At the College Nationals awards banquet last June, I had to smile when 11 of the 12 sailors named to the Inter-College Sailing Association All-America Team were former Jobson Junior All-Stars. In November, four-time All-Star (2001-’04) Paige Railey, now 19, was named 2006 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year. It was a proud moment for one of America’s most promising athletes. The accomplishments of these sailors and others who have made this list point toward a very bright competitive future for this year’s honorees.The Junior All-Star list recognizes sailors between the ages of 13 to 17, during their time of competition. Outstanding results and exemplary sportsmanship are equally important factors.Versatility is the best word to describe repeat All-Star Evan Aras, 17, from Annapolis, Md. In 2006 he raced a 420, 29er, and Laser. With Aras and Joe Morris, another Junior All-Star, leading the way, Severn School has developed into one of the strongest programs on the East Coast. Motivated by the team’s third place in the High School Nationals (Mallory Cup) and second in the Team Race Nationals (Baker Trophy), the school purchased a new fleet of 420s and arranged for a new waterfront facility close to the school. For the past year, Joe has crewed for Evan in the 29er, but at CORK they switched roles and finished sixth. Evan says he likes both positions. He won A division in the Mallory Trophy, placed second in the Club 420 at the Orange Bowl, and sixth in the Smythe sailing a Laser. He is one of the most heavily recruited high-school seniors; he plans to sail in college and hopes to eventually compete in the Olympic Games.Charlie Buckingham, 17, of Newport Beach, Calif., likes sailing Lasers and it shows as he won the Smythe Trophy (U.S. Junior Singlehanded Championship) this year. Over the past year he says he had a “huge growth spurt” that has helped his Laser sailing. In the future he wants to continue Laser racing and eventually race a Star. Watching his father race in the Star Worlds, “got me fired up to sail them because of the competition in the class,” he says. “It was unbelievable to watch these guys.” In 420s, Marla Menninger or Ben Todter are his primary crews. Charlie finished third in the Club 420 Midwinters, second at the Mallory Cup, and fourth in the Laser at the U.S. Youth Champs. His only hobby is surfing; and he has a collection of surfing magazines that date back to the early ’90s.Emily Dellenbaugh, 16, represented the United States at the Youth Worlds and finished ninth in the 420 class. She regularly sails with Briana Provancha (a 2005 Jobson Junior All-Star) who lives across the country in San Diego. Other than sailing, Emily plays soccer for her school in Easton, Conn. The 29er is a new class for her, but she finished fifth in the North Americans at the CORK Regatta in Kingston, Ontario. Like most sailors on our All-Star list, she aspires to one day sail in the Olympics.Claire Dennis is a standout in the Laser Radial class. This 15-year-old, from Saratoga, Calif., won the Laser Radial Youth Female Worlds against 39 boats and placed third at the U.S. Youth Champs. She is one of our few All-Stars that races offshore, having competed in the Swiftsure in Victoria, B.C., three times with her father. Claire runs cross country and track in school. She hopes to attend a college on the East Coast. Yale freshman Sarah Lihan turned 18 after a very successful summer sailing season. Now that she’s in college, Sarah is learning to like doublehanded sailing. “Radials are my first love,” she says, “but 420s are growing on me.” Her usual crew is Caroline Wright. Sarah sails out of the Lauderdale Yacht Club in Florida. She traveled to the World Sailing Games, Laser Nationals, Ida Lewis, and the Youth Laser Radial Worlds, finishing 12th. She was also third at the U.S. Olympic Pre-Trials in October. “I don’t compete in other sports because sailing takes up so much of my time,” she says. “But I run, bike, swim, and play tennis as cross-training.” When it comes to the future, Sarah is keeping her options open. “The Olympics have always been in the back of my mind, but there’s a lot I want to do before committing to the campaign life,” she says. “Really, I just want to continue enjoying sailing and wherever that path leads me, I’ll go.”Joe Morris, 17, of Annapolis, Md., has been a Junior All-Star honorable mention twice. He moves up to our All-Star list after a very successful year. In November, he won the Cressy Trophy (National High School Singlehanded Champs) over 32 competitors. He is team captain of the successful Severn School sailing team. At the Mallory Cup, Joe placed third in B division, and his team was second in the Baker Trophy. He finished third at the Snipe