While you’ll find most 10-year-olds in Malibu out on the soccer field on Saturday mornings, don’t look for Jordan Janov. This 10-year-old is out on the water sailing and racing his very own boat.
In fact, the fifth-grader is doing quite well racing — he just won his age group (eight-10) in White Fleet and came in fifth overall in the Pacific Coast Championship Regatta of nearly 60 boats skippered by kids up to age 15. The regatta was held last month in Ventura and qualifies him for an even more prestigious race.
Janov practices sailing at least three days a week after attending school at Webster Elementary. As a member of the California Yacht Club, Janov comes from a family of sailors and has been sailing since he was four years old, competing since he was only six. His older brothers, Ryan, 16, and Grant, 13, attend Malibu High and Malibu Middle schools, respectively. The older brothers have been sailing for a few more years and have been doing great in competition as well.
The youngest Janov skippers what is referred to as an Optimist dinghy. It’s small, at only eight feet long. Janov named it Chabrah, as in “yeah, bro,” in homage to his older brothers.
“I got into sailing by watching my dad and brothers who all sail,” Janov explained. “I said, ‘I want to do that.’ So I would hop in my brothers’ boats when they were practicing. That got me into sailing by going with them. Then I just kept with that.”
At under five feet tall, Janov isn’t even tall enough to ride some roller coasters, yet this youngster is out on the water, alone for hours at a time skippering his own boat. With choppy conditions and sailing one-half mile off coast, it’s not always “smooth sailing.”
Jordon qualified for a Thanksgiving Day regatta in New Orleans and the Janovs will race at Christmas in Florida for what’s called the “Orange Bowl.”
Since the youngest Janov won his age category in last month’s regatta in Ventura, he qualified for team trials in a big 300 kid regatta in Brandt Beach, New Jersey in May. The family is looking forward to that event as well as more Junior Olympics events that all three Janov boys have already sailed in.
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