While a couple of teams arrived early on Dec.19, including BCYC’s lone I-420 team, Chase Decker/Tyler Wood, most (our seven Club 420 division teams) arrived Dec. 23, ready for the first day of practice the following day for the Orange Bowl Regatta. Winds were relatively light and our teams sailed well against the boats that eventually placed first, second and third at the regatta – winning two of the practice races. The team was pumped after day one, and everybody was thrilled to be sailing in the warm waters of Biscayne Bay.
Christmas Day proved to be windy, more like the typical conditions of this regatta, and a few of our boats decided to practice. However, they struggled in the big breeze, as we don’t typically experience those conditions in Southern California, a foreshadowing for the following days.
December 26 was another good day for our group, in light to medium winds, and we sailed some practice races with the Coral Reef Yacht Club team, again putting up a strong showing – winning both races (Reade Decker/Kennedy Leehealey).
The first day of the regatta was Dec. 27 and the conditions set up perfectly for us – light to medium wind – and after four races NB4T’s Peter Busch/Cam Spriggs were in first place and Reade Decker/Kennedy Leehealey (BCYC) were in third place out of 48 boats from around the country. In addition, the five other boats in our group were sailing very well. Out of the first two races in lighter breeze, our boats actually went 2,1,1,2. It was impressive and encouraging. All of our boats were sailing in the top 25 of the 48 boats at the event.
Unfortunately, that is not how the rest of the regatta went as it got progressively windier (and windier – it was really WINDY!), which exposed our weakness ‑— heavy air is a condition that we rarely experience in Southern California. After day two, we were still clinging to the lead with Peter/Cam, but Reade/Kennedy had fallen to fifth overall. On day three, Peter/Cam moved into third, while Reade/Kennedy moved into 10th. And, after the conclusion of the event on Dec. 30, BCYC’s NB4T placed sixth, 11th, 16th, 22nd, 34th, 38th, 40th out of 48 teams. Our local phenom, Mater Dei’s Morgan Pinckney, placed second overall, extending his streak of podium finishes at important National C420 regattas to two. And, BCYC’s Chase Decker/Tyler Wood placed 17th in the Open Orange Bowl I-420 division, out of 30 participants.
Full Results (Club 420): https://www.orangebowlregatta.org/en/default/races/race-resultsall
Full Results (I-420): https://theclubspot.com/regatta/vpVzgGc0fV/results
While we didn’t put up the results we would have liked, we learned a lot. The short version is that we are very good in relation to the rest of the country when sailing in light air, and we are not yet very good at sailing in heavy air (mostly because we rarely experience it in SoCal). Thus, our group was back to Miami in late January to train for the C420 Midwinters in February.
Furthermore, the team members had an amazing time traveling and working together at the regatta to get better at the sport they love, and are excited to keep it going and place better at future events. They also really enjoyed being coached by our guest coach Victor Diaz De Leon, the current Match Racing World Champion – big thanks to BSRA and the Leehealey family for making that possible.
Junior Sailing Director, Aubrey Mayer