Big boat battle on Chesapeake Bay
Published on September 23rd, 2021
Eight keelboat teams representing their respective regions around the USA will compete at the 2021 U.S. Offshore Sailing Championship for the Lloyd Phoenix Trophy on September 24-26 in Annapolis, MD.
The U.S. Naval Academy Sailing Squadron will host this US Sailing National Championship with racing in their fleet of Navy 44 MK II sloops on Chesapeake Bay, with each team to have a U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman from the varsity offshore sailing team aboard.
“It’s a chance for the Midshipman to see how other crew and skippers work together, execute how to handle the boat, and gain and outside perspective that they otherwise might not be able to get,” says Jahn Tihansky, Director and Head Coach of the U.S. Naval Academy Offshore Sailing Team, and also chairman for this event.
Unique to the event is how a minimum of five crew on each team must have raced together (including the designated skipper) in a minimum of five regattas using either handicap or one design systems in the past 36 months.
“There are pieces of other crews who are coming back from past regattas, putting together teams themselves. We have some returning past contenders coming back,” said Tihansky, with 2013 Champion Steve Travis (Mercer Island, WA) among the field.
“There are a lot of people who really enjoy this event and love to come back year after year…and we host the sailors after racing for fun events,” adds Tiahnsky. “It’s one of those good, old-fashioned regattas that is a really good time.”
Teams will be challenged through a series of races in a variation of formats and distances designed to test their overall offshore sailing skills. The biennial event will consist of a series of shorter buoy racecourses as well as distance races between 13 and 33 nautical miles.
“These sailors have big boat and offshore experience, so we want to give them something that aligns with their experience level and challenges them,” says Tihansky. “We want to include navigation, some spinnaker reaching, and other types of sailing that really fall under the offshore racing guise.”
Source: US Sailing