For Immediate Release: Monday October 11, 2004
Deltaville, VA

Fishing Bay Yacht Club Hosts Championship Youth Sailing Event

On Saturday and Sunday, October 9 and 10, Fishing Bay Yacht Club of Deltaville hosted a major regional youth sailing event, the United States Optimist Dinghy Association 2004 Atlantic Coast Championship.  Over one hundred sixty "Optimist" sailing dinghies, skippered by boys and girls under age 16, competed in the 2-day event, accompanied by parents and siblings, bringing the crowd to well over 425 persons.  They hailed from Maine to Florida, Wisconsin to Texas, Illinois to Nova Scotia.  Tired parents stretched their legs at registration hosted by West Marine on Friday, after long drives.  Two fathers left Massachusetts at 4:30 Friday morning to reach Deltaville before dark for practice in Fishing Bay.

Saturday's lack of wind in the clear, high pressure weather on Saturday limited that day to only one race. But, on Sunday, the fleet sailed in brisk 15-20 knot northerly winds, completing four more races for a total of five in the regatta.  Because of the huge number of boats on the starting line, the fleet was divided into four divisions which sailed in a round robin.  This turned the five race regatta into ten actual heats over a long trapezoid championship course, reaching from Mathews County beaches to Stove Point and back, each taking about an hour and a quarter.  Due to the heavy wind conditions, a few competitors retired due to boat damage or fatigue, particularly those with less experience, or who failed to dress for the chilly conditions.  The stronger, more experienced and properly dressed sailors completed the regatta in excellent form.

The top five finishers in each class were:

Red Fleet
1. Colin Smith – Ft Lauderdale FL (MOST)
2. Anne Haeger – Lake Forest IL  (MOST Lake Beulah Yacht Club)
3. Taylor Lutz – Houston TX (LYC -Texas)
4. Emily Dellenbaugh – Easton, CT (Pequot Yacht Club - LISOT)
5. Mike Russon - Springfield PA (GWYC)

Blue Fleet
1. William Haeger – Lake Forest IL (MOST Lake Beulah Yacht Club)
2. George Kutschenreuter – East Troy WS (MOST Lake Beulah Yacht Club)
3. Jack Swikart – Rumson, NJ (Shrewsbury Sailing & Yacht Club)
4. Jordan Factor - Mt Cisco, NY (LIOST)
5. Ian Liberty - Colts Neck, NJ (Toms River Yacht Club)

White Fleet
1. Mac Agnese – Ft Lauderdale, FL (Lauderdale Yacht Club)
2. Declan Whitmyer -  Darien CT  (Noroton YC)
3. Joseph Pagge – Bayville, NJ  (BYC)
4. Carson Crain -  Houston, TX (NEHF)
5. Andrew Cremer Blue Point NY (Sayville YC/LISOT)

Fleet Overall
1. William Haeger – Lake Forest IL (MOST Lake Beulah Yacht Club)
2. Colin Smith – Ft Lauderdale FL (MOST)
3. Anne Haeger – Lake Forest IL  (MOST Lake Beulah Yacht Club)
4. Taylor Lutz – Houston TX (LYC -Texas)
5. George Kutschenreuter – East Troy WS (MOST Lake Beulah Yacht Club)

Top Girls
1. Anne Haeger – Lake Forest IL  (MOST Lake Beulah Yacht Club)
2. Emily Dellenbaugh - (Pequot Yacht Club - LISOT)
3. Eliza Richartz - Old Lyme, CT ( Wadawahuck Yacht Club).
4. Deirdre Lambert- Cumberland ME  (GOST)
5. Jessica Silva - Wall, NJ  (HRRG)

Green Fleet
1. Conner Swikart - Rumson NJ  (Shrewsbury Sailing & Yacht Club)
2. Nate Reffner - Vermilion OH  (Sandusky SC)
3. Ryan Reffner - Vermilion OH  (Sandusky SC)
4. Sammy Stagg - Annapolis MD  (Annapolis Yacht Club)
5. Maddie Pielmeier - Southbury CT (Milford Yacht Club)

Additional information and complete results are available at or at the event website

The Optimist dinghy is one of the largest one-design classes of sailboats in the world.  More than 150,000 are raced internationally by children 15 years of age and under, and Optimist fleets exist from Algeria to Zimbabwe and in over 110 countries.  It is also one of the most intensely competitive and active classes, despite the youthfulness of its sailors. The 2004 USODA National Championship this summer attracted over 400 competitors.  According to the International Optimist Dinghy Association ("IODA"), the international parent of the USODA, more than 50% of the sailors in the Sydney Olympics in 2000 were former Optimist sailors.

