Tuesday October 27, 2015 09:08PMon
FBYC Fall Opti Race Team at the ACC: Reese Bragg, Madeline Amthor, Guthrie Braun, Benton Amthor, Nathan Smith, Coach Bob Lippincott, Reed McAllister, Logan Hayes, John Vail and Josh Bendura
FBYC’s own Benton Amthor has WON the 2015 United States Optimist Dinghy Association Atlantic Coast Championship! The regatta was sailed last weekend, October 24th & 25th, at Annapolis Yacht Club. 201 boats competed in the Championship Fleet, not including the Green Fleet. The regatta was billed as the largest regatta ever hosted in Annapolis. After a highly competitive and hard fought battle through the last race, Benton edged out the current United States National Champion for first place. Benton won 1st Overall and 1st in the Red Fleet. Teammate Reed McAllister was 8th in the White Fleet.
In addition to Benton and Reed, all 9 of the FBYC Fall Race Team kids that sailed put in outstanding efforts and their finishes reflect their hard work: Guthrie Braun finished 25th Overall and just missed out on a Blue Fleet Medal; Nathan Smith finished 40th Overall; John Vail finished 78th Overall; and our younger sailors had outstanding results and gave notice that their time is coming: Josh Bendura, Madeline Amthor and Logan Hayes. Reese Bragg, who was positioned in the top quarter after Saturday, had to miss the second day due to a stomach bug.
201 Optis leaving Spa Creek for the first day's races
The regatta drew the top Opti sailors from the United States, Canada and Bermuda. The fleet included the current champion and 3rd place finisher at the Pacific Coast Championship; the current champion and 2nd place finisher at the West Coast Championship; the winner and 2nd place finisher at the USODA Team Qualifiers; the current US National Champion; and the current Bermuda National Champion, who finished 34th in the 2015 World Championship.
All of the top racers sailed with professionally run teams with full time professional coaching, including the Annapolis Yacht Club kids. Most sailed with either the Colie Elite Sailing Team, the Long Island Sound Youth Sailing Team, the Long Island Mid-Atlantic Sailing Team, and the Lake Ontario Optimist Team. USODA regattas this time of year draw sailors who sail year round with professional teams and coaches and who compete at the highest levels. Fishing Bay Yacht Club is one of only a handful of yacht clubs competing at such a high national level.
Benton Amthor-1st Overall and 1st Red Fleet
Benton’s win was especially impressive because both days were sailed in light winds; along with the fast currents and heavy boat traffic chop the Annapolis area is infamous for. The fleet was divided into 6 flights of approximately 33 boats, who rotated in races of 2 flights each. On Saturday the races were held on the Severn River, and the boats were on the water over 7 hours. On Sunday the fleet was towed far into the Bay, and the boats were on the water over 5 hours. The starts were particularly difficult with the current flowing across the start line and the light winds. Typical for USODA events, sailors over the line with one minute to go before the start were disqualified from that race. Benton was able to master these tough conditions!
Reed McAllister-8th White Fleet
There is one final event for the 2015 Fall Opti Race Team. The South Carolina Yacht Club has invited FBYC to compete in a specially sponsored invitational team racing regatta in Hilton Head, South Carolina, the first weekend in November. Look for a report next month!
Complete results of the ACC may be found at www.usoda.org.