Unlocking New Heights of Stoke
Published on June 20th, 2017
With the backdrop of America’s Cup, thirty-two O’pen BIC sailors from 10 nations, ages ten to fifteen, participated in the America’s Cup Endeavour O’pen.
The first two days on June 15-16 saw spectacular “Un-Regatta” style racing with required freestyle moves, unique course obstacles, and tight courses. Several reaching, America’s Cup style starts tested the sailors, and made for very close action.
Bryce Tone, from Sarasota Florida, edged out Leo Beyer of Germany and local Bermudian O’pen BIC star, Aiden Lopes, to take first place. Olga Fregni of Italy was fourth, followed by Hawaiian, Marcos Baez.
The biggest action, however, was during the America’s Cup Match on June 17 and 18 when the O’pen BICs were the “Half Time Show” between the races.
During the first day, after the “Dock Out Show” on the big stage, the kids raced in front of thousands of cheering spectators. To kick off this quick, eight-minute race, a reaching start brought the O’pen BICs within a few boat lengths of the Grand Stands.
After a short reach and upwind leg, the sailors slalomed downwind around jibe marks. Along the way, required capsizes, stand up sailing, and tight mark roundings led to exciting racing. The grand finale was the “Bridge of Doom.” In order to cross beneath, sailors had to heel enough to clear their masts, while not capsizing.
Marcos Baez from Hawaii Kai Boat Club led the fleet through the finish, but all thirty-two O’pen BIC sailors brought the spectators to a roar with their impressive show of seamanship.
In their encore on the second day, O’pen BIC sailors took to the water again in front of the Grand Stands. This time they put on an O’pen BIC Freestyle Exhibition, and delighted the crowds with all kinds of boat handling skills, creative balancing acts, and spectacular dismounts. The O’pen BIC sailors unlocked new heights in their stoke by adding elements of windsurfing, skateboarding, snowboarding to junior sailing.
As the incredible AC Class foiling catamarans showcased the future of stadium sailing, the O’pen BIC sailors demonstrated what is possible in junior sailing.