Mark Hayes on Tuesday October 13, 2015 08:29AM


FBYC team members under tow at Newport last Saturday

The United States Optimist Dinghy Association Spring Team Qualifier was sailed this past weekend, October 10th-12th, in Newport, Rhode Island. There were 245 of the best Opti sailors from across the United States racing; all hoping to earn a spot on one of the USODA spring teams.

Our kids sailed fantastic; although we did have one scare. We had four members make the trip: Benton Amthor, who finished 22nd; Boyd Bragg, who finished 23rd; Nathan Smith, who finished 71st; and Guthrie Braun. Guthrie had finished as high as 4th in one race, but had to withdraw from the regatta due to a mild concussion he sustained when hit by his boom in the windy conditions. Our coach, Bobby Lippincott, was quickly on the scene with the FBYC RIB to assist; but Guthrie got to watch the remainder of the racing with the adults on shore. We know he will be back winning races soon!

Team members Guthrie Braun, Nathan Smith, Benton Amthor and Boyd Bragg in Newport

As we have noted in earlier postings, the USODA, the organizing authority for Opti sailing in the United States, sends teams to various international competitions around the world each year, including the World Championship, Pacific Championship, Asian Championship, North and South American Championships, and regattas throughout Europe. The USODA holds two regattas a year to set the teams for the upcoming season: the Spring Team Qualifier, held in the fall, and the Team Trials, held in late spring. We have a total of 10 sailors who have qualified to attend the Team Trials in the spring. In 2015 we had four kids qualify for international teams: Benton Amthor, Boyd Bragg, Nathan Smith and Ian Street. Nathan and Ian accepted, and both represented the U.S. in regattas in Europe this past summer. Boyd has also represented the U.S. in past years; and Nathan has previously represented the Netherlands Antilles.

Over the next few weeks invitations will be extended by the USODA for the spring international regattas based on this past weekend’s results, and our sailors will likely receive invitations based on their strong finishes. Our full team will race next at the USODA Atlantic Coast Championship in late October in Annapolis; and we are racing in a special invitational team race regatta in Hilton Head, South Carolina, in early November. Look for updates in coming issues of our Newsletter and the Log.



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