Sailors at San Diego US Open Ramp Up for Next Week’s Youth Champs

The San Diego edition of the West Marine US Open Sailing Series wrapped on Sunday after three days of beautiful racing in the Pacific, with 8-10 knots and 3–5-foot sea swell across the weekend. Title Sponsor West Marine and National Sponsors Gill Marine and Gowrie Group are committed to the growth of the series as a domestic training platform looking towards the Olympics.  

The first stop on the West Coast swing, the San Diego event included the ILCA 4, ILCA 6, ILCA7, 470, 29er, Snipe and Finn classes. The event also played host to the 29er National Championship and the U.S. Singlehanded Championship for the O’Day and Hanley Trophies. Thank you to Regatta Craft Mixers and Gill Marine for their support of the U.S. Singlehanded Championship.  

“It was awesome to see the tight racing across all the fleets,” said Circle B PRO Becky Ashburn. “As Race Committee, we were excited to see both seasoned veterans and the future of Olympic classes out on the racecourse this weekend.” 

US Sailing and San Diego Yacht Club thank New England Ropes for the support of the Race Committee operations this weekend.  


US Sailing’s representatives for Youth Worlds had a banner weekend in the 29er fleet. Brothers Ian and Noah Nyenhuis, who will represent the Men’s 29er, took first place while Sammie Gardner and Alice Schmid, who will represent the Women’s 29er, took second. Miles Julien and Jake Julien took third. 

“It’s nice to have the whole 29er fleet in our hometown,” said second place finishers Sammie Gardner and Alice Schmid. “We don’t usually race against fleets this big, so that experience has been super beneficial before Youth Worlds.” 

ILCA 7  

Fresh off a development camp in Long Beach, sailors from the Olympic Development Program battled for dominance in the ILCA 7 fleet. ODP Sailor Leo Boucher narrowly bested teammate Nick Sessions, taking first by four points. Benjamin Smith, also on the ODP, took third. The top three men in the ILCA 7 were eligible to compete for the George D. O’Day Trophy, the U.S. Singlehanded Championship trophy open to men 17 years and older in the calendar year of the eventU.S. Singlehanded Results  

ILCA 6  

Competition was tough in the event’s largest fleet. Robby Meek, winner of the Ft. Lauderdale event last winter, came in first by six points. US Youth Worlds representative in the Men’s ILCA 6, Peter Barnard, took second while Katherine Doble, US Youth Worlds representative in the Women’s ILCA 6, came in third. 

Helen Hanley Trophy – U.S. Singlehanded Championship trophy open to women 17 years and older in the calendar year of the event in the ILCA 6: Katherine Doble was awarded the Hanley Trophy, while Zoe Ziskind took second and Oakley Cunningham came in third. U.S. Singlehanded Results 


French sailor Gilda Dondona ran away with the win in the ILCA 4 class, winning every race but one, which was dropped. Max Brameld took second, while Landon Stahl took third. 


A group from the High-Performance Center at St. Francis Yacht Club comprised the 470 fleet at this event. Kyra Phelan & Dylan Murphy dominated the group, winning every race. Their teammates Brooke Schmelz & Josh Goldberg took second, while Samantha Hemans & Alec Von Kerckhove took third. 


The San Diego Finn class showed up in force for this US Open event. Erik Lidecis, a long-time local Finn sailor, took first place with 12 points. Ukrainian Anatolii Nosar took second with 20 points, narrowly besting American Rob Coutts who came in third.   


New in 2022, the Snipe class joined the regatta as they prepare for their National Championship at San Diego Yacht Club next month. Mary Baker and Diana Waterbury took first over long-time Snipe sailors Rick Arneson and Gus Wirth. The youth team of Peter Busch and Cam Spriggs took third.   

This year, sailors from any country competing in Olympic classes in the Olympic configuration are eligible for prize money over three California events, a first in US Sailing history. Athletes are awarded $1,000 for first place, $500 for second and $250 for third. 

2022 US Open Sailing Series West Coast Events 

  • June 17-19: San Diego, California 
  • July 15-17: Long Beach, California 
  • August 12-14: San Francisco, California 

Organized by US Sailing and host yacht clubs at venues in Florida and California, the 6-stage West Marine US Open Sailing Series seeks to fulfill demand for a racing and training platform based in the United States to provide a path to the Olympic Games for prospective athletes. 

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