The ACCs is one of the two largest regional sailing competitions for juniors in the U.S. with hundreds of competitors attending from Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Kansas, Minnesota and even California.

Top finishers at the ACCs are eligible to participate in the Optimist Team Trials which selects sailors to attend the World, European, and North American championships being held next year in Switzerland, Poland and Trinidad & Tobago.  The US Optimist Team trials will be held at Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis, Maryland, on April 20-24, 2005.  The Team Trials are the principal event from which invitations are extended to join The United States National Team and the United States Development Team.  The Team Trials results determines the selection of the best sailors to represent the United States in the IODA World, N. American, European and Asian championships.

FBYC was proud to host the ACCs.  It offered the opportunity for Deltaville to show its superb access to the Chesapeake Bay and desirability as a sailing venue.  Over 120 members of FBYC spent hundreds of hours preparing for and supervising the event.  Fishing Bay made arrangements with adjoining property owners for parking boats, dinghy trailers, and power boat trailers.  The Club also obtained the permission of the Harbor House community on Jackson Creek to make limited supervised use of the community ramp for launching some of the more than 70 visiting power boats.  The Club also used the fields of Deltaville Maritime Museum for parking trailers.  Noel Clinard, the Event Chair, said, "From the beginning of our planning of this event, more than nine months ago, we were determined to conduct the event without imposing on the privacy or convenience of our neighbors.  As we learned in the zoning dispute regarding the use of the new land, conducting our events in a responsible way is very important to the future of the Club. We did everything we could to plan the logistics in a way to make it virtually invisible to our neighbors, except for the spectacle of the fleet sailing on Fishing Bay." Preliminary indications are that the Club succeeded in managing the event, while bringing substantial economic benefit to Middlesex County in overnight room rentals, dining expenses, and miscellaneous purchases of products and services.

Among the planning details, the Club obtained a permit to construct a temporary plywood ramp from its new property.  Two divisions of the competitive fleet, comprised of eighty one boats, launched and recovered each day from that ramp.  The remainder of the fleet used the Club's existing ramp. To avoid burdening the Club's septic and water system, over 25 porta potties were obtained from Church View Septic Systems and 5,600 gallons of water were trucked in to provide fresh water washdown for the competing boats. One van and one tractor trailer of dinghies and associated equipment were provided by Sturgis Boat Works of Cape Cod and McLaughlin of Chattanooga, Tennessee, charterers serving the top competitors who flew in from distant points with only their sails, spars and blades.  Tom Coleman of McLaughlin, sometimes referred to as the "Pied Piper of the Green Fleet", attended to conduct clinics for the less experienced children sailing in a special fleet called the Green Fleet.

Prior to the arrival of the competitors, the Site Manager, Chip Hall, and his volunteers laid out the newly zoned club property in a grid of 10' x 12' spaces in which each competitor stowed and rigged his boat.  Just prior to the arrival of the crowd on Friday morning, the quiet rigging field, with its numbered signs for each space, slept in a covering of ground fog.  Soon, the rigging spaces were filled with enthusiastic boys and girls in wrap around sailing sunglasses and the latest advanced sailing attire, preparing themselves and their boats.  Each day, at the launching signal the occupants of the field flowed smoothly down the ramps into Fishing Bay and sailed out the "safety gate" where their numbers were recorded. On the bay, they were surrounded by a fleet of sixteen safety boats, three judge boats, and forty or so parent and spectator boats.  On the race course they were overseen by the club's signal boat, "Mr. Roberts," Brent Halsey's trawler "Storm King," Lester Hudgins express cruiser "Chile" and Jeff Baechler's Trojan "Satori." The starting line spectacle is shown in the accompanying photo.  At the end of the day, they poured back up the ramps into the rigging field to break down their boats for the night.  By late Sunday afternoon, the boats and children were gone, the rigging space markings had been removed, and the newly zoned property was once again a quiet field. David Hazlehurst, the outgoing Commodore of Fishing Bay, expressed his pleasure that the club volunteers, assisted by the Sheriff and the Rescue Squad, had pulled off the regatta without a hitch.  Jay Buhl, the club's incoming Commodore, commented that this regatta had set a standard for the future intentions of the Club in fulfilling it's responsibilities to its neighbors, while contributing to the appeal and economy of the community.