Marblehead Junior Race Week 2018

Published on July 25th, 2018

It was three solid days of breeze and seas on July 23-25 for the 250 young sailors competing in Marblehead Junior Race Week hosted by Pleon Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA.

Every day seemed to be a carbon copy of the one before, with gusty southeasterly winds that built steadily into the high teens and kicked up swells that ranged from three to six feet. Consistency was a running theme of this year’s regatta both in weather and performances as leaders in several of the fleets established themselves early and despite the often challenging conditions, held the top spots all three days.

Ryan Hamilton and Sam Bradley of Marblehead owned the first day in the 46-boat Club 420 championship fleet. The Pleon team won all four races on day one and continued the streak on day two. That gave them some room for error when they had a difficult time recovering from a tough start in race 11 and finished in 10th, their throw-out for the regatta. They put it away in the final race with a 3rd, ending the event with just 13 points.

Hingham Yacht Club teams won the top two spots in the 420 Green Fleet. Sam Dunn and Trevor Buckeridge went into the final day in third place and came out swinging. They put up two firsts and a third to take the regatta ahead of Sawyer Reed and Andrew Engel who had a narrow four-point lead going into the last day but had a mishap and were unable to finish one of the races. Sandy Yale and Catherine Carpenter of Portland Yacht Club finished third in the 420 Green Fleet, just two points out of second.

On the 15-boat Laser Radial line, it was Pleon’s Mason Cheney who led on day one and held on to take first, finishing the regatta with 30 points after 15 races. Charlie Anderson, also from Pleon, and Eric Heilshorn from Sail Maine came into the final day in second and third respectively, but Heilshorn sailed a perfect final four and those bullets were his ticket into second overall. Anderson finished third.

Perfection was also on display in the Optimist Champ fleet. Thirteen-year-old Leopold Seuss won every single race in the 54-boat fleet. After 12 races, Seuss threw out a first and ended the regatta with just 11 points to win the 23-boat Red Division, as well as finishing at the top overall.

The Optimist Championship boats race as one fleet but are divided in the overall scoring based on age groups. Red Division is for ages 13 to 15. Blue is for sailors ages 11 and 12 and White is for sailors ages 10 and younger.

Finishing second in Red Division was Dylan Balunas and third was Juan Carlos LaCerda Jones, all representing Pleon. Isabella Mendoza Cabezas of Portland was first in Blue Division followed by William Denker of Hingham in second and Max Dressel of Pleon in third. Not to be outdone by his older brother, Maximillian Seuss took first in White Division. Wyatt Wilkinson of Sandy Bay Yacht Club in Rockport, Massachusetts was second and Benjamin Baldwin of Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club was third. Wilkinson also won the event’s sportsmanship award for turning back to help a fellow sailor who had capsized during a race, giving up his position in the lead pack.

Most of the youngest competitors at Marblehead Junior Race Week sailed in the Optimist Green Fleet which was separated into two divisions to keep the numbers on the starting line lower as the sailors develop their racing skills. Pleon’s Justin Kaminsky had all top four finishes, including five bullets to take first place in the 16-boat Evens division after 15 races. Alexander Ianchulev and Courtney Hoguet, also of Pleon, finished in second and third respectively. In the Odd division, Eric Van Otterloo of Pleon took first with nine firsts in 15 races. Thomas Svencer from Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead took second and Henry Fenollosa from Annisquam took third in an impressive comeback after not finishing the first two races in the regatta.

Marblehead Junior Race Week is hosted by Pleon Yacht Club, the oldest junior yacht club in the world, with assistance from the Boston, Corinthian, Eastern and Manchester Yacht Clubs as well as a support from an army of dedicated parents, siblings and Pleon members. Competitors ages seven to 19 come from across the New England region and beyond.

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Source: Christina Pandapas

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