O’pen BIC North Americans focuses on fun, learning, and sportsmanship
Published on May 4th, 2014
The Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club in Bermuda hosted what will likely go down as a “legendary” O’Pen BIC North American Championships on April 25-27. Thirty-two sailors traveled from as far as Hawaii and France to join the fun and amazing Bermudian hospitality. Twenty races and an epic freestyle expression session were held in ideal conditions ranging from 6 to 20 knots.
The racing was tight with a mixture of “conventional” and “Un-Regatta style” courses, sometimes with required freestyle moves, capsizes, stand-up sailing, and 360s. Going into the event it was unknown which sailors would prevail, but regardless of the course requirements, the top sailors always came out on top.
By the end it was clear the Bermudians were the class in the O’Pen age group while the Hawaiians cleaned up in the Under 13 category. Mikey Wollmann came from behind in the last race to narrowly take out reigning Opti and Byte North American Champion (and big sister), Ceci Wollmann by one point. Should make for lively trash talk over Corn Flakes at the Wollmann household. Lars Von Sydow (Hawaii Kai Boat Club) rounded out the podium by narrowly pulling ahead of Peter Dill and Joe Arrowsmith from RHADC. Andre Stowasser, representing the French Sailing Federation, rounded out the top sailors overall.
Kanoa Pick edged out fellow Hawaiians, JP Lattanzi and Marcos Baez, in the Under 13 age group. Close behind was the Miami Yacht Club team. It was the young Hawaiians who also wowed the judges the most in the Freestyle Finals with an incredible display of boat handling, agility, and creativeness. The spectators went wild with Marcos’ now famous “plank walk”, tacks in front of the mast, and his fluid ability to steer the boat with just his weight. Close behind on the judges cards was the tandem team of JP and Pearl Lattanzi with Pearl’s gymnastic moves, head stands, and JP’s “happy dance”.
Every sailor left the regatta with new friends from around the world and individual accomplishment. The sailors’ improvement during the event was infectious. Based on their great success, the Royal Hamilton Dinghy Club is eager to host the O’Pen BIC Worlds in the near future, and it’s safe to say they will have full endorsement from all the participants. O’Pen BIC regattas are known for their focus on fun, learning, and sportsmanship.
Source: Event and manufacturer media