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Sailing – Florida

Tunnicliffe, Railey win gold in Europe

Two U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics members recently picked up gold at major international regattas in the Laser Radial. 

Paige Railey won the gold medal at the Princess Sofia Trophy.

Anna Tunnicliffe of Plantation, Fla., showed her dominance in late April in Hyères, France, the site of French Olympic Sailing Week and the fourth event on the ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit. The 2008 Olympic gold medalist won her third ISAF Sailing World Cup event.

“It was a mentally draining week but I was able to stay focused 100 percent,” says Tunnicliffe. “I wanted to win. I wanted to win this regatta even before getting to France.”

Tunnicliffe will now head back home to Florida for a bit of rest and some match racing.

Earlier in April, Paige Railey of Clearwater, Fla., won at the Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

The conditions were less than amenable, offering low pressure and shifty sea breezes of 5 to 15 knots. However, the tricky and challenging conditions didn’t stop the U.S. team from delivering top results. Going into the medal race, things were very close for the top-10 Laser Radial sailors, but the iffy conditions caused sailors to either make huge ground or fall back. Railey finished sixth in the medal race, which locked in her gold medal ahead of Spain’s Susana Romero and Czechoslovakia’s Veronika Fenciova.

25 youth regattas on tap for 2009

Young sailors around the country will have the chance to sail in U.S. Sailing-coordinated regattas from two tremendously popular circuits. The USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival and the U.S. Junior Championships will collectively organize a combined 30 regattas around the country from June through December.

In its 13th season, the Junior Olympic program is a nationwide series of regattas for youth, ages 8 to 21. Twenty-five regattas are slated for 2009 in the United States and more than 4,300 sailors are expected to participate. The action begins with two events in June, and culminates with the 33rd annual Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta, the largest junior sailing event in the country. The Orange Bowl is hosted by the U.S. Sailing Center and Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami. Last year, more than 700 junior sailors from 24 countries, as well as 26 U.S. states and territories participated.

The Junior Olympic program culminates with the Orange Bowl, hosted by the U.S. Sailing Center and Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami.

U.S. Sailing’s Chubb United States Junior Championships is a nationwide elimination series that concludes Aug. 13 in Marblehead, Mass. This event is run by organizers from the Pleon, Eastern, Corinthian and Boston yacht clubs.

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BVI spring regatta now ‘clean and green’

The 2009 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival joined forces with Sailors for the Sea to reduce the pollution generated by the regatta and to promote ocean awareness.

The late March event was set to go “clean and green,” says Judy Petz, BVI Spring Regatta director. “For 2008, we realized we had an opportunity to help the environment and started by recycling glass and succeeded with over 10,000 bottles.”

During last year's race, organizers for the BVI Spring Regatta found one simple way to make the race greener.

The BVI has no organized recycling system so the 2008 mark was a huge start.

“Clean Regatta certification has many tangible and intangible benefits to regatta organizers, yacht clubs and marinas,” says Dan Pingaro, CEO of Sailors for the Sea.

The regatta planned to provide reusable water bottles for participants and free refills on shore. Estimates show that each boat uses between 20 and 100 water bottles a day for the event, with a total of 160 boats. Glass recycling bins will be provided at the Nanny Cay Marina, the host of the event and location of the Regatta Village.

This article originally appeared in the Florida and the South Home Waters Section of the July 2009 issue.