Houck and von Summer Win JY15 NA Champs
Published on September 24th, 2017
The 2017 JY15 North American Championships was held September 23 – 24, 2017 at Duck Island Yacht Club in Westbrook, CT. The 28th annual event attracted a strong fleet of 18 boats for two days of competitive racing and experienced pretty much the full range of possible conditions over the nine races comprising the regatta.
Two recent Dartmouth sailing team graduates, Scott Houck and Hollis von Summer, brought great talent to the class and dominated the two day event to take the 2017 North American title. Not only was Scott Houck new to the class, it was his first time in the boat which makes it an even more impressive victory against JY15 veterans such as Paul-Jon Patin, Mark McCarthy, Mark Allen, Bud Rogers, Seth Barrows, Chris Vann and many more.
As newcomers to the fleet, Hollis and Scott focused on the basics, clean start, hike hard, head out of the boat, and stay on the lifted tack. The pressure and direction was super visible on the water, making it critical to “connect the dots” between each new breeze line. Being able to hold a lane for a while off the line was crucial as starboard seemed to be the favored tack most of the day.
The team also found success by taking a little leverage out to a side, which helped avoid getting “ping-ponged” back and forth in the middle. As the breeze dropped throughout the first day of racing, the current became more of a factor, although Hollis and Scott got caught “overplaying” the current more than once, which suffice to say was quite sub-optimal.
The second morning of racing arrived, and after a short postponement on land the southwest breeze started to fill in. While the velocity ranged from a pleasant ~8kts to near zero, the shifts were much longer and less dramatic than the day before. Starts were arguably even more crucial, so Hollis and Scott finished more or less in the position that they started in.
Pinching upwind was deadly, and hitting powerboat chop from the sound could park your boat unless you bore off and eased through it. The current was flowing upwind all day, creating brutally long and painful downwind legs. Though they never attempted this, a few brave teams sought current relief by sailing a long course out toward Duck Island before gybing back on a reach to the leeward mark – a strategy that paid off if done correctly. Hollis and Scott were not so adventurous and focused on sailing on a reach toward the next pressure and using the puffs to go wing-on toward the mark.
JY15 Past North Americans winners list
1990 CARTER GOWRIE, JENNIFER ADAM, WADAWANUCK YACHT CLUB, STONINGTON, CT
1991 BRAD DELLENBAUGH VIRGINIA VERNEY, WADAWANUCK YACHT CLUB, STONINGTON, CT
1992 COLIN GORDON, GRAEME WOODWORTH
1993 MORGAN REESER, STEPHANIE VAN EYCKEN
1994 WILL GRAVES, MATT JOHNSON, SAYVILLE YACHT CLUB, SAYVILLE, NY
1995 PAUL FOERSTER, CARRIE FOERSTER,
1996 PAUL FOERSTER, CARRIE FOERSTER, AUGUSTA SAILING CLUB AUGUSTA, GA
1997 PAUL FOERSTER, CARRIE FOERSTER,
1998 JOHN MOLLICONE, DANNY RABIN, WADAWANUCK YACHT CLUB, STONINGTON, CT
1999 PAUL FOERSTER, CARRIE FOERSTER,
2000 JOSH PUTNAM, WILL PASCHAL, AUGUSTA SAILING CLUB AUGUSTA, GA
2001 PAT HUNTLEY, TRINA HUNTLEY, ERIE YACHT CLUB, ERIE, PA
2002 CUTTER SMITH, LAURA HUTTON, WADAWANUCK YACHT CLUB, STONINGTON, CT
2003 BILL DRAHEIM, SPIKE ALLEN,
2004 GLEN DARDEN, WOLF FOCKE, MACATAWA BAY YACHT CLUB, HOLLAND, MI
2005 BOB ADAM, STEPHANIE ADAM, NIANTIC BAY YACHT CLUB, NIANTIC, CT
2006 JAY VANN, HAILEY VANN, BEAUFORT YACHT CLUB, BEAUFORT, SC
2007 JOHN POTTER, ELISE SPROUL, ISLAND BAY YACHT CLUB, SPRINGFIELD, IL
2008 BILL NIGHTINGALE, JULIE NIGHTINGALE, NIANTIC BAY YACHT CLUB, NIANTIC, CT
2009 JOHN POTTER, CHERYL POTTER, AUGUSTA SAILING CLUB, AUGUSTA, GA
2010 MIKE INGHAM, CLAIRE BRODIE, ROCHESTER CANOE CLUB, ROCHESTER, NY
2011 PAUL-JON PATIN, FELICITY RYAN, BREAKWATER YACHT CLUB, SAG HARBOR, NY
2012 JOHN POTTER, CHERYL POTTER MEGAN POTTER EMILY POTTER, BEAUFORT YACHT CLUB, BEAUFORT, SC
2013 PAUL-JON PATIN, FELICITY RYAN, STAMFORD YACHT CLUB, STAMFORD, CT
2014 SAM PADNOS, JOSH PADNOS, MACATAWA BAY YACHT CLUB HOLLAND, MI
2015 PAUL-JON PATIN, NICHOLAS PATIN, SAYVILLE YACHT CLUB, SAYVILLE, NY
2016 PAUL-JON PATIN, FELICITY RYAN, BREAKWATER YACHT CLUB, SAG HARBOR, NY
2017 SCOTT HOUCK, HOLLIS VON SUMMER, DUCK ISLAND YACHT CLUB, WESTBROOK, CT
Source: Bill Nightingale, JY15 Class President