US Junior Women's Double-handed Championship

Dear Newport Harbor Sailing Foundation,

Thank you so much for your donation of $750 to help offset my expenses for the 2012 US Junior Women's Double-handed Championship. The regatta was held on June 24-30 at Minnetonka Yacht Club, in Lake Minnetonka, MN. With light winds and flat waters for all three days of the regatta, my crew Victoria Lewis and I felt well prepared from our many days of practice on Newport Harbor.

The first two days of Ida Lewis began as a clinic. Two years in a row this clinic has had a great coaching staff consisting mainly of college coaches representing schools such as Roger Williams University, College of Charleston, Hobart and William Smith College, and Cornell University. We were also fortunate to have a coach come from the Olympic Trials Women's Match Racing Team.

The first day of the regatta began with a steady 7-8 knot breeze, which Victoria and I felt very comfortable in. The first race turned out very well for us, as we had a perfect pin end start and clean air throughout the racecourse. We placed 5th, setting a goal for ourselves for the rest of the day to get consistent top 10 results. The first day ended in a 5th, 3rd, and 8th, which landed us in 4th place overall. The second day began with a steady 6-7 knot breeze, allowing us to land a solid 12th place. However, the second race was much more difficult, as halfway through the first leg the wind died on one side of the course, creating a huge gap in the fleet. Unfortunately we were on the windless side, so we were only able to climb our way back to an 18th. The last race of the day was very shifty and the pressure was inconsistent, so it was hard to tell who was beating whom in the race throughout the upwind legs. Unfortunately this was our worst race, but we certainly learned a lot about lake sailing!

The final day of racing was scheduled to begin early in the morning, however, just as forecasts had been predicting for weeks ahead, there was no wind on Friday at all. Two points out of 5th place, my crew and I were determined to get a race off and land in the top five, but the wind was not on our side. We ended up placing 7th out of 38 boats, tying for the same number of points as the 6th place boat. I was very happy with my team's results, having improved 10 places from last year at this event. We were the third best out of 17 California teams, too!

Next year, this regatta will be hosted at the local Newport Harbor venue of BCYC, where I am looking forward to improving upon my performance.

Thank you so much for your support, as I really enjoyed this event and learned a ton!

Lea Russell