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