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Atlantic and Gulf Coast Championship for the Bushwhacker Cup at Pensacola Yacht Club - Preview

by Talbot Wilson / Pensacola YC 28 Jul 10:03 PDT 16-17 November 2019
Pensacola Bay is perfect for Melges 24 sailing. © Paul Todd / www.outsideimages.com

Pensacola Yacht Club's Fleet Captain Hal Smith has issued a regatta invitation to all Melges 24 skippers: "This year," Smith wrote, "Pensacola Yacht Club will host a new Melges 24 regatta timed as a stopping off place as some of you head to South Florida for the Bacardi Winter Series or as a racing destination for other skippers not wanting to make the drive to Miami but who still want a championship-quality fall regatta."

It's the First Annual Atlantic and Gulf Coast Championship for the "Bushwhacker Cup" with clinics and registration on November 15 and racing scheduled for November 16-17.

"We want to offer a fun, competitive regatta in our fantastic venue. Pensacola Bay is perfect for Melges 24 sailing," Smith continued. "To that end, we invite all the class sailors to enter the 2019 inaugural Melges 24 regatta on Pensacola Bay. We have dates reserved and Pensacola Yacht Club is ready to shine."

The preliminary schedule for the regatta calls for Melges 24 sailing, tuning and tactical clinics to be offered on Friday November 15, along with regatta check-in. The competitors briefing will be Friday, November 15 before the first party and racing on the weekend.

Pensacola Yacht Club has a 22 acre, powerline free campus. Owners can arrange to store their Melges 24s before and after the regatta in order to accommodate travel plans for their teams.

Sailing on Pensacola Bay

Pensacola bay and Santa Rosa Sound are naturally protected by Santa Rosa Island to the South. The pass to the Gulf of Mexico is located to the southwest, across from the Naval Air Station Pensacola and divides the Gulf Islands National Seashore on Santa Rosa Island from the western park on Perdido Key.

The racing area is a matter of minutes from the Bayou Chico channel and the Pensacola YC marina. That's close racing... more racing and less transit time.

Fleet captain and PRO Hal Smith noted, "In summer months, sailors find a daily sea breeze that builds from a mid-day southeasterly to the afternoon 12-15 knot southwesterly they love. In other seasons, the winds are determined by frontal passages, temperature variables, sunshine and other factors. Tides are minimal, about one foot to one and a half feet."

"Pensacola Bay," he added, "is naturally deep with a white sand bottom. The water is clean, seasonally warm and just choppy in a breeze, but not often rough. The east-west shoreline in downtown Pensacola to the north is perfect for regatta spectating.

All sailors — race or cruise — are invited to come sail on Pensacola Bay. Organizers of both amateur regional, national or international sailing championships and professional sailing events should contact Pensacola Yacht Club to discuss racing on beautiful Pensacola Bay.

Pensacola Yacht Club, the South's Finest

Pensacola Yacht Club is a championship sailing venue on approximately 22 acres at the mouth of Bayou Chico just west of downtown Pensacola, Florida. Part of that area is approximately 250 feet of sparkling white beachfront property on Pensacola Bay adjacent to the marina in Bayou Chico.

PYC has been the site of numerous one design and handicap championships over the years. These include the 2000 USODA Nationals, and the inaugural Gulf Coast Championships in 2010 and the highly successful 2013 USODA Southeast Optimist Championships and the 2015 USODA Optimist National Championships which drew 320 sailors from 12 foreign countries and the USA to the competition. The 2018 Optimist Nationals, just completed, drew 301 sailors and featured an opening ceremony keynote presentation by the team from the AC36 NYYC American Magic Challenge.

PYC hosts the Junior Olympic Sailing Festival every year near the Fourth of July. PYC hosted the US Sailing Single Handed Championships in 2010. The club hosted several Flying Tiger East Coast Championships, and the Flying Tiger Nationals were held at PYC in 2011. The club hosted the Ultimate 20 Nationals in 2012, and the Thistle Nationals in 2011. In 2009, PYC hosted both the Corsair Nationals and the Snipe Nationals. Also in 2009, PYC hosted the Junior Lipton Championship, the Gulf Yachting Association's Junior Championship.

In 2019 PYC hosted the Thistle Class Southeast Championship in April, the 2019 Junior Olympic Sailing Festival presented by BBVA Compass in June, the Flying Scot North American Championship in July and will host the Melges24 Atlantic and Gulf Coast Championship in November. PYC stages local regattas throughout the year and offers a youth Summer Sailing Camp in the summer.

www.pensacolayachtclub.org

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