Day 1: Start of Racing Postponed to Saturday
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (January 15, 2021) – The 135 sailors representing 10 countries will have to wait one more day to begin racing in Fort Lauderdale. The exciting start of the inaugural 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing Series was postponed on Friday due to insufficient and inconsistent breeze.
They attempted one race on Friday, however that attempt was quickly abandoned as the breeze could not hold up and the shifty conditions and tides also made racing a challenge. Despite the conditions, sailors enjoyed their time on the water with fellow teammates, competitors, and coaches.
The youth movement is in full swing this week in Fort Lauderdale with a number of eager and enthusiastic young sailors ready to race against strong competition in challenging conditions. Lucas Sawin, a freshman at the College of Charleston and the 2019-20 ISSA (High School) National Champion said, “I really want to see how I stack up against the competition with former Olympians here this week. Competing against them is hard, but we are learning from the best. This is the first regatta of the year for me so I’m happy to be here and sail fast.”
Collin Porter, a sophomre at Hobart College said, “It’s great to get out on the water and test the skills. I haven’t been in a big fleet in a while so it’s good to line up what I need to work on to prepare for Nationals later in the year.”
New Laser sailor Sophia Fogarty said, “This is only my second Laser event. I sail the I-420, so my goal is to learn from these experienced sailors and keep up with them as much as I can.”
Sixteen of the young sailors here in Fort Lauderdale this week are members of US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program. These sailor are looking to take their Olympic-class sailing to new heights and are utilizing the US Open Sailing Series platform as a way to compete, develop, and train against top notch competition.
“I think the coolest part about the open series is that it’s actually happening,” said Leo Boucher (Annapolis, Md.). “It’s been tough to get good-caliber sailors all together in one place. The fact that we can have this list of regattas on our schedule every year is pretty important in our journeys to get better.”
Chase Carraway (Wrightsville Beach, N.C.) was also looking forward to this weekend. “I think the Open series is really special because it brings a lot of high level talent all together at the same place and it really helps the ODP group see how we match up against the other sailors like Charlie [Buckingham] and some of the foreign Laser sailors. It’s really great to see how we stack up.”
“I think it’s something we haven’t really had before here in the US,” added Diego Escobar (San Diego, Calif.). “Normally we’d have to travel to Europe to really get a taste of what’s going on at the international circuit, but being able to develop that platform for us here is super beneficial.”
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Day 1 Video Recap:
Watch the West Marine US Open Coach’s Corner on Facebook with Fred Strammer:
Watch the Weather Briefing on The Starboard Portal with Chelsea Carlson:
Follow the action on US Sailing and US Sailing Team social media: #USOpenSailing
US Sailing Team: