LYC hosts 2016 Dinsmoor Junior Sailing Regatta
LAHAINA – The fourth annual Keith Dinsmoor Trophy Regatta was held in the waters off Lahaina near Mala Wharf in West Maui on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13 and 14. The event featured 44 junior sailors racing in three divisions.
Hosted by Lahaina Yacht Club (LYC), the regatta had support from numerous sponsors, volunteers, parents and the coaching staff of the LYC Junior Sailing Program.
Participants, ranging in age from eight to 18 years old, competed in Open Bic (single-man, single-sail) and RS Feva XL (two-man, triple-sail) boats. The sailors were from the Lahaina Yacht Club Junior Sailing Team from Maui, the Hawaii Kai Boat Club Junior Sailing Team from Oahu, and the Kaneohe Yacht Club. This was the largest junior sailing regatta ever held in Maui waters and reflects the growth of junior sailing in Hawaii.
“The race is named after Keith Dinsmoor for all his efforts with junior sailing at LYC over the years,” said Dinsmoor Regatta Chairman Mike Sowers. “Currently, preparation for the regatta begins nine months in advance. However, all the work and time involved pays off when the kids get on the water.”
Day one of the Dinsmoor started at 11 a.m. on Saturday with a steady sea breeze that progressively lightened. The race committee was able to conduct four races in the Open Bic class and five races in the RS Feva class.
“All of the competition was stiff, with a particularly heated battle taking shape between LYC juniors Otis Buckingham and Mac Millen in the Open Bic,” reported Bruce Olsten, LYC public relations chairman. “The two captured first and second with one point separating them at the end of day one.”
In the Open Bic over-13 age group, HKBC sailor Gavin Ball was in first place with Lauren Baker from Kaneohe. “Baker lost her rudder while leading the pack, but she was able to reattach it and finish second,” said Olsten.
In the RX Feva class, LYC sailors Kai Ponting and Sophia Marchesi were leading with a convincing eight points, pursued by LYC’s Nalu Ho and Max McCay with 11 points, and Malia Johnson and Kahala Furukawa from HKBC with 17 points.
Day two was sunny, and the races got off to a start in a very favorable onshore breeze. “The winds diminished as the races progressed, and the fleet called it quits after four races,” Olsten said. “Ironically, once the fleet headed into shore, the sea breeze returned with the best breezes of the weekend.”
Nevertheless, the race produced three first place winners. The sailor with the lowest score in each division receives a first place trophy for that division. The sailor with the lowest score in any of the three divisions is the winner of the overall trophy, the Keith Dinsmoor Perpetual Trophy. That name is added to the trophy and displayed in the clubhouse in perpetuity.
This year’s overall winner was Gavin Ball, sailing in the Open Bic over-13 division. The other winners were Otis Buckingham, LYC, in the Open Bic under-13 division, and Sophia Marchesi and Kai Ponting, LYC, in the RS Feva XL division.
“The participants displayed impressive sailing in their tactical abilities and boat handling,” said Olsten. “The sailors were alert and spinnakers were flying. The emphasis, of course, is always on sportsmanship, good clean fun, and the joy of sailing. At the end of the regatta, the sailors, coaches and families washed down the boats and packed them up with all the gear. Once all was put away, everyone headed to LYC for dinner and the awards ceremony. The junior sailors were joyful as they congratulated each other!”