On August 7th, Jack Plavan and I had the opportunity to travel to Toms River, New Jersey to compete in Bemis, the U.S Sailing Junior Doublehanded Championship. To get to this point, Jack and I had to get top two in the Area Qualifier, the Junior Olympics hosted by San Diego Yacht Club in July. We were able to place second after the three day event and we were excited to be on our way to New Jersey.
This was our first time going to this regatta and we were very excited for the unique aspects of this race. What makes this regatta unique is that everyone is provided a new C420 charter for the week, evening out the playing field. Also, since this was an event you have to qualify for, they limit the registration to only twenty teams. When we arrived, we quickly learned that we were the SoCal kids that the East coast kids had not seen before, but they knew that we came from a great program and had great sailors compete in this event from our yacht club before. Although seeing other sailors in their “Opti National Team” jackets was intimidating, we were confident in the training we had done at home.
The regatta had a clinic day run by Kevin Burnham, an Olympic Gold medalist, and Head Coach Richard Feeny. Jack and I had some nerves out on the water, but knew we were able to compete with the talented fleet. After two days of racing we found ourselves in third by one point, with the other SoCal qualifier three points behind in fourth. With only one race scheduled for the last day, Jack and I went out on the first tow and researched the course. We had a good start heading towards the favored side and were able to take second in the last race, finishing second overall in the regatta.
This was one of our most memorable sailing experiences and it was great to see our hard work and great coaching during the summer tested against the best teams in the nation. Team Jack would like to thank the SDYC Competition fund for enabling us to represent San Diego in these national events. Go SDYC!