Locals will crew Team Wolfhound in Norway and Sweden for country’s first entry since 1990.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA — The last United States sailing team to participate in the 11-Meter Championships was during George Bush’s presidency (the first one). It was 1990. There was no internet. Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan were still playing in the NBA. The average gas price (not adjusted for inflation) was $1.12 per gallon. Donald J. Trump – then married to Ivana – just opened the Taj Mahal hotel and casino in Atlantic City.
Fast forward 27 years later, and Team USA will finally be represented again at the 11-Meter Nationals, which take place the first two weekends of September on Oslo Fjord in Norway and Lake Vätteren in Sweden.
A series of two-day regattas will generally feature between 20 to 30 One-Design boats. Stacy Sinclair, Team Wolfhound’s bow and trim, said Team USA would face off against competitors from Denmark, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Norway and Sweden. All competitors will be provided with a one-design hull, though Team Wolfhound plans to arrive in Sweden with its own gear and sails.
Team Wolfhound’s crew includes Transpac racer Jamie Meyer as captain, Sinclair on bow and trim, and Jenni Santoro on pit. Transpac racers Casey Schilling and John Rushing serve the crew on tactics/trim and trim, respectively.
Also on the crew are Steven Schmitz (bow), Deidre Keeves (trim/runners/pit), Rita Abraham (trim/runners) and Daina Bandziulus (trim/runners).
The crew’s background, according to Sinclair, is as diverse as it is interesting.
“We’re a Corinthian crew. Three of us are Flag Members at Del Rey Yacht Club, three are TransPac racers [and] I’ve done long-range boat deliveries,” Sinclair said. “In work we are just as varied. Casey is an engineer with SpaceX, Jamie and Jennie are architects, John is a filmmaker and I am an educator and environmental scientist.”
Other races Team Wolfhound plans to compete in before the 11-Meter Championships include Santa Barbara to King Harbor, ASMBYC High Point Series, CYC Sunset Series and Sundown Series.
The team recently finished third in the 2016 Sunset Series – King of the Hill, third in the 2016 Berger Series PHRF B, fourth in the 2015 Berger Series PHRF B, third in the 2014 Santa Barbara to King Harbor and second in the 2013 Santa Barbara to King Harbor.
Ron Holland and the International Sailing Federation (now World Sailing) built more than 120 11-Meter vessels to train sailors and crew for America’s Cup class boats. Skippers such as Paul Cayard, Gary Jobson and Jeff Madrigali have raced 11-Metter vessels, according to Sinclair.
More information about Team Wolfhound, including specifications on the 11-Meter One Design, can be found on its website, which is at stacysinclair.wixsite.com/teamwolfhound.
Team Wolfhound photos