Local Sailors Compete in ILCA North American Championships

A competitive field filled with high school and college sailors at the ILCA North American Championships

Summer 2024 ILCA sailing got underway earlier this month with its first major event, the ILCA North American Championships. New Bedford Yacht Club hosted the event in South Dartmouth, MA. From June 6 to 9, 197 sailors competed across the ILCA 4, 6, and 7 divisions. 

New Bedford Yacht Club ILCA North American Championships
A competition morning at ILCA North American Championships. Photo courtesy of Storrie Kulynych-Irvin

Practice day looked promising. A strong breeze beckoned sailors as they weaved around anchored sailboats towards Buzzards Bay off of Rhode Island Sound. On the first day of competition, however, fog and heavy rain prevented any races, despite sailors waiting for hours on the water. Competition picked up on Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8, when sailors saw three races per day. Despite pleasant temperatures throughout the regatta, heavy and shifty air conditions proved challenging on Saturday in particular. On Sunday, two races were held in rainy conditions. Ultimately, the race committee scheduled 10 total races, and eight races were completed by the end of the final day. 

ILCA sailboat race practice day
ILCA sailors rig in the staging area on practice day. Photo courtesy of Storrie Kulynych-Irvin

Most of this year’s competitors were high school and college sailors, with a handful of adults and post-collegians. The regatta featured many international competitors, including a large 54-sailor Canadian contingent. In the ILCA 6 class, the largest of the three divisions, Jake Homberger (LYC) won overall, and Lilly Rainham (RNSYS/NSST) was the top female finisher. Wylder Smith (SHYC) won ILCA 4, and Daniel Escudero was the ILCA 7 champion. 

ILCA North American Championships 2024
ILCA North American Championships 2024. Photo courtesy of ILCANorthAmerica/Facebook

Local sailors Julian Dahiya (6th), Chris Draper (15th), Aleksei Lopatin (17th), Sam de los Reyes (20th), and Alders Kulynych-Irvin (29th) made the ILCA 6 Gold Fleet. Brooke Bogdan (60th) and Daniel Draper (105th), both out of Severn Sailing Association (SSA), competed in the ILCA 6 Silver Fleet. John Thomas Mason from Fishing Bay Yacht Club (FBYC) placed 89th. In ILCA 7, Willem deSimone out of Annapolis Yacht Club (AYC) placed 26th, Alex Adams (AYC/SSA) took 32nd, Luca deSimone (AYC) finished 37th, Joshua Bendura (FBYC) took 39th, and George Slook (SSA) placed 46th.


By Storrie Kulynych-Irvin

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