• 2019 Chubb US JR Nationals: Sears, Smyth and Bemis Cups Explained



    The 3 C’s of sailing were emphasized over and over again in the waters south of the San Mateo Bridge:
    Community, Camaraderie & Competition.
    In that order.









    The 2019 edition of Chubb JR National Sailing Championship will be remembered for a number of 1sts. It was the 1st time the Peninsula Youth Sailing Foundation has hosted a major National Championship and the 1st time the recently built Westpoint Harbor has been utilized for such a venture. It was also the 1st time in an Open 5.70 was used for the triple handed Sears Cup Competition. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

    For those unsure exactly what this Sears Trophy and JR National Championship is all about, here is a Reader’s Digest short attention span breakdown:
    The Chubb U.S. Junior Championship is U.S. Sailing’s National Championship for junior sailors, aged 13-18.








    The National Championship is typically held in early August, at a rotating venue, and Area Championship Qualifiers are held earlier in the year, typically in June and July.




    The Championship itself has 3 Divisions:

    The original Sears Cup, which has been sailed since 1921, when it originated at the Eastern Yacht Club by then Commodore Herbert Sears as a competition “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”. The Sears Cup is the triple handed arm of the competition, sailed in keelboats. The host club allocates the 3 person keel of choice and abundance for their area, in recent years the J-22 has been a favorite, but in 2015 the Wianno Senior, a gaff rigged sloop designed in 1913, was utilized by the Wianno YC in Cape Cod.

    2019 will utilize the Open 5.70 described as: “The Open 5.70 and San Francisco Bay are a match made in heaven. The 5.70's feisty but forgiving design and sturdy build are perfectly suited for the Bay's moderate to heavy breezes and challenging sea states. 40% of the boat's entire weight is a bulb set nearly six feet deep. This gives it outstanding stability and pointing without sacrificing its light, responsive feel. Downwind, the boat planes easily in moderate breeze and will go 15-plus knots when it's really blowing. The boat accelerates beautifully, planes high and stable, and the keel literally sings. The kite is a nice manageable size. The cockpit is big and clean. Average strength and agility are sufficient for boat handling. There really is no better way to go bomb around on the Bay!”





    The F. Gregg Bemis Trophy was introduced in 1975, designed for doublehanded sailors and has been sailed in 2 person dinghies. The current choice craft is the Club 420



    The D Venner Smyth Trophy is the US Singlehanded Championships and was introduced in 1974. It was originally sailed in sunfish but now utilizes the Radial Laser.
    The racing is coed and there are no boys or girls’ divisions. The US is divided into 11 sections and each section has their own qualification series to decide who gets to attend the Nationals via ladder competition: https://www.ussailing.org/competitio...presentatives/


    The Sears Cup allows 1 team per area while the Bemis and Smyth permit 2 teams, except area H and L (Hawaii and the North West due to smaller number of participating clubs). The beauty of this system is that it brings a fairer representation nationwide, with the best from a variety of regions present, as opposed to the contest being loaded with a heavy dose of one region or another. That also allows for sailors from lesser known programs an opportunity to compete and shine in a level playing field, and in the long run, spreads the joy and learning experience with a much broader brush.

    Another unique angle for the competition are awards for sportsmanship, The F. Gardner Cox Sportsmanship for the triple handed division, The Bemis Sportsmanship for the doublehanded division and the
    Faye Bennet Sportsmanship for the singlehanded division. All reward the sailors who exhibit the highest tradition in fairness during the regatta


    The competition rotates throughout the country with host clubs bidding for rights to host and bring the youth and future of sailing to their venue. And while it has been in the Bay Area in years past, this marks the 1st time it has been held south of the San Mateo Bridge.

    By design, the competition has well thought out guidelines and timing schedules to protect the fairness to all sailors, equal time on their boats and the body of water they will compete in. 5 Days are scheduled with reception on day 1, practice race on day 2 and competition on days 3-5. Meals are all provided and housing where needed. The days start at 08:30 and runs until about 21:00 except the final day to allow for return travel. 1 coach per 11 sailors, provides a fairer, more even guidance with no advantage to any team, which encourages sailors to fend for themselves, share information and help one another.

    And now for the main course:

    The main director for the 2019 event is former Olympic Gold Medalist Molly O’Bryan Vandermoer who has took the helm of PYSF in 2012 and has increased attendance and functionality dramatically in a short time, utilizing her Olympic training and organization skills to encourage participation from the broader community. Keep in mind the PYSF is not a yacht club but does get great support from nearby Sequoia Yacht Club and Westpoint Harbor where they are hosting this event and is transforming the western lot into the new PYSF home.

