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Davis Islands Yacht Club to host the 2.4mR World Championship Regatta 2022

by Amy Scherzer 9 Oct 2022 11:36 PDT November 5-11, 2022
Davis Island Yacht Club © Jackie Ross

The Davis Islands Civic Association (DICA) welcomes sailors and spectators to the 2.4mR World Championship Regatta, coming Nov. 5 to 11, at the Davis Islands Yacht Club.

"We're thrilled to show off the beauty of Davis Islands to visitors from North and Central America, Europe and Australia... at least eight nations are sending competitors to our beautiful Tampa Bay," said DICA president Kathy Farzanagan.

"It's a huge honor," adds Denise Cassedy, a past DICA president who is overseeing the opening ceremonies. "It puts a major spotlight on Davis Islands."

The yacht club has hosted world championship races in the past and national regattas every year, "but this one is really a very big deal," agrees Jennifer Holmberg, the regatta organizing authority.

What is so special about the 2.4mR One Design class sailboat? "The cool thing is these are one-person keelboats, just under 14-feet long, that are weighted for stability to be sailed by able-bodied and disabled sailors alike," she said. "Anyone can race evenly against anyone, regardless of physical strength, age or gender."

Of the 55 sailors expected to participate, more than half the fleet are disabled. "That's way beyond our projections, including some paralyzed from the waist down," said Holmberg, noting that a disabled woman won the 2019 championship in Genoa out of 91 entrants from 15 nations.

Boats will be weighed and measured Nov. 5 through 7; races around inflatable marks run from Nov. 8 through 11. Start time is scheduled for 10 a.m., depending on the wind, of course.

"With no engines, if the wind doesn't work with us, some races may be postponed," Holmberg said. A race typically lasts just under an hour and there will be three or four races daily. A Professional Race Officer sets the course each day, depending on the wind. Winds should average 7 to 12 knots; warm weather and water temperature are expected.

The technical aspects of the 2.4mR can be very challenging. "You're in a cockpit seat with 11 lines, so basically you've got a lapful of spaghetti and you're steering by foot pedal or a joystick," said Holmberg.

Retired Honorary Consul of Sweden Bo-Göran Holmberg will attend the opening ceremonies Nov. 6 at 3 p.m., following a golf cart parade flying flags of all the competing nations from downtown Davis Islands to the yacht club.

Mayor Jane Castor has been invited to participate.

Several yacht club members have offered to house sailors and coaches. "Such a great way to make international friends," Holmberg said. "DIYC members always step up."

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