2011 North American Yngling Championships
Okoboji Yacht Club
August 11-14, 2011
Luke Ingalls won the 2011 Yngling North American Championships while celebrating his 12th birthday. Sailing with his father, John, and brother, Cob, the Ingalls team had strong 1-2-1 finishes on the final day of racing in 15-20 knot wind conditions, squeaking out a victory over “uncle” Bruce Chafee, Melody Badgett and Ben Diamond. Sailing in his first Yngling regatta he became the 4th Ingalls to win the North American Championship, following in the wake of mother Ellie, dad, John, and sister Noel.
22 teams competed in the 36th anniversary regatta with excellent conditions, though racing was in doubt as a 50-60 knot squall roared through the fleet in the early morning hours tearing 7 Ynglings from their moorings and throwing them on the rocks. Alpena Youth Sailing Team members were the first on the scene, showing leadership and courage to save the boats. Racing went off on schedule with all boats able to compete in 12 knot winds.
The “best-of-the-rest” and 3rd place went to Steve Wilson, sailing with brother, Pete Wilson, and niece, Erin Wilson, beating out arch rival Mark Upham sailing with wife, Karen and Parker Wedge. Jock McDonald and his crew, Michael and Elizabeth Johnson were 5th. The fleet welcome 3 all youth teams with Maddy Kennedy, Adam Siegel, and Ian Solum winning the Alpena Cup for highest finishing youth team and 8th place overall and Courtney Marshall, Colin Marshall and Hannah Thayer finishing 18th overall and 2nd highest youth team. Pete Ankeny won the newly established Master’s Cup (over 70 skipper) with a 6th place overall.
A thrilling weekend of racing wrapped up on Thunder Bay Sunday afternoon with a photo finish of the top 5 sailors crossing the line in front of a cheering crowd. Atop the podium was a new face, but an old name, as Noel Ingalls succeeded both her mother, Ellie Field, and father, John Ingalls as North American Yngling Champion. At age 17 she became the youngest champion in Yngling history winning the regatta handily with 4 firsts a 3rd and a 4th. She sailed with her father (current World Yngling Champion) and Patrick Gallagher as crew.
Alpena sailors crossed tacks in an exciting finish to determine the next 5 positions. The crew of Steve Fletcher’s Dwarf Iris, with Chris McCoy as helmsman and Tait Frogett as crew, sailed a solid and consistent regatta to hold onto 2nd place followed closely by Steve Wilson’s crew of Pete Wilson and Julie Mitchell and Tim Rumbles sailing with Sam and Anna Rumbles. Val Upham, sailing with Mark Upham and Erin Damery, squeeked out a win in the final race to propel her into 5th place overall.
John Johnston, with crew Emily Thayer and Ben Diamond, distinguished himself by not only winning the Alpena Cup for highest finishing youth sailor but performing a heroic rescue of another youth sailor who had been washed overboard during the turbulent and boisterous conditions of Saturday’s racing in 25 knot winds and 4 foot seas.
See Gallery and http://www.gaasch.net/ayccalendar/ for more photos and videos
The Alpena Youth Sailing Team, composed of Val Upham, Julie Mitchell and Joe Jacquemin placed 21st at the Yngling World Championships held in August in Kalmar, Sweden.
Six Alpena teams traveled to Sakonnet, Rhode Island for the 2009 North American Championships with 4 teams placing in the top ten. Ches Upham was 4th, Joe Jacquemin, 5th, Tim Rumbles, 6th, and the Alpena Youth Sailing Team (Val Upham, Julie Mitchell and Erin Damery) was 10th.
The 1st Thunder Bay Youth Championships had 6 youth teams competing with lots of action, and proving that sailing can also be a contact sport! Erin Wilson inched out Zach Brown by .5 points.
Alpena set the new world record for "most sailors on a Yngling" with 34 members of the Alpena Youth Sailing Club.