Ventura Yacht Club Sends Sailors to 2024 CFJ Nationals

Front L to R: Kei Glavovic, Skyler Chaffey, Jackson Wallace, Brett Stein–filling in for Sophia Flosi. Back Row L to R in the Coach boat: Brookelyn Roelling, Braedon Baum, Logan Nordahl. Image by Janie Tran.

by Janie Tran

L to R: Sophia Flosi – VYC Coach and Nationals attendee, Brookelyn Roelling – VYC
Coach and FJ Team Member, though not attending nationals. Image by Janie Tran.

Ventura Yacht Club, located in Ventura Harbor, is making history for the county by sending four of its sailors to the 2024 CFJ Nationals at Mission Bay Yacht Club in San Diego from July 25-28. Coached by VYC’s Waterfront Activities Manager Braedon Baum, a former student of VYC’s Youth Sailing Program, the four students, aged 14-18, will compete against the top 60 youth sailors in the CFJ class.

The Club Flying Junior, or “CFJ,” is a doublehanded racing dinghy extensively raced at both the youth and collegiate levels nationwide. This small boat is the backbone of many yacht clubs’ programs. VYC had a CFJ race team composed of half a dozen sailors in the early 2010s, but the team, along with other VYC teams, took a hiatus as its core sailors began to age out of the program. Under Coach Braedon, VYC reintroduced its traveling race teams to Ventura in 2022 and now hosts two dozen youth sailors in the Optimist (“Opti”) and CFJ classes.

L to R: Chase Shockley – CSUCI CFJ Race Team Member and Coach at VYC,
Skyler Chaffey – Coach at VYC. Image by Janie Tran.

The interest in attending CFJ Nationals was sparked earlier this month by 16-year-old Sophia Flosi, another student-turned-coach at VYC, who gathered a crew of students-turned-coaches like Jackson Wallace, and in another boat, Skyler Chaffey and Kei Glavovic. Practicing three days a week, with post-practice skirmishes built into the decades-old “Friday Night Races” hosted in Ventura Harbor, the four teenagers hope to make the most of this experience by taking all that they learn at practice and competition and passing it along to the next crop of youths joining the sailing ranks.

Sailors practicing for the event. Image by Janie Tran.

When asked about sailing, 14-year-old Jackson Wallace said he started the program at 10 years old with no desire for team sports. This program not only ignited his competitive spirit but also brought him immense joy and significantly built his confidence. Sailing has taught him to think on his feet and has fostered both his emotional and physical growth.

Representing more than Ventura Yacht Club, these teens help constitute the resurgence in the sport of competitive sailing, embody the Corinthian spirit of all sports, and symbolize all that Ventura County has to offer to youths.

Updates on their experience at Nationals and more information on VYC’s other programs can be found online at, on Instagram @vycyouthsailing, and on Facebook as Ventura Yacht Club Youth Sailing.

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