Nacra 15 Midwinters West 2018
Published on March 31st, 2018
Fourteen youth sailing teams from three countries competed in the 2018 Nacra 15 Midwinters West held March 29-31 in Long Beach, CA.
This event was the second of two 2018 Youth World Sailing Championships qualifier events for the USA. The first qualifier event was the 2018 Midwinters East held early January in Clearwater, FL.
Coming into the event, Matthew Monts and Carlyn Blauvelt (South Carolina YC / Atlanta YC) had won the Midwinters East, with Nico Martin and AnaClare Sole (Seabrook Sailing Club, Houston) in second, and Optimist and 29er superstars Justin Callahan and Bella Casaretto (Coral Reef YC, Miami and Lauderdale Yacht Club, Ft Lauderdale) in third.
Racing on the first day, Thursday March 29, was held in winds averaging 6 knots in the first race, and building to 11 knots by the fourth race. Principle Race Officer Mark Townsend chose course Alpha, on the open waters of the Pacific, to hold the races.
There was an exciting finish in Race 1 with Ben Rosenberg/ Christie Charbonnet (East Greenwich YC, CT and Southern YC, New Orleans), Jake and Max Mayol (Bahia Corinthian YC, Newport Beach), and Nick Lovell/ Kelly Bates (Southern YC, New Orleans and Lakewood YC, Houston) finishing 1,2,3 within seconds of each other. The next two races were also won by Rosenberg/ Charbonnet. Race 4 in building breeze was won by Nico Martin/ AnaClare Sole.
Unfortunately, Rosenberg/ Charbonnet were disqualified from Race 1 following a port-starboard protest with Martin/ Sole, leaving them in fourth place for the day.
Racing on Day two, March 30, started out where day 1 left off with 11 knots average wind speed, once again on course Alpha.
Martin/ Sole won the first three races in a building seabreeze, followed closely by San Francisco Bay team Jack Sutter/ Charlotte Versavel (St Francis YC, Richmond YC) in some very tight battles. In the fourth race of the day (Race 8) in 17 knots average wind speed, Sutter/ Versavel finally put one through the hoop with Justin Callahan/ Bella Casaretto in second and Martin/ Sole in third. This placed Martin/Sole clearly in the top spot with one day to go.
Martin/ Sole came out firing on the final day, winning all three races and securing the regatta with a race to spare. Sutter/ Versavel continued their consistent top performance with a 4,2,2 edging out Mathew Monts/ Carlyn Blauvelt by two points to take second and third overall. Fourth overall was the Mayol brothers, and rounding out the top five was Justin Callahan and Bella Casaretto.
US Sailing will announce the team selected to compete in the 2018 Youth World Sailing Championships, to be held July 14-22in Corpus Christi, TX.
These two 2018 Youth Worlds qualifier events, and the 2018 US Youth Championships in June will be used as evaluation events to choose the USA Nacra 15 team for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
Only one team from each country is eligible to compete in the Youth Worlds and Youth Olympic Games. The Nacra 15 class at the Youth Worlds and Youth Olympic Games is a mixed gender class, similar to the Nacra 17 at the Olympic Games.
Competitors are allowed to sail in the USA Youth World qualifier events if they are not from the USA, not a mixed gender team, or not in the age range eligible to compete in the Youth Worlds.
The level of sailing in the US Nacra 15 class has improved significantly in the last year. The US Sailing Olympic Development Program (ODP), St. Francis Sailing Foundation, St. Francis Yacht Club, CISA Sailing, Red Gear Racing, Alamitos Bay Yacht Club ~ ABYC is the Place to Be, and Nacra North America have run numerous high level clinics and training camps to help the USA Nacra 15 fleet get up to speed to be able to be competitive worldwide.
Source: Nacra 15 USA