The 2017 Young Woman Sailor of the Year is Jessica J. Smith. Her friends call her JJ. She was nominated by the Luffing Lassies and the Salty Sisters.
She is an avid and accomplished racing sailor from Palmetto.
JJ sails with the Sarasota Youth Sailing Racing Team and the St. Petersburg Yacht Club Junior Sailing Team.
She has raced in International Optimist Dinghy, Sunfish, 420s and Sonar class boats against peers and adults.
This year she qualified to represent the USA on the Open Bic team in Bermuda during the America’s Cup events next month.
She has also qualified to sail in U.S. Sailing’s Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship in Annapolis, Maryland.
As a youth sailor, she competed in Green, White, Blue and Red fleets and consistently won a place on the podium.
Last year, she represented the United States in Belgium and came in as first USA girl, and second on Team USA, in very challenging weather conditions in the North Sea.
As a Freshman at Manatee High School JJ founded and now serves as Captain of the Manatee High School Sailing Team. In the fall, JJ will be a Sophomore.
She excels in school, as well as on the water.
She has played the violin in the school orchestra, trumpet in the band,
wind instruments in the Sarasota Youth Orchestra Symphonic Winds where she earned a Superior Rating.
She plays the trumpet, as a member of the Sarasota Youth Symphony.
In school, she excels in the Honors & AP Curriculum at Manatee High School with a GPA of 4.4667.