Locals Win U.S. Adult Sailing Championship
Published on October 15th, 2016
Quick and competitive races, on-the-water umpiring, no discards, and an improved viewing experience of the fleet racing for everyone involved, proved to be the key recipe for a successful 2016 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship held October 12-15 in San Francisco, CA.
Hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay, this US Sailing National Championship truly challenged the ten teams competing in equalized J/22s. In the end it was the experience, local knowledge and preparation of the team representing the Northern California Yachting Association/St. Francis Yacht Club who came out on top.
Russ Silvestri (San Francisco, Calif.), John Collins (Mill Valley, Calif.), Mario Yovkov (San Francisco, Calif.), and Maggie Bacon (San Francisco, Calif.) won by 13 points over 20 races. The team representing Southern California Yachting Association/San Diego Yacht Club, led by Tyler Sinks (San Diego, Calif.), placed second overall. Sinks was joined by crewmates Jake La Dow (San Diego, Calif.), Jake Reynolds (San Diego, Calif.), and Max Hutcheson (San Diego, Calif.).
The fleet tallied eight races on Wednesday; six races on Thursday; two on Friday, and four on Saturday.
Despite the close races throughout the four day event, this championship was a two-team duel from start to finish. Silvestri won nine races and placed second nine times. Sinks won eight races and had a lead through most of Wednesday.
Silvestri led by nine points entering Saturday’s racing and his team continued to post consistent results (4-1-2-1) to seal the championship and the Clifford D. Mallory Trophy. Silvestri expected a major challenge from Sinks this week.
“We knew from the start that Tyler Sinks was going to be the guy to beat,” said Silvestri. “They went after us in the starts today, but with a nine point lead, we wanted to stay close with them and not make any mistakes. We had the benefit of the local knowledge and confidence in our boat speed and how to set up our boat every day.
“Today, we started races on the north side of Alcatraz with the wind coming from the south,” Silvestri continued. “Usually we are closer to Alcatraz, so that was different. There were storms coming through, so it was shifty at times. At the start of the tide, the wind was coming in and at the end it was going out, so just racing here all the time you have a sense of that and it helped us.”
Silvestri was also impressed with the new racing format.
“I love the on-the-water umpiring. They are in the right position 99 percent of the time. You finish the race and there is no protest. It’s infinitely better.
“It couldn’t be a better regatta to come to. The boats are prepared. It’s a 350 dollar entry fee. You get all your food. It’s a great deal.
“St. Francis Yacht Club did a great job running the event. It was great having the umpires out there and the race committee work was good in a challenging environment with the cross current and deep water. Getting the marks in the right spot was not easy.”
First raced in 1952, the U.S. Adult Sailing Championship is one of US Sailing’s most historic national championships.