    The Venue: Westpoint Harbor is the design baby of Mark Sanders, and has carved out a unique waterfront community from the salt flats east of Seaport Blvd east of Redwood City proper. With a short commute to the south bay’s warm waters, it provides easy access for thousands of South Bay residents. The general sailing venue lies in 12-15 water with a deep-water channel for shipping also allows for great current training. Temps in the mid to high 70s and generally warm afternoon breeze in the mid-teens to low 20 allow for challenging sailing sans the heap of foul weather gear needed just 15 miles north.

    93 sailors divided in 20 Lasers, 20 C420’s and 11 Open 5.70’s would provide the platforms. While the Lasers and C 420’s are all chartered evenly kitted dinghies, standard through the world, the keelboat is the decision of the host organization, and it was by luck that a group of the 5.70’s were sourced by locally. This is the 1st time that an asymmetrical kite sport boat has been utilized, and aside from a few hiccups with bits and pieces, the overall satisfaction rating was very high if ear to ear grins are the standard by which these things are measured.

    The weather cooperated very nicely and kids from parts of the country that don’t sail much in current got a good dose of total immersion from the outset, as a nice ebb kicked in for the practice race and ran for the entirety of the event. The group were divided into two courses with the 5.70’s the furthest north, sailing where the swell runs 3-4 feet (with occasional larger) and wind stays a bit stronger. The Lasers and C420’s shared a trapezoid course just below with a generous reaching leg and plenty of downhill to surf their tails off.

    Friday’s 1st day of real racing brought the strongest winds and gave the kids and support boats, coaches and staff a good work out, plus for some, bonus time mending things that needed mending. In the 420’s NHYC’s Pinckney and Sih would take and early lead with 2 bullets and a 2nd, followed by SDYC’s Egan and Plavan then Gross Point’s Kirkman and Rockwell. Locals Caleb Yoslov and Will Foox both of SFYC would engage Daniel Escudero form the Atlanta YC in a 3 way battle for superiority that would last the entire regatta. And the 5.70’s would see David Wood’s team from Balboa Yacht Club nab two bullets early on to challenge local favorites from RYC headed up by Owen Lahr that suffered some gear failure, yet came back strong in 2nd race for the W.

    Day 2 would dawn with an unusual overnight weather system exiting the area, bringing beautiful puffy clouds over the hills and a dense fog bank hugging the coast producing another day of superb sailing with breeze kicking up into the mid to high teens. Due to delays in repairing some boats, the 5.70 fleet got off to a tad bit late start and RC called the day done for 5.70 fleet after 2 races after some additional gear failure, but it was the right call and teams would get an early start on the final day.

    Sunday’s finale would be lighter affair with emphasis on trim and adjusting to shifting winds and less emphasis on current. The RC managed to pull off 3 races to complete 9 for the Smyth and Bemis fleets and 8 races of the Sears Trophy, with a variety of conditions that also helped to level the playing field. A very tight competition in the Laser Radials would result with a 3 point spread in the top, with Will Foox of SFYC taking 1st with 18 points, Daniel Escudero of Atlanta YC in 2nd with 19 and Caleb Yoslov, also of SFYC in 3rd with 20.

    The C420 fleet concluded with NHYC’s Morgan Pinckney & Nathan Sih taking the gold with 12 points, SDYC’s Jack Egan and Jack Plavan with 20 points taking the silver and Grosse Pointe YC’s Michael Kirkman and Zach Rockwell’s claiming the bronze, edging out Austin YC’s Lucy Brock and Julius Heitkoetter with the tiebreaker with 38 points each.

    The closest scoring throughout a division would be the Sears Open 5.70 with just 45 points separating the 1st place boat and 11th place boat. With 15.5 points, Balboa Yacht Club’s trio of David Wood, Daniel Pegg and Kenny Sherb would withstand the valiant effort from Richmond YC’s Owen Lahr, Connell Phillipps and Wesley Seifers, that despite gear failures still took 2nd with 19 points and Chicago Yacht Club’s Jack Baldwin, Emmett Nevel and Chapman Petersen’s 3rd with 23 points.

    For full scores please go to: https://theclubspot.com/regatta/6Rpscunf69/results
    Full final report pleas go to: https://www.ussailing.org/news/chubbjuniorchamps19-pre/


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