Way It Should Be?
Given that so much junior sailing seems to be
over- serious and under-fun, this 2008 U.S. O’pen Cup Report would
seem to be a better way to go about getting the kids sailing.
weather and a range of conditions from light to moderate blessed the
junior sailors attending the U.S. O’pen Cup, hosted by New Bedford
Community Boating Center. The Juniors enjoyed conventional buoy racing
as well as “Un-Regatta” style Giant Slalom and “O’pen
Cross” courses. Mandatory capsizes, stand-up sailing, and 360s
were popular with the racers. The kids also enjoyed the minimalist rules
where Rule #1 required fun at all times. Perhaps the highlight of the
event for the kids was the individual and tandem freestyle competitions.
New moves were broken out with spectacular “wheelies”, “hood
ornaments”, creative capsizes, and dismounts stealing the show.
The Juniors, ages 8-12, were broken down into Under 12 and 12+ age
groups. Some of the sailors were experienced Opti and 420 racers while
others had never thought about “competition” before. The
short courses and fast-paced format worked well for the wide range of
ability levels. Josh Morrell from Tortola took the hotly contested U12
division with Sam Shannon sneaking the Freestyle. Max Lewis (son of
Cam) took the “Oldsters” Freestyle with Elie Jordi &
Rasmus Sayre styl’n the Tandem Freestyle Division. Elise Gehling
not only had the lowest race score in the 12+ age group, but demonstrated
such excellent sportsmanship and was so supportive of the younger sailors
that she was awarded the Overall Prize for “Un-Regatta Spirit”.
The crowd erupted with “oohs” and “aahs” as
Elise gleefully accepted the coveted BIC surf board as Grand Prize.
For full results see www.communityboating.org and for more information contact [email protected].