2019 USODA Team Trials Championship
Bobby Lippincott, Opti Program Manager
Annapolis Yacht Club’s “elite eight” Opti sailors trained and competed out west at the California Yacht Club for the 2019 USODA Team Trials in Marina del Rey, California, from April 27 through May 5, 2019.
The USODA Team Trials is one of the most challenging events of the entire year for the Optimist class. Some of the best-of-the-best sailors from around the country compete for the chance to earn a spot on Team USA to compete internationally.
Our AYC Sailors were excited to earn the opportunity to qualify and be able to sail out west. This was the first time most of our sailors had ever traveled to the west coast. Temperatures in California were much colder at times than here at home, with temperatures ranging from 50s at night to mid 60s during the day. However, our sailors came prepared for the worst weather by bringing all their warm gear (drysuits, full spray gear, etc.) Our sailors enjoyed five days of preparation and training. This included setting up charter boats, washing and waxing their hulls, and a few of our sailors wet sanded their bottoms and learned how to do some minor boat repairs.
Our team really enjoyed the easier report times with 10:30 am harbor start and 12:30 pm first warning, compared to the east coast “harsher” harbor starts at 8 am and 10 am first warnings. Parents and sailors took time to enjoy their family time in the morning before heading to the event.
The championship started off on Thursday, May 2, and went until Sunday, May 5, with winds ranging from 5-6 knots and then building to 8-12 knots in the afternoon on most days. Our team was able to recognize after the training days and the first day of the event that when the breeze was light, the breeze would clock left, and when the breeze built as the day went on, the breeze would then clock to the right. Our team had really good boat speed and boat handling, and were challenged to have clean air starts in the big fleet on the first couple of days. However, towards the end of the event our team improved tremendously.
On Sunday, the fleets were broken up into gold and silver, and one of our sailors had sailed an excellent qualifying round, with his last two races being very consistent in the top 10. A big congratulations goes out to Julian Dahiya for sailing a very consistent championship with most of his races in the top 30s out of 65 boats.
Sailing in Santa Monica Bay can be a fun and more steady place to sail compared to last year’s venue on Biscayne Bay in Miami, FL. However, our team’s lack of experience sailing in conditions with big roller waves, chop, and stronger current proved to be a learning experience for our team. I feel that even though some of our team was disappointed in their overall results, most of them realized that they were sailing against some of the toughest competition in the country and that it was already quite the accomplishment to get to Team Trials this year! I am extremely proud of our group of AYC Opti sailors for giving 100% effort and attitude this past week and a half over in California. By participating in events of this caliber, our team will continue to get better and better.
I would like to thank our parent support staff on land for their culinary, photography, and social event planning skills.
Gold Fleet: USA 22761 – Julian Dahiya – 54th place overall in Gold Fleet
Gold Fleet Results
Silver Fleet: USA 15924 – Willem DeSimone – 34th place overall in Silver Fleet
USA 22595 – Kyle Reinecke – 77th place overall in Silver Fleet
USA 22255 – Jack Murphy – 81st place overall in Silver Fleet
USA 22562 – Bo Angus – 91st place overall in Silver Fleet
USA 15476 – Gavin Murphy – 101st place overall in Silver Fleet
USA 18100 – Walker Angus – 109th place overall in Silver Fleet
USA 20616 – Ava Arepally – 122nd place overall in Silver Fleet
Silver Fleet Results
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