The USODA Opti Nationals were organized by Big Blue Sailing Academy, in Norfolk, VA. The action started on July 25th with the Team Race Nationals followed by Girls Nationals and finished on August 3rd with the Fleet Race Nationals. Around those two weeks, conditions were very difficult due to the small area where racing happened (right next to the ODU Sailing Center), the daily tides, shifty winds and several storms which went across the venue.
The first event was the Team Race Nationals, which 17 Teams attended. For three days, they all competed to claim the title throughout a full Round Robin between all the Teams, followed by the Final Gold and Final Consolation and finishing with the Top sailing a final knock out round. Lakewood was represented by two Teams. Team Lakewood (Tony Slowik, Scott Mather, Parker Tyson, Sheridan Shaw and Lucas Tenrreiro) showed some great skills after haven’t practiced together at all and finished 4th overall after the losing the petite final against CRYC Spectra in two very close races. In addition to them, Lakewood Seahorses (William Baker, Maddie Janzen, Zach Brown, James Pine and Nathan Pine) by far the youngest Team in the Competition, couldn’t clinch any victory but earned a significant amount of respect by other Teams for the sportsmanship showed during races and the experienced gained.
The second event which followed the Team Race Nationals was the Girls Nationals with 68 girls taking part in the event. Lakewood was represented by three sailors: Sheridan Shaw, Ava Anderson and Maddie Janzen. Conditions were a bit better than the Team Race Nationals and 5 races were completed. Impressive performance by Sheridan, who despite a UFD on the second races, pulled some great races to finish 6th overall. Ava Anderson showed some great consistency to finish 27th overall and finally the youngest sailor in the Team, Maddie, got 33rd and 3rd in White Fleet, earning the first award for Team Lakewood.
The Nationals wrapped up two weeks of sailing with the Fleet Race Nationals and 4 days of racing, with some of the most difficult weather conditions the Team faced during their time in Virginia. 307 sailors took part in the event, by far the largest of the year. Team Lakewood joined forces with Team SYC (Southern) and 23 sailors were part of the Team. After 4 long days, only 7 races were completed but were enough to split the fleets on the last day for Gold Fleet and Silver Fleet.
Respecting results, 10 sailors made the cut for the Gold Fleet. Tony Slowik was again the best finisher in the Lakewood Team finishing in an impressive 7th position overall and earning and award for Top 10. Consistency paid off and he was very close to finishing top 5 (and unfortunate wind shift on the last race made him lose 15 points) and being one of the best sailors in the Gold . The next finishers for Lakewood were Lucas Tenrreiro and Scott Mather, on 12th and 13th position overall respectively. They both had a great Championship, fighting to win races and showing great regularity which paid off as they got 2nd and 3rd overall in Blue Fleet.
Following those sailors in the Top 15 were Ethan Polsen, who finished in a fantastic 33rd position after two great races in the Gold Fleet and Stephen Momeier in 45th after a great series but struggle on starts in Gold Fleet. Parker Tyson followed them in 52nd position with some up and downs.
Completing the Lakewood representation in Gold were Gil Hackel (Team SYC) who got 64th and 3rd in. White Fleet, Tullis Gambel in 76th (Team SYC) , Ava Anderson in 92nd with two great races on Gold and Sheridan Shaw in 99th after two unfortunate UFD’s the last day.
In the Silver Fleet, Nicky Abate had a great last day and finished 7th (clinching an award) followed by Zach Brown in 29th, James Pine in 42nd, Jake Brown in 44th, Logan Mastaw in 67th (Team SYC), Kate Gibbons in 76th (Team SYC), Liam Christopher in 79th (Team SYC), William Baker in 84th, Nathan Pine in 89th, Mathieu Brown in 113th, Maddie Janzen in 162nd (missed last two days due to a illness) and Blake Polsen closing the Team’s performance in 176th.
After all this results, Ethan Polsen, Stephen Momeier, Ava Anderson, Sheridan Shaw, Zach Brown, James Pine and Nathan Pine earn a spot in the next year’s Team Trials and elevate the number of Lakewood sailors qualified up to 15! Congrats all of you!
Opti British Nationals
The IOCA British Nationals were organized by the Weymouth Sailing Center in UK, Europe, last week with Emilie Janzen representing Lakewood and Team USA. After 5 days of racing with a predominantly strong breeze, Emilie missed the cut for the Gold for only 6 points. The struggle with start became once again too much to overcome but she showed some great recovery and finished first in Silver Fleet earning an award and some nice pics!
The IODA Europeans finished up last Sunday in Bulgaria, with 10 races completed and 153 sailors having sailed for a long week or racing. Conditions were great, with a sea breeze that showed up like a clock every day. Noah Zittrer was part of the Team USA (4 sailors) and also representing Lakewood and after a tough start, he managed to qualify for Gold Fleet and finished 41st overall (2nd American). Great job!