Sophia Reineke dominates U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Champs

Published on July 20th, 2014

San Diego, CA. (July 20, 2014) – Fort Lauderdale’s Sophia Reineke enjoyed a breakthrough performance at the 2014 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship on July 18-20, hosted by the Mission Bay Yacht Club.

Beginning with Friday’s first set of races, Reineke asserted herself on the race course and on the leaderboard early on in the championship. By posting bullets in each of the four races Friday, she took a 12-point lead into Saturday. Reineke won 2 of 4 races on Saturday to increase her lead over the competitive field of 33 Laser Radial sailors. She entered the Sunday’s racing with a 16-point advantage and cruised to victory. With two races remaining in the championship, Reineke refused to sit back for average results on Sunday. She won Race 9 to start the day and finished third in Race 10 to close out the championship. She won 7 of 10 races in the series.

Last year’s runner-up Lindsay Baab (Saratoga, Calif.) finished in second place again this year. Simone Staff placed third (Los Angeles, Calif.).

“I didn’t have really good starts, so I needed to make sure I found the shifts,” said Reineke. “It was a little tricky, but I paid attention to the wind in the pre-race and that paid off. This event was a lot of fun and the coaches were great. There were all types of different conditions, from light to really windy.”

Reineke placed fifth in the highly competitive women’s Laser Radial fleet at the Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta last December. She has three more years of eligibility at the U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship.

A nice sea breeze settled in for the sailors on Sunday, including breeze at 8 to 12 knots for most of the day.

This year’s list of competitors featured a number of top returning sailors from last year’s championship and many young upstarts eager to get better. Five of the top nine sailors from last year’s championship are back.

The U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship is an open event that offers tremendous opportunities, skill development focus, and outstanding competition in a fun, safe, high-quality racing environment.

US Sailing Junior National Coach Richard Feeny conducted a two-day clinic that preceded racing on Wednesday and Thursday this week, with a distinguished list of high school and college coaches, including, US Sailing Paralympic Coach Betsy Alison, US Coast Guard Academy Head Coach Brian Swingly, St. Petersburg Yacht Club Head Racing Coach Todd Fedyszyn, former Quantum College Sailor of the Year Alana O’Reilly, and US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider member Allie Blecher (also a former College Sailor of the Year). These clinics familiarized the competitors with the local conditions and race course. Coaches were on site providing instruction and guidance to the sailors for all three days of the championship.

Feeney reflected on this year’s event: “This regatta is one of the coaches’ favorite regattas of the year, because of the camaraderie between the sailors is so unique and unrivaled. The Laser Radial continues to be a fantastic testing ground, and here you have some of the top competitors and they work together on their skills and fitness. This is also a great venue where you get 10 to 15 knots for lighter sailors. The conditions were really challenging but not overwhelming.”

The event annually brings first class hospitality to the competing sailors. On Wednesday, the San Diego Hall of Champions hosted a dinner for the competing sailors.

Report by US Sailing media.

Final results (Top 5 of 33; 10 races, 1 discard)
1. Sophia Reineke: 1-1-1-1-[3]-1-2-1-1-3- ; 12 points
2. Lindsey Baab: [6]-3-4-3-2-2-6-4-3-5- ; 32
3. Simone Staff: 7-5-2-[33/DNF]-1-3-1-5-2-10- ; 36
4. Claire Havig: 3-6-7-5-16-6-11-2-9-[18]- ; 65
5. Jessica McJones: 5-4-9-[17]-7-12-5-3-7-15- ; 67

Complete results
Event website

The top three boats qualified for early acceptance to the 2015 U.S. Youth Championships, hosted by Eastern Yacht Club (Mass.), which is a qualifier for the 2015 ISAF Youth World Championships, provided they meet the eligibility criteria and submit an application.

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