Last week the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club (BHYC) hosted the annual Maine State Opti and C-420 Championship Regatta. This annual event takes place at various yacht clubs throughout the coast of Maine, with the winning club from the previous year hosting. In 2018, Hamilton Barclay won the Maine State Opti Championship, racing for the BHYC. This year’s event was held on Aug. 1-2. The sailors all hope for great wind conditions, so they can have as many races as possible over the course of two days.
The Optimist is a one-person boat that is very light and small with a single sail. The boats are divided into four classes, or Fleets: Green, Red, White, and Blue. The Green Fleet is designated for first-year sailors ranging in age from 6-15. The Red, White, and Blue Fleets are for more experienced sailors. Each fleet is awarded a trophy for first through third place finishers, and trophies are also awarded for the overall Opti Fleet winners.
The C-420s are a two-person crew boat and are a little bit bigger, heavier and they have two sails. The captain and crew must work together to maneuver the sails and to navigate through the wind along the course. Award trophies are given for first through third place, to both the Captain and the Crewmember. The winners of the Championship for both the Opti and C-420s also win a perpetual trophy for their club, displaying all the past winners for each year that the race was won.
There were 114 boats participating in the two divisions with over 180 young sailors. Planning for the regatta took many months of hard work and effort by numerous members of BHYC including volunteers who offered their time during the two days of sailing. Parents, friends, and community spectators all enjoyed watching the young sailors in this friendly competition.
All entrants hope to race up to six times during the event if the wind cooperates. Overall scoring is based on how consistently they perform during the two days with varying wind and currents, as well as their skill in operating the sails and other equipment. The youngsters must contend with the technicalities of ocean racing, navigating through marks and gates, and carefully paying attention to the course. Mother Nature may throw curves undoing the best laid plans of the sailors. Occasionally a crew member may go overboard and even a boat may tip over. All these factors are all considered when the final scores are calculated. The sailors do their best to minimize penalties during each race.
The race started out on day number one with very light wind conditions, but the Green Fleet Optis managed to get off six races. The Red, White, and Blue Opti Fleets along with the C-420s were run on the same course with required staggered starts. On the first day they only raced twice, not as many times as they had hoped. This didn’t seem to affect the overall morale of the sailors. They used their sailing experiences from the first day to plan what they would do for the next day. Scores were posted after the race and the young sailors congratulated one another and laughed about that afternoon in the harbor.
The second day began with great wind coming out of the south. The Green Fleet again managed to get in another six races to their great delight! The Championship line managed to get through four races allowing the teams to drop their lowest score. Sailors and coaches were very happy with the way that the weather cooperated making it a fantastic two days of racing. After the fourth and final race of the day, the competitors headed back to shore to see the final results of the competition. The members of the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club were thrilled to host this regatta for the fine young sailor participants.
Maine State Opti and C-420 Championship Regatta Results:
1st Place Campbell Ardrey Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club
2nd Place Finn Uhrich Southport Yacht Club
3rd Place Theo Fahlgren Harraseeket Yacht Club
1st Place Oliver May Agamenticus Yacht Club
2nd Place Hollis Harding Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club
3rd Place Oliver Lee Camden Yacht Club
1st Place Fin McLean Portland Yacht Club
2nd Place Julian Baldwin Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club
3rd Place Beatrice May Agamenticus Yacht Club
1st Place Tess Straw SailMaine
2nd Place Kenelm Guinness “Jack” Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club
3rd Place William Gear Agamenticus Yacht Club
Overall Opti Champ Fin McLean Portland Yacht Club
1st Place Capt Hamilton Barclay Southport Yacht Club, Crew Ella Beauregard
2nd Place Capt Lillian Myers Northeast Harbor Fleet, Crew Terra Ehrhart
3rd Place Capt Charlie Apolinsky Southport Yacht Club, Crew Brian Goldsmith
Overall C-420 Champs Hamilton Barclay and Ella Beauregard Southport Yacht Club