Junior Sailors Take On Low Wind at the 2014 Western District Regatta


Junior sailors struggle around a mark in low wind

Though sailors were up and rigging this past Saturday at Sea Cliff Yacht Club in Sea Cliff, New York, most were weary of what the day could bring. “For the past three years here there has literally been no wind. Sometimes they’ll just cancel the day, but they’ve had us just floating out there for hours.” LSC instructor Nick McElroy told me.

When the harbor start was called at 10:15, instructors had to quickly tow their sailors out on the water, as the first warning horn was set to blow at 10:45. Sailors soon realized, however, that the start was going to be postponed thanks to the lack of the wind. Even when the first race was started around 11:20, junior sailors basically floated around the long course, and when they finally finished, were greeted to the fact that the next race was in postponement. This would last another two and a half hours, during which sailors got the chance to hang out and talk strategy with their coaches. “Of course we got to have fun during the delay,” LSC sailor Connor Chapin told me. “but we got to go over our strategy for the rest of the race.”

After swimming around a bit, lunch, and more drifting, a puff finally made its way into the harbor, allowing the Sea Cliff race committee to get in two more races for the day. “While it wasn’t the best day of sailing, we got some prep in for Larchmont Race Week, too.” Alex Kirshner, a fellow LSC C420 sailor told me.

At the end of the day, Hector McKemey of American Yacht Club took first place in the Laser class, Matthew Priebe of Seawanhaka Corthinthian Yacht Club took first in the Laser Radial class, Taegan Blackwell & Aisling Quirke of American Yacht Club got first in the Club 420 fleet, and Adeline Schoen & Alexandra Tillinghast of American Yacht Club finished at the top of the Pixel Fleet. Full results are posted on the regatta documents section of the JSA LIS website.