Tue09022014

Sports

Los Altos siblings sweep Hobie Cat Youth Championships


Courtesy of Dafna Brown
The Brown brothers – Nate, left, and Ben, right – often race against each other but competed together in a regatta last year at the F18 World Championships.

Sailing siblings Nate and Ben Brown of Los Altos finished one-two at the Hobie Cat Youth North American Championships, held July 30 through Aug. 1 at Huntington Lake.

Nate – a Pinewood School graduate entering his sophomore year at Chapman University – and crew member Ryan Lee, 9, claimed the regatta by winning six of the 12 races in the series. Ben, in his senior year at Pinewood, and crew member Casey Larson of Iowa followed closely behind to earn the silver medal.

Because this was the final year Nate could race in the Youth Championships, it was his last chance to settle a score with his younger brother. In 2011, 14-year-old Ben took the title by narrowly beating his brother in a comeback tiebreaker on the last day of the championships in Ocean Springs, Miss.

“In Mississippi, Nate dominated the first two days but fell apart the last day, and it was actually kind of heartbreaking to see him lose,” Ben said. “But this year, he was consistent the whole regatta, and I’m really proud of him and happy for him.”

The championships featured teams from throughout the country, including New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Iowa, Washington and Oregon.

Next up for the brothers: the U.S. Multihull Championship, an all-ages event that brings together the top sailors in the country to race on the San Francisco Bay. On the last day of the regatta, scheduled Sept. 4-7, races will be held in San Francisco as the opening act for the America’s Cup finals that begin the same day.

“It’s exciting to have such an incredible event virtually in our backyard,” Nate said. “Sailing normally does not get this sort of publicity, but with the changes they’ve made to the Cup this year, thousands of fans are able to watch live from shore or even on YouTube, and being able to sail in front of those fans is a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity.”

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