WaterFront Center Sailors Win JSA C420 Long Island Sound Championship
By Brent Bomkamp
In 2013 the WaterFront Center expanded its C420 race program to include the summer season of Junior Sailing Association events, training junior sailors between the ages of 14 and 18 to compete at regattas along the Connecticut coast and the North Shore of Long Island. This year the program celebrated its most successful season yet, culminating with a win in the C420 class at the prestigious JSA of LIS Championship at Shelter Island Yacht Club on August 7th
. Sailing with the WaterFront Center under Coach Peter Sterflinger, the team of skipper Spencer Kriegstein and crew Camryn Smithwick displayed impressive command of their boat with a final tally of four first place finishes and one seventh. This line propelled them to a dominant victory in the C420 class, the first in the history of the WFC program. In the 23 years of C420 competition at JSA Champs sailors from only ten clubs have managed to claim victory in the class, including just four from Long Island.
Additionally, four other boats from the WFC sailed in the event, all placing within the top twenty. Longtime WFC sailors Caroline and Stephen Martocci managed to overcome a difficult first two races to close out strong and claim sixth place and a trophy, while Richie Kertatos and Elliott Trester finished 13th
overall. Despite a brutal capsize on the second race, Jack Farrell and William Centeno were able to move from the bottom of the fleet to 16th
overall with their final two races, notching a fifth and a third. Will Priebe and Chris Contreras rounded out the WFC representatives with a 20th
place finish, an impressive result for a first year skipper in the most competitive event on the JSA summer calendar.
This performance is made even more impressive given the difficult conditions posed by the waters off Shelter Island. Strong currents reward local knowledge and tactically sound racing, and the oscillating winds did not help. Richie Kertatos remarked on the difficulties of the second day. “The northerly breeze on Tuesday made for challenging racing. Nearly every boat in the fleet was on a different heading. To stay ahead you had to have a very solid ability to call the shifts before they arrived.” The local challenges were compounded by the high level of competition. While most JSA events are open to all competitors Champs is accessible only to the top 40% of finishers at all prior events, making it even harder to separate from the rest of the fleet.
“I am tremendously proud of the performance put forward by our sailors,” said Peter Sterflinger. “This is the most competitive event on Long Island Sound for C420 sailors, so for our racers to perform at this level is a tremendous testament to how far our program has developed.” On behalf of the WaterFront Center congratulations to all the competitors at Champs, and thanks for another great summer!
August 14th, 2017