Carlson wins Junior Women’s Champs
Published on July 11th, 2017
Abbie Carlson won the 2017 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship, held July 9-11 Galveston Bay in Shoreacres, TX. Carlson placed third at last year’s championship in Seattle, and for the second straight year, a sailor representing the Seattle Yacht Club has won the title.
Raced in Laser Radials, Carlson trailed leader Grace Austin (Greenwich, Conn) by seven points through five races in a very competitive fleet. The first five races of the series were dominated by light wind, but just before the sixth race the seabreeze filled from the Southeast at 8 to 10 knots, providing the best sailing conditions of the week.
Carlson placed fourth in the final race, ahead of her rivals for the overall title. This, combined with the dropped score that came into effect upon the completion of six races, gave Carlson an 11-point turnaround and a four point win over Austin. Marianna Shand (Chula Vista, Calif.) finished third overall and posted the top results in Tuesday’s three races.
“Honestly, I was kind of surprised because everybody was so close in points, so I didn’t find out until I came in,” said Carlson. “It was hard to stay positive during all the postponements, but I stayed focused. It was really shifty today and it wasn’t what I was expecting. Overall, I thought my speed was pretty good on the up and down winds.”
Due to insufficient wind, only one race was conducted on Sunday and two races on Monday, with better winds on Tuesday allowing for three races
Final Standings (Top 5 of 29; 6 races, 1 discard)
1. Abbie Carlson, Seattle Yacht Club, 1--5-2-8-4- ; 20
2. Grace Austin, Belle Haven Club / LYC, 5-2-2-10-5-- ; 24
3. Marianna Shand, Mission Bay Yacht Club, 9--9-1-3-3- ; 25
4. AnaLucia Clarkson, Seattle Yacht Club, 13-1-3-3--6- ; 26
5. Anika Boicheff, St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 3-4--11-7-2- ; 27
High-level coaching and skill development is a key component of this championship. Prior to racing, teams took part in a two-day clinic on Friday and Saturday led by a collection of top coaches from around the country.
“One of the things that sets the Leiter Trophy apart from other regattas is the clinic and the US Sailing provided coaches for all competitors,” said John Pearce, Youth Director of US Sailing. “It creates an atmosphere of collaboration and pushes the sailors to focus on building their skills while also striving for a great result in the Championship.”
The coaching staff – comprised of Head Coach Richard Feeny and coaches Elizabeth Kratzig, Scott Ikle, Beka Schiff, and Hannah Tuson-Turner – worked with all of the sailors as a group throughout the event. “During the on-shore postponement Monday, Elizabeth presented to the sailors about her career as a sailor, including her current work with the Magenta Project, and other opportunities for women in sailing,” noted Pearce. “It really inspired the sailors to seek out big challenges and leadership roles within the sport.”
Kratzig was impressed with all the girls and the close racing. “It’s an honor to be here as a coach, especially having participated in this event growing up and now to give something back towards women’s sailing and helping grow the knowledge and enthusiasm of the young female sailors is really exciting,” shared Kratzig. “This is a broad spectrum of sailors with varying experience. By bringing them all together it shows everybody that we have a strong contingency of women in sailing and we need to continue to build on that. This event is critical to their development as a sailor.”
The 2017 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship for the Nancy Leiter Clagett Memorial Trophy was hosted by the Houston Yacht Club.
Source: US Sailing