Seabrook, TX: Lakewood Yacht Club's (LYC) youth sailing program was represented well by 15 sailors for this year's KO Sailing / 2017 USODA Team Trials held May 6-14 at Brant Beach Yacht Club in Long Beach, New Jersey.
USODA Team Trials is the most important event of the year for ambitious Optimist sailors, who must first earn their chance to compete in this challenging competition by pre-qualifying in several events around the country.
"Fortunately, our Opti team saw conditions similar to what they are used to practicing in during the year in Galveston Bay," said LYC Head Coach Bernat Gali. "Eight LYC sailors qualified to the final round in the Gold Fleet and the remaining seven qualified for the for the Silver Fleets."
Noah Zittrer finished 6th overall, just 10 points away from qualifying for Worlds. However, he earned the opportunity to represent Team USA in the next IODA European Championships, to be held in Bulgaria in late July.
Scott Mather and Tony Slowik finished 18th and 19th respectively, earning their chance to represent Team USA at the next IODA North American Championships, to be held in Toronto in early July.
Since Zittrer, Mather and Slowik placed in the top 20 at Team Trials, the trio also secured the right to become part of the US Opti National Team next year.
Lucas Tenrreiro and Parker Tyson, who were sailing in their first team trial competition also qualified for a spot in the IODA North Americans. Emma McInnis, Eric Jayawant and Kelly Bates rounded out the LYC sailors who qualified to sail in the Gold Fleet.
Two of our sailors placed in the Top 10 in Silver Fleet. Sheridan Shaw was 4th overall as well as 1st Girl, and Stephen Momeier took 7th. Piotr Smieja, Emilie Janzen, Nicky Abate and Ava Anderson all performed well in the Silver Fleet.
"All of our sailors performed well," added Gali. "Even the sailors who didn't do as well as they would have liked overcame their challenges and disappointment by sailing strong the last two days, showing great competitive spirit. It was a fabulous learning experience for all of our sailors."