Sailors at San Diego US Open Prepare for Youth Champs

SAN DIEGO— On June 19, The San Diego edition of the West Marine US Open Sailing Series concluded after three days of beautiful racing in the Pacific, with wind at 8-10 knots and a 3–5-foot sea swell across the weekend. Title Sponsor West Marine and National Sponsors Gill Marine and Gowrie Group are committed to efforts that grow the series as a domestic training platform looking towards the Olympics.

The first stop on the West Coast swing, the San Diego event, included the ILCA 4, ILCA 6, ILCA7, 470, 29er, Snipe, and Finn classes. In addition, the event hosted the 29er National Championship and the U.S. Singlehanded Championship for the O’Day and Hanley Trophies.

“It was awesome to see the tight racing across all the fleets,” said Circle B PRO Becky Ashburn in a June 21 press release from U.S. Sailing. “As Race Committee, we were excited to see both seasoned veterans and the future of Olympic classes out on the racecourse this weekend.”


US Sailing’s representatives for Youth Worlds had a banner weekend in the 29er fleet. Ian and Noah Nyenhuis, brothers who will represent the Men’s 29er, took first place, while Sammie Gardner and Alice Schmid, who will represent the Women’s 29er, took second. Miles Julien and Jake Julien took third.


Fresh off a development camp in Long Beach, sailors from the Olympic Development Program (ODP) fought for domination in the ILCA 7 fleet. It was close for ODP Sailor Leo Boucher and teammate Nick Sessions, but Boucher ultimately bested his teammate, taking first by four points. Benjamin Smith, also on the ODP, placed third. The top three men in the ILCA 7 were eligible to compete for the George D. O’Day Trophy during the event, the U.S. Singlehanded Championship trophy open to men 17 years and older in the calendar year of the event. U.S. Singlehanded Results.

The George D. O’Day Trophy is sailed for in singlehanded boats, and the winner is known as the United States Singlehanded Champion. The competition is open to representatives of Yacht Racing Associations belonging to the U.S. Sailing Association and the yachtsmen and women representing the Inter-Collegiate Yacht Racing Association, U.S. Youth and U.S. Women’s champions.


The competition was tight in the event’s largest fleet. Robby Meek, winner of the Ft. Lauderdale event last winter, came in first by six points. US Youth Worlds representative in the Men’s ILCA 6, Peter Barnard, took second, and Katherine Doble, US Youth Worlds representative in the Women’s ILCA 6, came in third.

“Helen Hanley Trophy – U.S. Singlehanded Championship trophy open to women 17 years and older in the calendar year of the event in the ILCA 6: Katherine Doble was awarded the Hanley Trophy, while Zoe Ziskind took second and Oakley Cunningham came in third. U.S. Singlehanded Results,” said the press release.


French sailor Gilda Dondona took the win in the ILCA 4 class, winning every race except one, which ultimately was dropped. Max Brameld placed second, and Landon Stahl took third.


A group from the High-Performance Center at St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco comprised the 470 fleet at this event. Kyra Phelan and Dylan Murphy dominated the group and won every race. Their teammates Brooke Schmelz & Josh Goldberg placed second, and Samantha Hemans and Alec Von Kerckhove placed third.


The San Diego Finn class was a full force for this US Open event. Erik Lidecis, a long-time resident Finn sailor, won first place with 12 points. Ukrainian, Anatolii Nosara, placed second with 20 points, barely beating American Rob Coutts, who took third place.


The Snipe class joined the regatta this year, a new edition, as they prepare for their National Championship at San Diego Yacht Club in July. Mary Baker and Diana Waterbury took first place over Rick Arneson and Gus Wirth. The youth team of Peter Busch and Cam Spriggs took third place.

This year, sailors from any country competing in Olympic classes in the Olympic configuration were eligible for prize money over three California events, a first in US Sailing history. Athletes were awarded $1,000 for first place, $500 for second, and $250 for third.

Remaining 2022 US Open Sailing Series West Coast Events

  • July 15-17: Long Beach, California
  • August 12-14: San Francisco, California

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