Youth Girls Going for Third Championship
Published on August 6th, 2017
by Bill Wagner, Capital Gazette
Kimmie Leonard and Maddie Hawkins are really on a roll. Those two Annapolis Yacht Club (Annapolis, MD) juniors secured their second major title in the span of a month at the end of July.
Hawkins steered while Leonard crewed as the standout duo captured the Club 420 North American Championship, held July 24-28 out of Ontario, Canada. Just one week prior, the two high school students sailed to victory in the U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship.
“Maddie and I kind of have our groove on right now,” said Leonard, a rising senior and co-captain of the Annapolis High sailing team. “We’re just really clicking as a team and it seems like everything is coming together very nicely.”
Hawkins and Leonard notched consecutive bullets to overtake Sarah Burn and Patricia Gerli in the standings. Burn and Gerli, who were also runners-up at the U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship, were black-flagged in Race 6 and were forced to make that their throwout and wound up having to keep a 14th from Race 5.
Leonard-Hawkins also posted a pair of seconds in totaling 23 points — six better than Burn and Gerli, out of Bay Head Yacht Club and Mantaloking Yacht Club, respectively. Hawkins and Leonard threw out a ninth and counted no result worse than a sixth.
“We honestly weren’t expecting to win so it was a nice surprise,” Hawkins said. “I think we did a really good job of staying focused. Racing was postponed on shore a few days and we didn’t let that bother us. We really kept our head in the game the entire regatta.”
This was a co-ed regatta that attracted 128 entries to Buffalo Canoe Club, which is located on Abino Bay off the Canadian shores of Lake Erie.
“It’s kind of cool that the top two finishers were all-girl boats,” Leonard said. “I looked at the trophy and two other all-girl teams had won in the past. It’s an honor to join that list.”
Annapolis resident Jake Vickers runner-up at singlehanded national championship
Leonard and Hawkins, a rising sophomore at Severn School, are now off to the US Sailing Junior National Championships, being held August 9 to 11 out of Toms River, New Jersey.