Sunkist #1

The Andrews 27 sails out the channel toward the start

            One Sunday every month a group of sea scouts from various ships in Orange County takes part in a fantastic offshore racing event. This Newport Sea Base Youth Racing Team, a venture crew, is made up primarily of scouts from sea scout ships Renegades, Del Mar, Triton, and Mariners. The participants range from yacht club youth to those with little racing experience. Our purpose is to provide local Sea Scouts and racers with the opportunity to learn, practice, and compete on the water. The Newport Sea Base Youth Racing Team is open to 14 to 20-year olds who have a desire to learn and participate in big boat or dinghy racing. Based out of the Newport Sea Base, the team regularly takes out an IMX 38 and an Andrews 27 and is led by youth members and advised by adult leaders. This duel boat program allows youth to experience racing both in Newport Harbor and along the beautiful Southern Californian coast.

          In addition, the team routinely practices in CFJs, which are coincidentally also the boats for the William I Koch International Sea Scout Cup in the summer of 2014. Most successful yacht racers are based in a foundation of years of highly competitive youth dinghy sailing. While yacht racing regularly receives more fame, racers are made in dinghy circuits. It is paramount for any new yacht racer to maintain their dingy skills and they should continue to take part in small boat regattas. For example, Australian Tom Slingsby and British Ben Ainslie are both successful Olympic dinghy sailors and both used their strong foundation in dinghy racing to aid Oracle Team USA in successfully defending the America’s Cup. The Newport Sea Base Youth Racing Team boasts two teams who have qualified for the 2014 Koch Cup.

(The team posing for a pre-race photo)

On Sunday November 3rd, the team arrived at the Newport Sea Base, excited to compete in Sunkist #1, the first of four races in the series. Our course was a random leg race starting in the harbor, going out to Newport Pier, and finishing inside the harbor near Pirate’s Cove. We rigged, practiced setting the spinnaker in the harbor, and sailed to the start. Despite starting complications, we were off around 1pm, making our way through the harbor, past the jetty, toward the bright tetrahedron bobbing off Newport Pier. As we made our way back into the harbor from the picturesque seal buoy we struggled to locate the tiny finish line off to the right of the channel. Once we located the finish line, we crossed it with cheers of joy blending with the accompanying horn blast.

A lot of fun was had by all as we worked on our communication, developed crew teamwork, and refined our racing skills. The whole crew is looking forward to participating in the upcoming Sunkist races. The team also is planning to take part in a variety of lengthy offshore races including the internationally renowned Border Run and Islands Race.

(The crew displaying exemplary teamwork, de-rigging and putting away gear in less than an hour)


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