As we make our way into the darker days of fall, a quick recap of the Junior Program’s summer is in order. With some returning and a couple of new Summer Sailing Instructors, Summer Camps were a blast. We had six camps on Tinsley Island and three camps at the Cityfront—plenty of opportunity for our younger sailors to hit the water on Optis, RS Teras, Lasers, CFJs, 420s, windsurfers and J/22s.
In the realm of racing, our young Opti team made some great strides, sailing in all of the BAYS Series regattas. Tor Svendsen had a great summer and moved up to Champ Fleet. Junior members won the US Sailing Area J qualifiers for the Smythe Trophy (Sumner Strumph) and the Sears Trophy (Mats Keldsen, Juliana Testa, Ryder Easterlin, Spencer Paulsen) and will go on to represent us at the National Championships in Mission Bay. Spencer and Ryder also competed at the Club 420 North American Championship in Cabrillo Beach, finishing as the 2nd place West Coast team.
Our Juniors also traveled outside of California. Nolan Van Dine, Will Paulsen and Ryder competed in the Rose Cup (US Youth Match Race Championship) in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Gwynie Dunlevy and Maddy Kuhn sailed in the Ida Lewis National Championship (US Youth Women’s Double-handed Championship) in Bay St. Louis, MS. Parker Klebahn went to Kiel, Germany as one of five Americans to race in the Under-21 Laser World Championship. Mackenzie Berwick, Chloe Bohannon, Sarah Paulsen, Juliana Testa, Parker, and Spencer participated in our third Youth Sailing Exchange with the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, spending five days sailing in the Swedish Archipelago and four days in Stockholm.
Now, we are well into our High School Sailing season, supporting seven local High Schools: The Bay School, Convent/Stuart Hall, International High School, Lick-Wilmerding High School, St. Ignatius College Prep, University High School and the Urban School. Between these schools, we have 46 sailors on the Varsity squad and 10 sailors on the JV squad. We also have eight 8th graders (who are in feeder schools) on the JV squad. The High School team has 12 regatta days this fall, with races in Redwood City, Newport Beach, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Alameda and Half Moon Bay.
Our Weekend Fall Sailing classes start on October 15th. For more information, please visit stfyc.com and click the “Instruction” tab under “Juniors.”
Last year, a few friends and I decided to start racing remote control sailboats. We picked the “Victoria” class because it has a working backstay, boomvang, outhaul, halyards, cunningham, adjustable shrouds, basically everything you find on a “real” boat. The great thing is that—outside of the stock hull, rudder and keel, and max/min regulations on the sail—the class allows unlimited tinkering. In mid-September, we sailed in the Victoria Class National Championship at Spreckles Lake in Golden Gate Park, hosted by the San Francisco Model Yacht Club. Going into the regatta, I had just set up a new set of racing sails, built a new mast and changed my sheeting system. I had high hopes, figuring a top third result would be attainable. But when I lined up for the first start of the regatta, surrounded by an array of perfectly crafted Victorias and previous national champions, a thought crossed my mind: I hadn’t actually sailed my boat in over four months. Despite the new sails and rig, I was slow. I couldn’t get the boat to balance properly, couldn’t get enough sheet tension on the main without oversheeting the jib, and was terrible at my boat-handling. Which brings me to one of my favorite sayings, that I had totally neglected: Your level of expectation must match your level of preparation. My expectation level was far beyond my preparedness, and it showed. Despite winning my first three starts, I failed to finish in the top half in these races. And I deserved it because I hadn’t actually prepared properly. Which reminds me of the rule of Seven Ps, but that’s for another story.