Abbie Carlson won the 2017 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship, held July 9-11 Galveston Bay in Shoreacres, TX. Carlson placed third at last year’s championship in Seattle, and for the second straight year, a sailor representing the Seattle Yacht Club has won the title.
Raced in Laser Radials, Carlson trailed leader Grace Austin (Greenwich, Conn.) by seven points after five races in mostly light winds. But in the final race, as nearby storms closed in, a stronger southeasterly powered Carlson to a 4th place to pass Austin who suffered her worst race of the event.
“Honestly, I was kind of surprised because everybody was so close in points, so I didn’t find out until I came in,” said Carlson. “It was hard to stay positive during all the postponements, but I stayed focused. It was really shifty today and it wasn’t what I was expecting. Overall, I thought my speed was pretty good on the up and down winds.”
Due to insufficient wind, only one race was conducted on Sunday and two races on Monday, with better winds on Tuesday allowing for three races
Final Standings (Top 5 of 29; 6 races, 1 discard)
1. Abbie Carlson, Seattle Yacht Club, 1--5-2-8-4- ; 20
2. Grace Austin, Belle Haven Club / LYC, 5-2-2-10-5-- ; 24
3. Marianna Shand, Mission Bay Yacht Club, 9--9-1-3-3- ; 25
4. AnaLucia Clarkson, Seattle Yacht Club, 13-1-3-3--6- ; 26
5. Anika Boicheff, St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 3-4--11-7-2- ; 27
High-level coaching and skill development is a key component of this championship. Prior to racing, teams took part in a two-day clinic on Friday and Saturday led by a collection of top coaches from around the country.
“One of the things that sets the Leiter Trophy apart from other regattas is the clinic and the US Sailing provided coaches for all competitors,” said John Pearce, Youth Director of US Sailing. “It creates an atmosphere of collaboration and pushes the sailors to focus on building…