Sailors from across the continent congregated in Swampscott this summer to compete in the 2023 WASZP North American Championship Regatta, a four-day, high-speed sailboat race.
From Aug. 3-6, spectators lined the portion of Humphrey Street overlooking Fisherman’s Beach as 22 brightly-colored 3.4-meter-long sailboats zoomed past one another hull-to-hull, skipping the surface of Nahant Bay and Swampscott Harbor.
Since the Waszp — a small sailboat capable of traveling at speeds of up to 24 knots (27.5 mph) while hydrofoiling — was invented in 2016, the boat rapidly grew in popularity, becoming an internationally-recognized sailing class.
“It’s pretty cool. Sailors come from all over. They’ve come from the west coast of Canada and all over the U.S. There are a number of sailors from Hawaii here,” Waszp USA North American Search Committee Chair Zaak Beekman said. “It’s a high-speed, high-action affair.”
This year’s regatta was hosted by the Swampscott Yacht Club and Marblehead’s Eastern Yacht Club.
In a February interview, Swampscott Yacht Club Board member Charlotte Daher de Garcia said the club was excited “to be hosting something that goes beyond Swampscott.” She said the beauty, wind conditions, and temperatures at Nahant Bay make it a prime location both for sailors and spectators.
“Usually in Swampscott the winds tend to pick up in the early afternoon,” Daher de Garcia said. “It’s a little bit different of a place than others, but what is nice about it is because of the shape of it, just because it’s sort of secluded, it does have really nice offshore winds.”
Thomas Sitzmann, 18, of the United States, finished in first place after earning first on Friday and Sunday, second on Thursday, and third on Saturday. Jackson Macaulay, of Canada, won second place, and Nathan Duffar-Calder, also of Canada, placed third.
“It’s a great venue here in Swampscott and an amazing competition,” Sitzmann said after the first race. “It was a great day of racing and I’m excited to come back … It was cool seeing everyone out there.”
Pearl Lattanzi, 22, of Newport, placed fifth. Lattanzi, who has been sailing for 10 years, said she was excited to see Waszp racing’s rising popularity over the last seven years.
“I’m pretty excited to see how many new people are in the (Waszp) class,” she said. “It’s growing pretty quickly in the U.S. right now.”
Beekman thanked the Swampscott Yacht Club and the Eastern Yacht Club for hosting the event. He said the North Shore’s nautical history and increased interest in the young sport made it his first choice when selecting the regatta’s location.
“With Waszp racing on the rise in the U.S. and with Massachusetts — particularly the North Shore — being home to many sailors, choosing Swampscott was a natural fit,” Beekman said.
2023 WASZP North American Championship Regatta results
1. Thomas Sitzmann, male, Youth, U.S.
2. Jackson Macaulay, male, Youth, Canada
3. Nathan Duffar-Calder, male, Youth, Canada
4. Andi Kinnear, male, Junior, Canada
5. Pearl Lattanzi, female, Youth, U.S.
6. Austin Powers, male, Apprentice, U.S.
7. Grace Poole, female, Youth, Canada
8. Andrew Chisholm, male, Junior, Canada
9. Hunter Hoy, male, Youth, Canada
10. Jordan Oszlak, male, Master, Canada
11. Trevor Parekh, male, Master, Canada
12. Sam Blouin, male, Apprentice U.S.
13. Tommy Henshaw, male, Apprentice U.S.
14. Henry Gale, male, Super Master, U.S.
15. Daniel Draper, male, Junior, U.S.
16. Christopher Draper, male, Junior U.S.
17. Zaak Beekman, male, Apprentice, U.S.
18. Jaxon Hottinger, male, Junior, U.S.
19. Nicolas Regnault, male, Junior, U.S.
20. Henry Krieble, male, Junior, Canada
21. Rick Wood, male, Super Master, U.S.
22. Adam Cook, male, Master, U.S.