Eleven teams vied for the third annual J/70 U.S. Youth National Championship, hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club in St. Petersburg, FL from November 22-24. The weekend was dominated by the teams of San Francisco Yacht Club/Annapolis Yacht Club, led by James Golden, and Cal Maritime, led by Kyle Collins. Although they were tied on points heading in the 11th and final battle, it was Golden’s team who earned the victory by four points, with Luke Koerschner, Hannah Sellers and Caleb Yoslov. They ended with 23 points to Collins’ 27. Golden and Koerschner are from Annapolis YC; Sellers and Yoslov from San Francisco YC. The local St. Petersburg Yacht Club squad, led Heather Kerns, took third with 30 points. Light winds prevented racing on Friday, but conditions allowed all 11 intended races to be completed over the next two days. The goal of this event is to help develop and build leading-edge junior keelboat sailing programs across America. Youth teams (representing CA, CT, FL, GA, MA, MD, MI, NJ and SC) competed on provided J/70s with class sails. Boats were identically rigged and tuned at base settings recommended by the sailmaker. As teams gathered on Thursday for a practice race, local J/70 expert Marty Kullman conducted on-water coaching and classroom lessons at SPYC. Each youth team was permitted up to five crew, age 20 or younger as of December 31, 2019. Photos are available on the USA J/70 Class Facebook page, and event details may be found at https://yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=9667.
- San Francisco YC, James Golden, 1 -1 -1 -1 -4 -2 -2 -5 -3 -3 ; 23
- Cal Maritime, Kyle Collins , 2 -2 -2 -1 -1 -3 -1 -4 -4 -7 ; 27
- St. Petersburg Yacht Club, Heather Kerns, 3 -3 -5 -3 -4 -2 -4 -3 -2 -1 ; 30