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Santa Barbara Yacht Club’s Youth Team Wins U.S. J/70 Title

The U.S.-champion Santa Barbara Yacht Club Youth Sailing Team consists of, from left: Payne Donaldson, Chris Kayda, Ryan Eastwood, Kris Ozolins and Lucas Pierce. Click to view larger
The U.S.-champion Santa Barbara Yacht Club Youth Sailing Team consists of, from left: Payne Donaldson, Chris Kayda, Ryan Eastwood, Kris Ozolins and Lucas Pierce. (Matthew Cohen Photography)

The youth racing team from the Santa Barbara Yacht Club won the inaugural U.S. J/70 Youth Championship in Newport, R.I.

The Santa Barbara boat included skipper Lucas Pierce and crew members Ryan Eastwood, Chris Kayla, Payne Donaldson and Kris Ozolins. They were steady throughout the wildly fluctuating and variable wind conditions over the three-day regatta.

Competing against eight other youth sailing teams from around the country, Santa Barbara won five races, took second place in three, third place in three others, had two fourths and two fifths for 38 points. It beat second-place and host Sail Newport (48) by 10 points.

Annapolis Yacht Club of Maryland finished third, Severn Sailing Association (Md.) came in fourth and Coral Reef YC (Fla.) was fifth.

On the final day, the sailors got in three races before the wind died. Sail Newport, which won two of the races and was gaining on Santa Barbara, missed the windward mark in the fourth race and ended up bobbing in the powerboat chop. The race was ultimately canceled due to the time limit, and the regatta was declared completed because there was no visible wind in sight.

The Santa Barbara YC Youth team was awarded championship trophies and was presented a J/70 that the club gets to use for a year.

Scott Deardorff, SBYC Vice Commodore and a J/70 sailor, said he is looking forward to utilizing their J/70 (complete with a brand new suit of North Sails and Triad Trailer) for club events, youth keelboat development and perhaps even women’s keelboat development.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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