Shanahan wins Junior Women’s Singlehandeds
Published on July 22nd, 2018
Thirty sailors in Laser Radials convened on Long Island Sound to compete for the Nancy Leiter Clagett Memorial Trophy at the 2018 U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship. This open US Sailing National Championship was hosted by the Stamford Yacht Club on July 20-22 in Stamford, CT.
Elizabeth Shanahan (St. Petersburg, Fla.) claimed this year’s title, edging Grace Austin (Greenwich, Conn.) by two points with Sarah Young (Tiburon, Calif.) 16 points off the lead in third.
Consistency paid huge dividends for Shanahan who placed in the top five in eight of the 11 races in the Championship. Austin made a late surge with a 2-1-(8)-2 scoring line on the final day but was not enough to overcome her slow start. Young placed 16th in last year’s Championship and ninth in 2016.
“The key to my success this week was boat speed, especially on the upwinds,” said Shanahan, who now looks ahead to the Laser Radial Youth World Championships later this summer in Kiel, Germany.
The weather conditions on Friday, the first day of racing, were sunny with winds from the Southeast at 8-10 knots and relatively calm seas. The sailors completed four races. The fifth race was abandoned due to insufficient winds. Lauren Ehnot (Manasquan, N.J.) won the first two races of the Championship and had a narrow two point lead over Abbie Carlson (Beaux Arts, Wash.), last year’s Champion, at the end of the day and Shanahan was three points back. Carlson won race four and Shanahan earned the win in race three.
On Saturday, the weather conditions were the total opposite with winds coming out of the East (close to 90 degrees) at almost 20 knots and because of low tide they were experiencing swells from two to three feet. The sailors completed three races in some very challenging conditions. Shanahan took the lead on Saturday by three points over Ehnot, with more consistent results, and seven over Austin, who won race five to catapult her into contention.
Four more races were completed Sunday in conditions that featured winds from the south at 12-15 knots, partly cloudy skies, with one foot swells.
Final Standings (Top 5 of 30; 11 races, 1 discard)
1. Elizabeth Shanahan, Lauderdale YC/Stamford YC – 2-6-1-5-3-(9)-3-3-3-5-9; 40
2. Grace Austin, Lauderdale YC/Belle Haven YC, – 7-7-7-7-1-3-5-2-1-(8)-2; 42
3. Sarah Young, San Francisco Yacht Club, – 14-4-13-(16)-8-5-1-1-2-1-7; 56
4. Lauren Ehnot, Surf City Yacht Club, – 1-1-6-3-5-7-(12)-12-11-10-3; 59
5. Abbie Carlson, Seattle Yacht Club, – 6-3-3-1-13-13-9-(14)-8-3-5; 64