2019 USODA Midwinter Team Race Championship at St. Petersburg Yacht Club
Robert Lippincott, Optimist Program Manager
January 17-21, two Annapolis Yacht Club Opti teams
and their supportive parents traveled to St. Petersburg, Florida, for USODA’s
Midwinter Championship hosted by St. Petersburg Yacht Club. These two teams consisted of eight Opti
racers. Team AYC Capitals had Hugh Carty, Ava Cornell, Kyle Reinecke, and
Julian Dahiya. Team Vote for Pedro! had Madeline Amthor, Willem DeSimone, Bo Angus, and Walker Angus. Our teams had a difficult two days of practice in light to no wind, however, we
made the best use of our time and had a couple of discussions of plays and
strategy for the week ahead.
1 conditions saw 12-15 knot winds gusting 16-18 knots with a temperature about
55-60 degrees and sunny skies. Our AYC
sailors were eager to get out on the water.
The RC informed the racers and coaches that the first day of racing
would qualify them for either the Gold or Silver Fleet at the end of the
completed first round robin.
AYC Capitals raced 10 races with 5
wins/5 losses with a winning percentage of 50%, qualifying them for Silver
Fleet. Team Vote for Pedro! raced 11
races, with 3 wins/8 losses with a winning percentage of 27.3%, qualifying them for Silver Fleet. These
were the results for Stage 1 Gold Qualifying Round Robin at the conclusion of
the first day. Even
though both teams did not make the Gold Fleet round, they were very excited to
have beaten a couple of the power house teams along the way.
2, the sailors awoke to cooler temps in the low 40s and howling winds for
rigging. We saw 8 wins for both Team AYC
Capitals and Team Vote for Pedro! There were choppy seas
and 18-33 knots of breeze for the second day of racing, which made it
very difficult for some of the smaller teams. Our two teams had a much better
day in the heavier breeze. I am so proud of both teams for stepping up the
pressure for day two and improving on their finish percentile.
Team AYC Capitals was one of the only
teams to have practiced Team Racing together once or twice in their practice
schedules this past summer. They finished in 5th
place, with 22 races sailed and 13 wins (59.1%).
Team Vote for Pedro! had never been
given the opportunity to sail together as a team. Team Vote for Pedro! finished up the regatta
with a total of 23 races, 11 wins, and with a winning percentage of 47.8%.
the end, Team Vote for Pedro! placed 6th in the Silver Fleet Round, only 7 wins out of first place.
For team AYC Capitals, it came down
to the last four races, and they were only 4 wins away from tying it up for 1st
place in Silver. The team racing was extremely close. It just goes to show you that
every race counts! Having run out of time, we weren’t able
to get a Knock Out Round series in, which would have given both of our teams a
fighting chance to win the overall Silver Division.
Overall this was a great weekend of very competitive Team Racing over the Martin Luther King Holiday. I am very proud of both AYC teams for sailing their
hardest and maintaining good sportsmanship to fellow sailors and judges
throughout the regatta. They went up against some of the hardest competition in
the country and sailed respectably for the amount of practice they had prior
to coming to the event.
I hope our Opti team race sailors will continue to love the sport of
team racing and will want to do more in the coming months, as our team prepares for
the next big Opti Team Race regatta (Opti Team Race Nationals which will be
held in Grosse Pointe, Michigan) this coming summer.