Four Minnetonka Yacht Club X-Class Skippers finished in the top 10 in their respective 60 boat fleets in the Summit Orthopedics 2019 Inland Lake Yachting Association X-Class Championship raced on Lake Minnetonka July 25-27.
There were 118 boats competing from 16 U.S. yacht clubs, including the Minnetonka Yacht Club, Wayzata Yacht Club and White Bear Yacht Club.
The Regatta featured 236 sailors with skippers ages 9-16 in two age divisions, Juniors (9-13 age) and Seniors (13-16 age), with many skippers ranked in the top tier of youth sailors in the country. The 16 ILYA member yacht clubs were from Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Minnesota.
In Regatta’s Junior Fleet, the top finishers from Minnetonka Yacht Club were fifth place skipper Jimmy Hughes of Deephaven and crew Graham Pierce, sailing USA M-21; and in ninth place to skipper Lauren Strothman of Excelsior and crew Stella Strothman, sailing USA M-9.
The winner of the Junior Fleet (58 boats) was skipper Jack Steiner, sailing USA X-41 from the Pine Lake Yacht Club in Wisconsin.
In Regatta’s Senior Fleet, the top finishers from Minnetonka Yacht Club were fifth place skipper Kate Ness, 15 of Wayzata, and crew Martha Hughes, sailing USA M-11; and in ninth place, Max Sigel, 16 of Deephaven, and crew John Kotovic, sailing USA M-88.
The winner of the Senior Fleet (60 boats) was skipper Ellie Harnard, sailing USA X-4 from Pine Lake Yacht Club.
Another Twin Cities favorite to win Regatta was Owen Harrod, 15, and crew Josie Guiding, sailing out of the White Bear Yacht Club, finished seventh in Senior Division on USA W-20. Renowned world champion and U.S. Olympics Sailing Team Coach Gordy Bowers helped coach the Minnetonka sailors.
This 2019 ILYA X-Class Championship, sailed for the 79th time on various U.S. inland lakes, features the one-design X-Boat Class, a 16-foot, pointed bow, center-board boat that was designed for beginning sailors and racers, and has been a starter boat for many of the best sailors in the world, including Minnetonka’s Olympic and PAN AM Games Gold Medalist Bill Allen, U.S. Olympic/6 Time Medalist Sailing Coach Gordy Bowers, 9-time ILYA champions Tom Burton and Rob Evans, Olympic Trials Laser sailor Eric Bowers and the late Mike Plant, America’s premier solo around-the-world sailboat racer.
The Regatta was organized by the Inland Lake Yachting Association and hosted by the Minnetonka Yacht Club, home of some of the most accomplished skippers of yacht racing. Overall, the skippers sailed for 12 prestigious historical trophies.