Junior Olympic Festival Launches Summer Sailing Season

Jun 27, 2018

The calendar shows summer has arrived, and that means lots of sailing for youth and adults from Island yacht clubs. This past weekend, the Junior Olympic Festival kicked off the season with C420, Laser and Optimist competition, and several local youngsters fared well.

In the Optimist blue fleet regatta, Brant Beach Yacht Club’s Harrison Hubbard snatched the top position with 16 points, eight points ahead of Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club’s Drew D’Orsi. Hubbard scored first-place finishes during the third, fourth and fifth races of the seven-race regatta, and added a pair of fourth-place finishes after he opened with a fifth. LEHYC’s Connor McHugh (27 points) placed third, while clubmate Bella Cremer (28) grabbed fourth.

In the red fleet of the Optimist class, LEHYC’s Aidan Millar cruised to the lead position behind a pair of first-place finishes in the first and seventh races. He added a second-place finish in the fifth race and scored a pair of third-place marks in the second and third races. Following Bay Head Yacht Club’s Thomas Smith in second, LEHYC’s Sean Bodnar swiped third place overall with 39 points after taking second in the final race. James Iorio of Brant Beach was fourth with 51 points.

The Optimist white division’s top-four finishers were locals, as BBYC’s Christopher Small grabbed the lead spot, followed by Barnegat Light Yacht Club’s Elizabeth Achtau, LEHYC's Ryan Black and Brant Beach’s Maira Iorio.

In the Laser Radial class, Annapolis Yacht Club’s Owen Hennessey easily won the regatta with dominant efforts in five of the seven races, while Shrewsbury SYC’s Patrick Modin finished second overall. Brant Beach’s Payton Kliesch placed third after she grabbed a trio of second-place finishes to close out the regatta. BBYC’s Reese Zebrowski, racing with a Laser 4.7, was fourth overall.

Of course, with several months of summer still ahead, there’s plenty of sailing action on the slate. On Tuesday, July 3, Surf City Yacht Club will be the host for its annual Junior Commodore Regatta, which features C420, Laser, Sunfish and Optimist classes. Two weeks later, July 17-19, Brant Beach Yacht Club will host the C420 U.S. Nationals, and on Saturday, July 21, Barnegat Light Yacht Club will host the Lightning New Jersey State Championships.

The Green Fleet regatta series begins on July 24 with BLYC’s “Lighthouse” Regatta, continues on July 31 with Spray Beach Yacht Club’s Faye Bennet Regatta and culminates on Aug. 7 with SCYC’s “No Fear” Regatta. In between, Brant Beach hosts the annual Optimist Regatta Aug. 2 and 3.

As it has for decades, Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club will host its Down Bay Regatta Aug. 11 and 12, before SCYC welcomes Optimist sailors from across the state Aug 20 and 21 for the New Jersey State Optimist Championships. Brant Beach is scheduled to host the Laser Masters U.S. Nationals Aug. 24-26, and LEHYC finishes off the sailing season Sept. 21-23 with the USODA Atlantic Coast Championships.

David Biggy


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