All Roads lead to Long Beach

Junior Team from Eugene
By Nick Genovese


My friends, Blake Bale (age 15, foredeck), Chris Morrow (age 16, mid-deck), and I (age 13, helm), had the privilege to race in the Santana 20 Nationals in Long Beach, California this year as the only all-junior team. We were sponsored by the Eugene Yacht Club, the S20 Class and Fleet 19, and sailed on my Dad's boat 747- Wing and a Prayer. I had a really fun time with my friends practicing and at the regatta. We had all sailed separately but not as a team. At the time of Nationals, we had only practiced as a team for about three weeks.

At Nationals, we enjoyed the mild heat, and it was sunny all week. On the good days the wind blew between 10 and 15 knots, but for some of the races it was very light. I would encourage everyone who would want to race in big start races to go. We got good starts on all the races except one, which we were OCS. We didn't realize it because we didn't see the individual recall flag and didn't have a VHF radio, so it was very disappointing to hear our effort was wasted. In the end, we did all right but we thought we could do better than a 27 out of 28 overall finish.

  I came out of the week with more knowledge about sailing and racing than a week reading books. The people at Nationals were very nice and were very helpful to our team. They gave us tips on sail trim, tactics and reading the wind. I also made new friends. It was an all around good week of sailing and I'm looking forward to the week of Nationals at EYC on Fern Ridge Reservoir in Oregon next year, our home court.

We are very thankful to Payson Infelise, Nathaniel Perry, and Carson Reynolds for providing us a place to stay and unwind throughout the event.