Byline: Rick Roberts
LONG BEACH — Mitchell Kiss of Holland, Mich. and Malcolm Lamphere of Lake Forest, Ill. fought off their strongest rivals Nov. 11 to win the Laser Standard Full Rig and Radial titles, respectively, in the 2012 Inter-scholastic Sailing Association (ISSA) Singlehanded National Championship for the Cressy Trophy, held off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier.
The top 36 singlehanded high school sailors from around the country sailed in a cool but sunny 62 degrees, with the breeze dropping to single digits after Saturday’s brisk blow.
The event was organized by the Interscholastic Sailing Association in conjunction with the host, US Sailing Center-Long Beach. All on-land activities were based at US Sailing Center-Long Beach, and spectators watched from the pier.
The participants competed in two fleets of 18 boats each. Sailors earned spots by qualifying at championship regattas in their respective districts.
Ten races were run Saturday in each fleet, and the final eight went off Sunday.
Kiss, last year’s Radial Fleet Championship winner, won with a margin of 23 points. He represents Black River High School in Holland, Mich., He had a couple of tough finishes on Sunday, but finished strong with a win in the last race.
Daniel DelBello, of Fox Lane High School in Bedford, N.Y., was second for the second year in a row. Stephen Long of Dos Pueblos High School in Santa Barbara finished third.
Lamphere won the Radials with good competition coming from runner-up Gary Prieto of Southold High School in Southold, N.Y. Prieto briefly took the lead after Race 14, but Lamphere stayed just ahead of him in the remaining races to guarantee victory.
While the racing on Saturday was in moderate winds of 10-15 mph, Sunday served up lighter but consistent winds of 5-8 mph. The variety of conditions offered plenty of opportunity for great racing.
US Sailing Center-Long Beach offers a wide range of programs — from youth summer sailing camps and adult learn-to-sail programs, to outreach for at-risk and disabled sailors, as well as programs for high school, collegiate and Olympic sailors. The not-for-profit US Sailing Center is administered by the Pacific Coast Sailing Foundation, a 501.c.3 organization.
For more information, visit ussclb.org.