Changing with the times: Historic U.S. Championships Revitalized

Published on April 19th, 2014

US Sailing’s championship series had its start back in the 1920s when the focus of the competition was between yacht clubs and not necessarily between individual sailors. However, the sport has evolved, requiring an update on these American highlight events.

In the early days, East Coast Yacht Clubs fielded teams that competed against each other locally through a series of knock-out regattas. The best teams progressed to the national finals, originally for the Adams Cup (women only) and later on for the Mallory Trophy (men only) as well.

A similar program was also created for juniors. Hundreds of young sailors still compete for the right to represent their home yacht club or sailing center at the Chubb U.S. Junior Sailing Championships for the Sears, Bemis and Smythe trophies.

But with the increased number of one-design classes, adult interest in a small regatta, in which only 11 teams had advanced through to the finals, waned over the years. Bigger events attracted the best sailors and the focus was more on the individual rather than a club’s performance. However, over the past five years competition between clubs has experienced a resurgence. The New York Yacht Club and others now host invitational regattas between representing yacht clubs.

US Sailing has looked to its history as it considered the future of adult sailing championships for men and women. In 2013, a new championship was launched. The U.S. Adult Championship honors the traditional “yacht club” vs. “yacht club” competition by mixing the best elements of the former Mallory Trophy and Adams Cup, while at the same time recognizing that sailors may belong to a community sailing organization.

With the full support of the Clifford D. Mallory family, the U.S. Adult Championship now provides more opportunities for sailing clubs to participate in head-to-head competition. There are more events to qualify through and more room on the starting line at all levels. Any type of sailing community can field a team to compete at the regional and national levels.

Beginning this summer, all American sailing organizations are invited to field teams to attend regional qualifiers with the goal of being one of the 20 teams who will sail for the right to have their organization’s name engraved to the Clifford D. Mallory Trophy.

Here are the guidelines for the 2014 U.S. Adult Championship:
– Teams must be 18 or older.
– Women can helm and men can crew for them.
– Teams can be all men, all women or mixed.
– Crew weight limit must meet class rules.
– Current membership in US Sailing by all parties including the sailing organization a team represents.

The finals will be raced the last weekend of September at Fort Worth Boat Club in Texas on J/22s. The Royal Victoria Trophy will be awarded for excellence in Seamanship by a team and the Staton J. Peele, Jr. Trophy will be awarded for Sportsmanship by an individual.

Notice of RaceEvent website

Source: US Sailing

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