Shannon Heausler

Past Participant

Shannon Heausler

Congratulations for making it to the 2013 U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship (JWDC). I would like to welcome you to Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, where I am the Junior Sailing Director. I was fortunate enough to compete for the Ida Lewis trophy as a junior three times. While not quite fortunate enough to win, I came close a couple of times. My favorite thing about the event is how close you become with your competitors. It is a chance to sail among the best from around the country.

I met sailors who I sailed against at many US Sailing regattas and throughout my college sailing career. Two of my college roommates were fellow competitors in this event when it was held in Rhode Island.

My skipper and I sailed our first JWDC in 2002, when it was hosted by Newport Harbor Yacht Club in Southern California. At the time, we were established Optimist sailors from Florida, but knew little about trapezes, spinnakers or working as a team. We fumbled through our boat-handling during the clinic days, but learned a great deal by asking the coaches LOTS of questions. Some of the teams had come from the Youth Championships and other national regattas, while we were sailing as a team for the first time. Despite our amateur status, we were quite pleased with our results, achieving a third place finish and qualifying for the 2003 Youth Worlds Team. We could not believe how far we had come over the course of the regatta. The friends we made during the week were all very excited for us. To us, this event was a springboard to other national and international regattas. We went on to sail in the U.S. Junior and Youth Championship, and the Youth Worlds that year. Both of us still look back and credit the talented coaches and competitors from the Ida Lewis Trophy competition who helped us begin successful sailing careers.

I hope you enjoy our sunny Southern California weather. Best of luck this week!


- Shannon Heausler

Alex Ivory

BCYC Junior Commodore

Alex Ivory

Welcome back, fellow veteran US Sailing Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship racers, and welcome to all first-timers! The 2013 regatta, for the Ida Lewis trophy, is being hosted by Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club in Newport Beach, CA. The actual race course will be in the Pacific Ocean about a half mile off the Newport Beach pier. This means that each day, our 40 boats will be towed to the start line, a process that takes 30 and 45 minutes.

Southern California, which has produced some of the finest sailors in the country, has a tendency to not have a great record of consistent wind speeds, especially off the coast in Newport Beach. Around this time of year, expect June-gloom mornings, which are overcast with little breeze, and a steady pickup to 5-12 knots in the early afternoon. A normal direction by noon is a WSW. But weather, though usually mild, can be finicky and can change on a dime. Depending on the time of day we finish, as well as wind conditions, we might sail back to the club or be towed in. As anywhere, a thick coat of sunscreen is required to avoid sunburn.

Things to look for in Newport Harbor are sea lions and large pleasure boats. We also have our fair share of kelp problems inside and out in the ocean, so beware of sailing over it, as it will stop you cold. Finally, the outgoing tide can cause a small boat to literally sail nowhere when trying to sail in.

I hope this helps in preparing you to enjoy racing with us in the ocean off Newport Beach.


- Alex Ivory

Katie Levy

BCYC member and Ida Lewis trophy winner

Katie Levy

Welcome sailors, to what I know will be a very memorable regatta for all of you. I competed in the 1998 US Sailing Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship in Cleveland, Ohio, and the 1999 event in San Francisco, CA. In Cleveland I was a rookie, new to double handed boats, never flew a spinnaker before and intimidated by the incredible competition. The clinics taught me so much and the friendships I began are still enduring. I was amazed with the range of talent of my competitors. There were many who were clueless at first, similar to me. Then there were the hot shots. We all became friends and went on to compete against each other for many more years, including throughout collegiate sailing.

The following year, I trained hard and dedicated a good amount of time to practice and skipper/crew bonding. We got our tacking, spinnaker sets, mark rounding and starting down to a tee. We wanted to be considered hot shots, and I think we proved our point when we won the regatta! Going into the last race, we knew that if we won that race, then we’d win the regatta. It was blowing about 25 knots and we put everything we had into that race. With a clear lead going into the finish, I jumped on the trapeze with a handstand and finished the regatta with a bang!

No matter if you came to this event to learn and build your skills or if you came hoping to win, you are at the right place. Learn at both the clinics and races, make friendships, even if they are competitive friendships, and simply enjoy your time on the water. I hope this regatta will be as rewarding for you as they were for me!


- Katie Levy (formerly Katie Clausen)

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