Author: Colin Rupp

Long Beach: Day 2

2021 West Marine US Open Sailing Series

LONG BEACH, CA (July, 10, 2021)— Day two of the West Marine US Open Sailing Series – Long Beach welcomed a consistent afternoon breeze ranging between 8-12 knots with flat water, typical conditions for the area. And although typical in Southern California, Long Beach always has the potential to bring challenges as the athletes found on day two.    

Tricky left-hand pressure was an added consideration on race circle C for the Nacra 17 and Finn Olympic Classes, as well as the 29ers. The breeze started out at 8-10 knots and topped off at 12 knots for the day. San Diego Yacht Club sailors Samantha Gardner and Alice Schmid figured it out and were particularly impressive in the 29er with three firsts and a second. Close behind are the Lamm Brothers, Tyler and Drew (N. West Palm, FL) with 12 points and Anton Schmid and Peter Joslin (San Diego, CA) with 16 points. With the final day of racing on Sunday, all three teams have a chance of coming away with the win. 

The ILCA 5 fleet is giving Long Beach a show with tight racing at the top. Tate Christopher (Alamitos, CA) holds the lead only slightly with 15 points. Katharine Doble (Marina Del Rey, CA), recently qualifying for the 2021 Youth Worlds Team at the Laser Midwinters hosted earlier this summer by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, sits in second with 15 points. Thomas Kraak (Long Beach, CA) sits in a close third with 15.5 points. The ICLA 5 competitors will be head-to-head with every detail of their sailing playing a factor in their final results on Sunday.   

Foiling Kites and iQ Foils on the stadium course saw pressure with a variety of velocities and direction due to the closer proximity to the shores of Long Beach. The popular decision for the kite group was to start the day powered up on their larger kites, but competitors quickly rushed back to the beach after race two to change out for smaller kites due to an increase in breeze. Unfortunately, the wind dopped down and many found themselves underpowered. “It was a game of who can make the right sail choice which has been really fun,” said Kai Calder (Alameda, CA).  

With sailors looking toward an Olympic future, the focus is on systems and development as opposed to short term results, leveling up what it will take to be the at the top of the fleet. With lots of seaweed to be avoided, kite choice was not the only factor determining who was winning races. Most races were determined at the finish, keeping the mix exciting. Markus Endegran (San Francisco, CA) has kept his lead heading into day three, but the top five are all in contention in their final day of racing on Sunday.  

The Race Committee and volunteers wrapped their day at a recognition party sponsored by West Marine and hosted at their local Long Beach store. They were greeted with drinks and appetizers and a few words from Executive Director of US Olympic Sailing, Paul Cayard, on what it means to be a part of the Los Angeles 2028 Games groundwork and the impact the sailing community and the West Marine US Open Sailing Series will have on helping bring American excellence back to the forefront of sailing. It was in 1984, the last time the Olympics came to Los Angeles, that the US Sailing Team took home exclusively Gold and Silver medals, so the drive to return to that era is more alive than ever with 2028 just around the corner. 

Day 2 Results

Photo Credit: 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Long Beach. Photo by US Sailing/Simon Staff.

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Long Beach: Day 1

2021 West Marine US Open Sailing Series

LONG BEACH, CA (July 9, 2021) – Olympic energy filled the air for day 1 of the US Open Sailing Series in Long Beach. The event, taking place at the site of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games sailing venue, features 124 teams across 8 classes – 6 Olympic classes (Finn, Formula Kite, iQ Foil, ILCA 7, ILCA 6, and the Nacra 17) and 2 youth Olympic development classes (the 29er and the ICLA 4). 

On the water, elite Olympic coaches helped prepare the competitors for the west coast leg of the Series with three days of pre-event sessions hosted by the Olympic Development Program (ODP). Two-time Olympic Bronze Medalist, Charlie McKee (Bend, Oregon), coached the Formula Kite sailors for the week and was impressed by not only the depth of talent developing, but also how the talent is developing together as a squad in the newest class on the program for Paris 2024. 

“We are super happy with everything that has happened here,” said McKee. “We had a great training camp leading into this event. It’s our first time having the kites at the West Marine US Open Series here in California. We have 23 kites on the line and the level of racing is really high. There is a good mix of teenagers that are super talented and adults that are experienced veteran Kite Foilers, and everyone is working together in a collaborative way to improve.” 

Bringing an international technology-driven approach to our US program, Yaniv Meir (Israel) worked with the iQ Foil group in Long Beach. His proven experience working with dominant Israeli board sailors is helping to invigorate the discipline in the States and jumpstart US efforts for both the 2024 and 2028 Games. 

“There’s no question the world of windsurfing changed because we changed the discipline to the IQ Foil,” said Yaniv. “Naturally for such a big country like the U.S. the benefit of changing the discipline is giving young sailors the opportunity to jump into a new and exciting class and follow their dreams. I am bringing the experience of coaching windsurfing, but what I get from the sailors is the excitement. What I have seen the last 4 days is the combination of my experience and knowledge of windsurfing with their ambitions. There’s no doubt that it’s opening the door for the US to do great things in the near future, where young American talent shows real results.” 

The eight classes are competing across three separate sailing circles off Long Beach and it’s all hands on deck to make the event a success. Southern California activated a volunteer staff of over 100 dedicated individuals from the local sailing community. Members from the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, Long Beach Yacht club, and the US Sailing Center Long Beach worked together to host the 2021 event, laying the foundation that will continue to build over the next seven years in the lead up to Los Angeles 2028.  

“With 124 teams racing here in Long Beach, the West Marine US Open series continues to gain momentum,” said Paul Cayard, Olympian, World Champion, and current Executive Director of the US Olympic Sailing Team. “Apart from enjoying the conditions, support of top coaches and the local sailing community at large, these athletes are showing the depth that we are cultivating in the USA. The future of US Olympic Sailing is bright!” 

Later in the day, Cayard (San Francisco, Calif.) joined Olympic Bronze Medalist, Pamela Healy (San Francisco, Calif.), on site at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club to host the Tokyo Olympic Team Virtual Send-Off. They were joined virtually by US Sailing CEO Alan Ostfield, premiere partner of the US Sailing Team, John Kilroy, and each athlete heading to Tokyo. Details to watch the archived broadcast can be found below. 

The Long Beach component of the West Marine US Open Sailing Series is an exceptional added benefit to competitors taking advantage of the six-regatta series as it provides sailors with top level racing and coaching in future Olympic waters. On a broader scale, the US Open is delivering on a promise to provide annual, high-level racing on a domestic platform- all with the goal of racing toward excellence together on US waters in 2028. 

Watch Tokyo 2020 Athlete Send-off here: Let’s Go to Tokyo! Athlete Send-off Celebration 


Day 1 Results

Photo Credit: 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing – Long Beach. Photo by US Sailing/Simon Staff.

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