Florida tour culminates in Clearwater
Published on February 3rd, 2021
Clearwater, FL (February 3, 2021) – After more than 200 sailors from 13 countries participated in the first two regattas of the 2021 West Marine US Open Sailing Series, the third stage of the Florida events moves on from Fort Lauderdale and Miami to the north for the Clearwater OCR on February 4-7.
The Clearwater Yacht Club and the Clearwater Community Sailing Center will host over 100 sailors to race in five classes for both men and women: Laser Standard, Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, iQFoil (Men, Open), and Foiling Kites. Countries in attendance are the United States, Canada, Mexico, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Great Britain, Ecuador, Guatemala, Venezuela, Colombia, Chile, and Turkey.
On par with both the previous two events, Clearwater features Olympians, US Sailing Team members, international sailors, college sailors, local standouts, Olympic Development Program (ODP) members, and other young sailors looking to test their skills against top-notch competition.
“We have had a strong winter season over the last three months and look to cap it off with an exciting event here in Clearwater,” observed U.S. Olympic Head Coach Luther Carpenter. “This event is especially exciting, as it is the first Olympic-class regatta for the new kite discipline.
“This fleet is coming from an excellent training camp last week coached by Charlie McKee and US Sailing Team member Dane Wilson, and the group is stoked to test their skills on the course.”
Carpenter was optimistic about the development of the iQFoil class which has been selected as new equipment for the Paris 2024 Olympics. “The iQFoil class has seen growth and participation this winter, and the fleet is primed for great foiling conditions and mixing it up on the course.”
Among the organizing authorities is Sail Life which has hosted five Olympic Class World Championships at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center over the past several years. Backed by a consortium of public and private organizations, Sail Life has been able to recruit top U.S. and international judges and race officers, while providing educational opportunities for local race committee members.
“Hosting a US Open Sailing Series event is a dream come true for Clearwater,” noted Fairlie Brinkley, Chairman of the Board of Sail Life and Event Principal Race Officer. “Sailing conditions on the Gulf of Mexico can change dramatically in a matter of 15 minutes. It takes a physically strong athlete with outstanding tactical skills to win a regatta such as the US Open here in Clearwater.”
Frank Chivas, President of Sail Life and Tampa Bay Charities added, “To be awarded the US Open Series on a multiyear basis will allow us to fine tune our organization and provide even better regattas for our athletes year-after-year leading up to the 2028 Los Angeles Games. We are excited that five of our regional Clubs have joined us and see this as a stimulus for a renewed interest in sailboat racing throughout the Tampa Bay and Sarasota communities.”
Racing is planned for February 4-7.
Organized by US Sailing and host yacht clubs at venues in Florida and California, the inaugural 6-stage West Marine US Open Sailing Series seeks to fulfill demand for a racing and training platform based in the United States to provide a path to the Olympic Games for prospective athletes.
Source: US Sailing, Scuttlebutt