Junior Nationals and sixth at the 29er Nationals with school teammate Evan Aras as crew. His extracurricular activities include training in the gym for sailing and tinkering with boats. “My long-term goal is the Olympics in the 470,” he says. “It’s a long and hard road, but I love the idea of representing your country, and only having one shot at the rest of the nations.” He plans to attend an East Coast college with a varsity sailing program.Sarah Newberry, 18, of Miami, loves the speed of catamarans, especially Tornadoes and Hobie 16s. Like Sarah Lihan, she turned 18 after the racing season. For fleet racing in monohulls, Sarah favors Lasers. Over the summer Sarah’s sister Elizabeth crewed for her. Sarah’s uncle, Jamie Livingston (a former member of the U.S. Sailing Team in the Tornado) provided the inspiration for youth multihull sailing. She won the U.S. Youth Multihull Champs and placed fifth at the Hobie 16 Youth North Americans. She has sailed with many different skippers to round out her experience. Jerry Tullo recruited Sarah to race 420s. She also traveled to La Baule, France, and crewed for Michael Siau. “I feel that I’ve learned more as a crew then I could ever learn only as a skipper,” Sarah says. Much of her spare time is devoted to art and design. She also teaches sailing to young adults and Opti kids. Looking toward the future she says: “I will grab opportunities when they come because sailing is what I do and what I love.”From the icy waters of Casco Bay, in Yarmouth, Maine, Alan Palmer, 17, has developed a strong racing resume. In 2006 he won the Bemis Trophy (National Junior Doublehanded Championship) with crew Katherine Gullick. Representing Portland YC, the pair has finished in the top 10 in many events including the U.S. Youth Championship, Buzzards Bay Regatta, and the Club 420 Nationals. Alan races with his uncle on his J/105, Black Owl, and has competed in the Monhegan Island Race. His parents own a J/40. They have cruised the Maine coast over many summers. In his spare time Alan does volunteer work with his school’s Interact Club, the Youth Division of Rotary International. “I’m also a pretty intense ping pong player,” he says. At 13, Antoine Screve has been blazing a fast course in the highly competitive Opti Class. He won the Southeast Championship and the Atlantic Coast Championship (256 boats) back-to-back to go along with a second-place finish at the World Team Trials and sixth at the Nationals. Antoine’s been sailing since he was an infant; his family lived on a 41-foot Cheoy Lee not long after he was born. In 2002-’03, he and his family cruised the Bahamas from their Miami home. Antoine currently resides in San Francisco, though he hopes to return east to attend college. We’ll certainly see more of this rising sailor.The sailor of the year in the Opti Class has to be 14-year-old Matt Wefer, from Sea Cliff YC on Long Island. Matt won the National Opti Championship (over 300 boats) and the New England Opti Championship (also over 300 boats). He hasn’t raced many other boats, but regarding the Opti he points out, “The Opti is great for big-fleet racing. In not many other classes do you get 100-boat starting lines. I hope to earn enough money to sail a Farr 40 someday.” His Opti team traveled to Italy and Germany over the summer. At school he runs cross country. “We run 30 miles a week and in meets run 5K races. My personal best is 20:01. The best thing in the world would be hearing our national anthem being played at the Olympic stadium.”Repeat All-Star Tyler Sinks, 17, of San Diego, continues to be one of the top talents from Southern California. He was first in the 470s at the Orange Bowl, first in the Snipe Junior Nationals, second in the U.S. Youth Championship (420), third in Baker Trophy, and fourth in the Mallory Cup, all as skipper. Tyler also went cruising this year. “It was a blast,” he says. “My family chartered a 53-footer in Tahiti. By the end of the trip, I was driving the boat around the reefs and understood navigation markers. I learned some cool things from Rick Merriman and Craig Leweck who were on the cruise.” In the 420, Tyler sails with Myles Gutenkunst and Ben Todter. He is on the water polo team at school. Like most of our junior sailors, he is looking forward to college sailing. His list includes Boston College, Georgetown, and Charleston. “Going to college and sailing is my top priority.”Honorable Mention: Beverly Elmer, 14, Seattle; Marlena Fauer, 14, New York, N.Y.; Nick Johnstone, 14, Newport, R.I.; Jake LaDow, 13, San Diego; Deirdre Lambert, 13, Cumberland, Maine; Pearson Potts, 13, East Quogue, N.Y.; and Jerry Tullo, 17, Staten Island, N.Y.
The author appreciates research assistance from Lee Parks, Bill Campbell, and Chuck Maschal.