updates to its Youth Championships for 2023. US Sailing’s Championships for youth sailors date back to 1921, when the Sears Cup was founded “for the purpose of promoting the sport of yachting by encouraging proficiency in seamanship and sportsmanlike conduct in yacht racing among boys and girls of school age.” Since that time, the Championships have grown and evolved to reflect the growth and development of the sport.
The 2023 Championships represent another evolution of these regattas, while also carrying forward the history and traditions that make them special. The updated regatta formats are the result of a thorough review process over the last year, with a focus on simplifying event formats and opening pathways to performance sailing and lifelong racing.
“US Sailing staff and volunteers, with the input of experts and sailing community stakeholders, have spent a great deal of time over the last year and half considering changes to all US Sailing Youth Championships,” said John Pearce, US Sailing Youth Competition Manager. “These changes are part of a broader effort, including the Youth Performance Pathway, to ensure US Sailing’s programs and events are providing multiple pathways for youth racers and bridging the gaps that can lead them to stop competing.”
US Sailing also welcomes sailing organizations interested in hosting a US Sailing Championship in the future to submit a bid. For more information, please contact US Sailing at Championships@ussailing.org or consult the US Sailing website: https://www.ussailing.org/competition/resources/hosting-a-us-sailing-championship/three-year-future-calendar/.
Several notable changes to the Championship regatta formats and names include:
- The U.S. Youth Championship will now be an “open” event, with no application or invitation process required to be eligible.
- The U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship for the Ida Lewis Trophy and will be sailed in the 29er boat class.
- The Chubb U.S. Junior Championship will now be the Chubb U.S. Youth Triplehanded Championship for the Sears Cup, focused exclusively on bridging the gap between the small boats typically raced by youth and the larger, multi-person boats typically raced by adults. In 2023, the Sears Cup will double in size, from 11 teams to 22 teams, allowing each Area to send two teams to the National Championship.
- The Bemis Trophy (formerly part of the Chubb U.S. Junior Championship) has been rededicated to the U.S. Youth Championship. The Bemis Trophy will be awarded to the top new doublehanded team (both sailors sailing in their first U.S. Youth Championship) in the largest doublehanded fleet at the U.S. Youth Championship.
- The Smythe Trophy (formerly part of the Chubb U.S. Junior Championship) has been rededicated to the U.S. Youth Championship. The Smythe Trophy will be awarded to the top new singlehanded sailor (sailing in their first U.S. Youth Championship) in the largest singlehanded fleet at the U.S. Youth Championship.
2023 Championships Dates and Regatta Details:
U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship for the Rose Cup
Where and When: Sheboygan Yacht Club in Sheboygan, WI on June 21-25, 2023.
About this Event: The Championship features world-class coaching and race management and serves as a training ground for young sailors who are passionate about match racing and focused on competing at a high level.
Regatta Format and Eligibility: The 2023 Rose Cup will be sailed in Sonars with crews of four, with at least one sailor of the opposite gender on each team. Sailors must reach their 16th birthday but not their 21st birthday during the calendar year in which the event is held. The event continues to be an invitational – the request for invitation form will be available on the event website from January 15th to April 1st, 2023.
U.S. Youth Championship
Where and When: Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI on June 26-30, 2023.
About this Event: The U.S. Youth Championship, also known as the “Youth Champs,” is US Sailing’s pinnacle youth regatta, featuring the top sailors and most challenging performance boat classes. This year’s Youth Champs will also be the qualifier for World Sailing’s 2023 Youth World Championship, with the top eligible teams in each class qualifying to represent the USA at Youth Worlds.
Regatta Format and Eligibility: For the first time in its history, the 2023 Youth Champs will be an “open” event, with no application or invitation process required to be eligible. Nationally competitive sailors in the following classes are encouraged to attend: 29er, Formula Kite, ILCA 6 (formerly Laser Radial), ILCA 7 (formerly Laser Standard), International 420, iQFOiL Youth, and Nacra 15.
U.S. Junior Women’s Championships for the Leiter and Ida Lewis Trophy
Where and When: Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI on July 17-21, 2023.
About this Event: 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. No private coaching is allowed – US Sailing provides coaches to lead world-class training and coach all competitors to enhance the experience, sailing skills, competitiveness, and sportsmanship of the group. This unique, all-girls event provides junior sailors with a chance to build their skills in a protected environment and foster friendships for a lifetime.
Regatta Format and Eligibility: In 2023 the Leiter and Ida Lewis events will be held concurrently at the same venue, allowing singlehanded and doublehanded sailors to interact and enjoy shared learning experiences, coaching, and networking. There will be three days of clinic, followed by two days of racing. The Leiter will be held in the ILCA 6 boat class (formerly known as Laser Radial) and the Ida Lewis will be held in the 29er class. Sailors interested in the Ida Lewis that are new to the 29er are encouraged to contact US Sailing at email@example.com for training opportunities.
U.S. Youth Triplehanded Championship for the Sears Cup
Where and When: Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, TX on August 10-13, 2023.
About this Event: The Chubb U.S. Youth Triplehanded Championship for the Sears Cup is US Sailing’s National Championship for three-person (triplehanded) youth teams and serves as a pathway into keelboat racing for young people. First sailed in 1921, the Sears Cup is US Sailing’s oldest national championship trophy and the original youth sailing national championship.
Regatta Format and Eligibility: Teams qualify for the U.S. Youth Triplehanded Championship for the Sears Cup via their Area’s Qualifier. In 2023, the Sears Cup will double in size, from 11 teams to 22 teams, allowing each of the 11 Areas recognized by US Sailing to send two teams to represent their region at the National Championship.
The type of boat used for the National Championship and the Area Qualifier regattas varies based on the availability of boats at the host clubs each year. Generally, boats are three-person (or occasionally four-person) one-design classes, typically a keelboat (such as VX One, RS21, J-22, etc) or a large centerboard boat (such as a Lightning, Thistle, Flying Scot, etc). The 2023 Sears Cup will be sailed in the RS21 with crews of four people at Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, TX.
For more information on US Sailing Championships or other youth racing questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.