Big wind for US Open Series finale
Published on August 14th, 2022
The last stop on the 2022 West Marine US Open Sailing Series concluded on August 10-14 in San Francisco, CA. Featuring heavy-air racing, the regatta included two race circles with the iQFoil and Formula Kite fleets organized by the St. Francis Yacht Club and the ILCA and 470 events run by the San Francisco Yacht Club.
Formula Kites and iQFOiL sailed Friday through Sunday, while the San Francisco Yacht Club course raced Saturday and Sunday. Race committee were able to complete 50 races across all classes.
Through 2022, The West Marine US Open Sailing Series has hosted six events – three in Florida and three in California. Prize money was awarded to the top three finishers in each established Olympic event with both skipper and crew receiving a check: $1,000 for first, $500, for second, or $250 for third. In 2022, over $49,000 was awarded.
Kiters battled gusty breeze and high-speed collisions which saw San Francisco local Kai Calder dominate the competition, winning nine of the 13 races to take first place. Texas native Noah Ruciman came in second with 23 points, while Mexican national Xantos Villegas took third with 27 points. As the top three men, each qualified for prize money.
The top three women in the Formula Kite classes were also eligible for prize money: Kirstyn Obrien in first, Olympic Development Program (ODP) athlete and San Franscisco native Daniela Moroz in second, and Canadian Martyna Dakowicz rounding out the podium in third.
Olympic Development Program (ODP) athlete Maverick Putnam had a consistent weekend, winning the event with 21 points. Dominican sailor Samuel Perez Hultz, a regular face at the West Marine US Open Sailing Series, came in second with 26 points. Putnam’s ODP teammate Ethan Froelich rounded out the podium in third with 32 points.
ODP sailors saw success in the ILCA 7 fleet with Jack Baldwin taking first and Guthrie Braun taking second with six and eight points, respectively. James Golden of Annapolis Yacht Club rounded out the podium in third with 13 points.
Three young 470 teams fought for first place but it was Alec Van Kerckhove and Josh Goldberg which came out ahead, winning the two-day event with six points. Tied with 11 points, Mason Stang/ Timmy Gee won the tiebreak to take second while Kyra Phelan/ Sawyer Bastian took third. Phelan/ Sawyer were awarded prize money as the only mixed 470 team.
Lauderdale Yacht Club sailors filled the podium in the ILCA 6 fleet. Kai Vurno dominated the two-day event, winning every race and finishing with a total of 5 points. LYC teammates Connor McHugh and Audrey Foley came in second and third, with 11 and 13 points, respectively.
As the Olympic configuration, the top three women sailing in the ILCA 6 fleet were eligible for prize money: Audrey Foley took first prize, while Sarah Young took second and Avery Baldwin took third.
Balboa Yacht Club sailor Sienna Nichols had a banner event this weekend, winning all but one race in the ILCA 4 fleet. Balboa Yacht Club teammate Emily Otto took second with nine points, while San Francisco Yacht Club local Max Bramfield took third with 16 points.
Open Kite Foil
In the open Kite Foil class, competitors have no restrictions on the equipment used in competition. Lief Given commanded the class, taking first with nine points. Oakland local Amil Kabil came in second with 34 points, and Trevor Nelson rounded out the podium in third with 39 points.
2022 US Open Sailing Series
January 15-17: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
January 21-23: Miami, Florida
February 3-6: Clearwater, Florida
June 17-19: San Diego, California
July 15-17: Long Beach, California
August 12-14: San Francisco, California
Organized by US Sailing and host yacht clubs at venues in Florida and California, the 6-stage West Marine US Open Sailing Series offers a domestic racing and training pathway for Olympic hopefuls in the US. The series also is an important part of the training plans for young sailors participating as part of the Olympic Development Program (ODP), a US Sailing initiative supported by the AmericaOne Foundation.
Source: US Sailing