Northeast Junior Olympics in Boothbay Harbor
The Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club hosts the Northeast Junior Olympic Festival and Maine State C420 and Opti Championships this week. Racing began yesterday under sunny skies and moderate winds of 8-12 knots shortly after noon. More than 125 sailors from as far away as Florida came to race in the event which also serves as the Smythe and Bemis qualifiers for the Chubb Junior National Championship.
Local scholastic sailors Ella Beauregard and Hamilton Barclay, joined by 10 sailors from the BHYC Junior sailing program, took the lead early and won the first race. Consistent sailing throughout the day with few errors led the pair to sit atop the leaderboard with two firsts, and two third place finishes for 8 points.
Last year's winner, Terra Earhart from MDI/Florida now, with Mark Brunsvold, an ace Nacra 15 sailor from Sarasota, sit in second just 3 points behind. Earhart and her brother fought a close contest with the Boothbay sailors in last year's event at Harraseeket finishing 3 points ahead after ten races.
More than 65 boats hit the water yesterday to compete in the largest Maine Junior Olympics event in some time. Southport Yacht Club sent seven pairs of sailors with their top two in tenth and eleventh places. Pleon Yacht Club in Marblehead has the most sailors competing with eight C420 teams and four Laser sailors competing, four of those teams are in the top ten. The top two boats in each division go to the Chubb Junior National Championships held in Michigan in August.
Bellport Yacht Club's Tom Conlin serving as Principal Race Officer, US Sailing's Race Director Matt Hill, and St. Petersburg Yacht Club's Bjorn Hooper led the on the water race committee duties with nearly two dozen BHYC volunteers running mark and signal boats. A team of on the water judges is led by US Sailing National Judge Nancy Glover of Marblehead. BHYC has a long tradition of serving junior sailing in the Midcoast region.
Event Chair Lee Krow noted that more racing can be seen from the Spruce Point Inn and other locations from about noon to 4 p.m. most days depending on the weather.