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Kudos to US Sailing for this pivot

Published on August 8th, 2023

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
The problem with historic perpetual trophies is what to do when their events lose relevancy. That was the reality for US Sailing, as the growth of nationally organized age-based boats and class competition had thrown shade on some of the organization’s once iconic youth championships.

So it was in December 2022 when US Sailing revealed the revamp, but through all the event changes, the oldest of them all remained in place. Dating back to 1921, the Sears Cup for triplehanded competition was more important today than ever as it exposed kids to life beyond the doublehanded dinghies they’d soon age out of.

More so, the Sears Cup was now doubling in size, allowing each of the 11 US Sailing Area regions to send two teams to this National Championship. Now known as the Chubb U.S. Youth Triplehanded Championship, the first test comes in 2023 on August 11-13 in Seabrook, TX.

Youth teams hailing from Hawaii to Maine will convene at Lakewood Yacht Club to race their fleet of RS21s, which despite the event name, will require teams of four sailors that have reached their 13th birthday but not their 19th in 2023.

All 11 Areas are represented by two teams with the exception of Area E (Midwest) with one team and no teams from Area C (Mid-Atlantic).

Another feature that I endorse is that no private coaching will be allowed. While US Sailing bowed to the pressure of the coaching industry for its prestigious US Youth Championships, thus tilting the field toward competitors with the bigger budget, this event will have fleet coaches provided by US Sailing to offer guidance.

So I give US Sailing kudos for this pivot, as the sooner young people experience the type of boats they can sail beyond their youth years (and without the hand-holding of a private coach), the better prepared they will be when that time comes.

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