South Florida may not have snowstorms but, the white sails on Biscayne Bay looked like a blizzard of boats. Today was the final day of racing for Miami’s 2011 Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta. There were 559 sailors completing four days of sunshine, sailing, swimming in the pool and social activities.
In addition to sailing, there were card games going on in the Club house, kids playing catch with their Orange Bowl rubber balls on the lawn and coaches talking to their teams surrounded by parents and siblings.
The Optimist Red/Blue/White class was the largest class with over 200 sailors. They all had a great time. For London, England’s Robbie King, it was his third Orange Bowl Regatta. A top ranked Blue Fleeter, Robbie said:
'It is a fun event and makes for great practice.' Robbie finished eighth in the Blue Fleet. J.J. Johnson is a very lucky Opti White Fleet sailor because last year a British gal won an Opti sailboat in the regatta raffle and could not ship it back to England. J.J.’s grandparents bought it and hid it in their garage.
After J.J. successfully finished his FCAT school testing, his grandparents sent him to the garage where he found his great surprise. He named his boat Sea Dog. Simon Gomez came all the way from Columbia to sail in his first Orange Bowl. He is in the White Fleet. 'I made some new friends', Gomez said. 'And I really liked Obie, the Orange Bowl mascot.'
The results are as follows:
The Laser Full-Rig class had some very competitive 'Olympic type' racing going on. For the leader, Greg Martinez from Texas Corinthian Yacht Club outside of Houston, it was his fourth and last Orange Bowl. He won it by 18 points. 'It is a good way to end it,' he said.
'My favorite thing about the OB is all the new sailors…the new faces.' Eighteen year-old Greg plans to sail varsity next year in college. Eric Lawrence, Dodge Rees and Luke Muller followed him in the results.
In the 99 boat Laser Radial Class, Michigan’s Mitchell Kiss held onto first place with a 15 point lead. Avery Fanning from South Carolina was second with Puerto Rico’s Juan Perdomo in third place. Erika Reineke from Lauderdale Yacht Club was the top girl.
Florida’s St. Petersburg Yacht Club dominated the Laser 4.7 class with Patrick Shanahan, Liam McCarthy and Nic Baird in the top three.
The beginner (and younger) Optimist Green Fleet was 'ladies first' with Miami’s Julia Johannson (Age 10) winning it all. Despite her challenging last two races, she managed to hold on to her lead over Santiago Pacheco from Santo Domingo and Alex Gonzalez from Florida’s Upper Keys and still won by 19 points.
The Optimist Red/Blue/White class lived up to its spirited image with the top three sailors finishing three points apart. Will Logue started out the day in first place but his 20th place in the last race pushed him down to third. Blue Fleeter Henry Marshall and Blue Fleeter Wiley Rogers passed him with finishes in the last two races totaling six points and eight points.
The 420s had a tight regatta with only 11 points between the top three teams. Chicago Yacht Club’s Alex Curtiss and Daniel Ron won it all followed by Charlie Lalumiere and Elizabeth Pemberton from Portland, Maine in second and Jack Jorgensen and Savanna Brown from Santa Barbara, California were third. The top 420 All-Girl Team was Allyson Donahue and Maddie Widmeier from Brigantine Yacht Club in New Jersey.
The trophies included the Magnus Liljedahl Sportsmanship Award. Magnus is CRYC’s Olympic Gold Medalist sailor. His award is for courteous actions and fairness with other competitors and the Race Committee. There were 41 nominations. This year it was presented to a team from California who were helpful to their fellow sailors by coaching them prior to the start.
They also stood out when they were disqualified by a Black Flag (over the line early) and came back by the Race Committee Signal Boat to apologize for possibly leading others over the line early. They were Chris Villicich and Nikki Obel from Marina del Rey.
The regatta, an Orange Bowl Festival event, is hosted by Coral Reef Yacht Club (CRYC) in cooperation with Lauderdale Yacht Club (LYC), Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, Shake-A-Leg Miami and the US Sailing Center Miami. It is a huge undertaking with over 150 volunteers from the support clubs plus landside volunteers from the Orange Bowl Committee.
The Regatta Chair Henry Chau says he could not have done it all without Assistant Chair Pat Ficaro, Wendy Kamilar and PC Carol Ewing. The Principle Race Officers were CRYC’s Bill Scheuermann – Optimist Green Fleet, CRYC’s Jaime Ramon – Optimist Red/Blue/White and LYC’s Tom Lihan. Chief Judge was CRYC’s Sharon Bourke.
There were 44 sponsors for the Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta. The Platinum sponsors were McLaughlin, KO Sailing, Dinghy Locker @ Landfall, Laser Performance and the Orange Bowl Committee. The other sponsors are listed on the regatta website.
Orange Bowl Regatta website