4 Mountaineers at Orange Bowl

image4 at Orange Bowl Youth International Regatta

Jack David (11) flew to Miami from Colorado with no expectations of receiving an award at the 2015 Orange Bowl Youth International Regatta. Nor did he expect that on the first day of racing he would pull a fellow competitor out of the Biscayne Bay to return him to his capsized boat downwind. To his shock and surprise, he had no idea anyone would take notice, let alone Olympic Gold Medalist and Paralympic coach Magnus Liljedahl.

imageThis was Jack’s first time competing at the Orange Bowl Regatta, something he had been looking forward to for many years. The new waters of Biscayne Bay and steady breeze challenged him beyond his expectations. With 289 (yes, Three Hundred) Optimists (red, white, blue, and green) racing it seems easy to get lost among all the jockeying and bustle. But Jack overcame many challenges and pushed himself to improve his standings each race. He fought for a clear position on the starting line and learned to stay with the pack upwind. Once he figured out how to put it all together he placed 40th in his last race, leaving 30 boats behind him at the finish.

A good deed stands out. To help someone in need, furthermore a competitor is a selfless act. Most of the time acts of kindness and selflessness go unnoticed, but not this time. Jack was awarded a bowl of oranges inside one of the most celebrated trophies of the event, the Sportsmanship Award. We could not be more proud of Jack and thank him for representing Colorado well at this international event.

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“This is a completely different sport,” said a wide-eyed and exhausted Max Williams while standing with his teammate Makalynne Dyer after sailing from Key Biscayne to Coral Reef Yacht Club, the host site of the Orange Bowl.

Max (17), who learned to sail at Cherry Creek Reservoir with Community Sailing of Colorado many years ago and has grown up with the program as an active racer in both youth and men’s classes throughout Colorado, traveled to Miami on Christmas day to log one practice day before the event.image

Max and Makalynne’s boathandling and skills in the boat were put to the test during the past week, while thy competed in the Club420 class. Jam packed starting lines and difficult fleet tactical races were a challenge, but none more difficult than finding efficiency and speed while sailing through the 2-3 chop and rolling boat wake churn of the Biscayne Bay. While Max and Makalynne have been training together for many months now, nothing short of a mechanical bulll could have prepared them for the physical strain of keeping their boat flat and fast upwind. But they were quick to learn tricks and techniques to work their way through the chop. Pushed by new friends and regatta teammates from Key Biscayne Yacht Club, Max and Makalynne have taken their new skills and set their sights on c420 midwinters in February. These two can’t get enough!

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Boulder resident and longtime CSC sailors Cameron Holland came all the way from New Zealand (well, via Colorado) to race in the 101 person Laser Radial Fleet at the OB regatta this year. Cameron shared his always infectious enthusiasm with teammates in Florida. Racing in arguably the toughest fleet of the event, Cameron battled through a week of waves and big breeze on his laser, putting up his best score on the final day of racing, 19.

The son of both sailors and scientists, Cameron wasted no time surveying the depth of his race course and was surprised to learn the Biscayne Bay is much shallowed than he expected. Missing the home waters of his Cherry Creek and Boulder Reservoirs, Cameron entertained us with a story of one special capsize during our team dinner.

Driving all the way from the Centennial State to Miami, Cameron looks forward to returning to Florida for the Laser MidWinter’s East regatta in Clearwater in February.

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