Junior sailor Ian Ikeda of Duxbury High School raced in the High School Singled-Handed National Championships in St. Petersburg, Florida over the weekend. Ikeda competed against 36 of the best high school sailors in the country: Eighteen of whom who were in his full-rig division and eighteen who were in the radial-rig division.
Sailors congregated on beautiful Tampa Bay for a packed weekend of racing from states as widespread as Minnesota, St. Thomas, Texas, Washington, Illinois, California, New Jersey, Hawaii and Ohio. The competitors participated in 12 races over the course of the weekend, all for the opportunity to have their name on the coveted Cressy Trophy.
The only sailor from Massachusetts, Ikeda finished Saturday in 15th place, but on Sunday dropped from 15th to 17th.
“It was disappointing. I didn’t sail as well as I could have,” Ikeda said in reflection. Some might have been satisfied just to make it to Nationals, but not Ikeda: “I’m happy I made it this far, but I want to take it up another notch.”
Ikeda plans on resuming training as soon as he returns to Duxbury. He already is preparing to sail in a 420 regatta in November. He says, “I didn’t do my best and it just makes me really motivated to work hard.” 
Ikeda has pinpointed his start and his consistency as areas for improvement. In the future, it will be important for him to keep racing with difficult competition. For Ikeda, this means seeking out the most challenging regattas in the country, no matter where he has to travel. He plans on training with the US Developmental Team soon. “I want to get faster. I want to get better. That’s my main goal,” he said.
Also in the Full-Rig Division from New England, along with Ikeda, were Lucas Adams from Portsmouth Abbey School in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, who placed fourth, and Phillip Lozier from Portsmouth Abbey School who placed twelfth.
In the Radial-Rig Division from New England was Pearson Potts of St. George’s School in Newport, Rhode Island, who placed tenth, OJ O’Connell of East Lyme High School in East Lyme, Connecticut, who placed eleventh, Catherine Shanahan of Portsmouth Abbey School who placed 15th, and Sarah Stubbs of Greenwich Academy in Greenwich, Connecticut, who placed 18th.