Adrena is very proud to support the Young American Junior Big Boat Sailing Team, a junior sailing team based out of the American Yacht Club in Rye, New York USA.
The junior big boat sailing program has been a fixture at American Yacht Club for generations. However, 5 years ago it was greatly expanded both in scope and in intensity. Today the program is considered a national leader in junior big boat sailing, which other clubs are now modelling their programs after.
In a very short time the team has racked up significant race wins and trophies and has gained notoriety in the process.
Peter Becker, head coach and team organizer managing the day-to-day activities, let us know a bit more about their recent victories and their use of Adrena Navigation Software.
Rye, NY USA: The Young American Jr. Big Boat Sailing Team is a youth based big boat team based out of Rye, New York USA. Our mission is to teach and impart proper seamanship skills and to compete in as many big boat races as possible with an emphasis on distance racing. The team’s Level-1 consists of 35 juniors aged 14-19 years old who principally campaign a J/105 optimized for distance racing. The team’s Level-2 group focuses on specific campaigns and is made up of the college aged graduates of the Level-1 program.
Last year the team achieved an amazing feat sailing High Noon (Tripp CST 41) in the Newport Bermuda Race achieving line honors, 1st Class and 3rd Fleet, winner of the Onion Patch Series and the newly dedicated Youth Trophy. This was a truly amazing time for the team. The support provided by Guillermo Altadill as our coach and mentor and by partners such as Adrena Navigation Software were key factors in the success. Yes the team worked hard, but it is truly only through the generous support and guidance of Guillermo and with the corporate partnerships that the quality of the team’s training and their competiveness was ensured.
Coming off the high from last year’s winnings the team is now in a re-building year focused on the basic training of a new group of young sailors. We are sailing the team’s J/105 Young American which is a perfect trainer vessel for near-shore distance races. The spring fixtures for distance races are the Edlu Trophy (32 nm) and the Block Island Race (186 nm) which together are considered the spring shake-down races for the combined fleet of boats sailing the waters between Newport, RI and New York, NY. With a little Adrena weather routing assistance the team won the short but very windy Edlu Race and even achieved line honors besting some much bigger boats. The Block Island is a longer race transiting Long Island Sound and Block Island Sound with the associated strong currents and weather changes. The team again prevailed winning her class and 3rd in Fleet. As a coach it is certainly rewarding to see the next group gain the experience and the exposure to competitive distance racing.
While we are working hard to training the Level-1 group our Level-2 team mates are venturing off to some very exciting sailing. Collin Alexander (19) with his High Noon Newport Bermuda Race win along with the strength of his other offshore experiences is hoping to secure a try-out spot with Dee Caffari. Key Becker (19) has turned his energy and efforts to sailing the Etchells 22 with the US Youth Team competing for the Gertrude Cup (Cowes, UK). Will McKiege (19) and Collin Alexander teamed up to sail the Block Island Race double-handed on the J-88 Jazz and bested the entire fleet of double-handed boats by a big margin. Another High Noon crewmember, Richard O’Leary, is now at the US Coast Guard Academy after being recruited for his big boat sailing skills.
In the past the US has not had strong feeder programs to provide youth sailors with serious offshore training. Today this is more of a topic than in the past, and although our team is not the only one working in this direction, the Young American Team is focused on creating a new generation of talented offshore sailors. This is our fifth year and we are excited to see our older junior team members sailing at the highest level of Corinthian ocean racing. We are very appreciative of partners such as Adrena who support the team and avail the junior sailors of the best and latest performance technology and tools.