Pensacola, Florida (June 29, 2011) More than fifty young Gulf Coast sailors will ride the waves on Pensacola Bay this weekend at the 10th annual SUBWAY® Sailing Clinic and the USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival and Independence Day Regatta. The festivities start on Friday July 1st with high-powered coaching clinics and conclude with the prizegiving ceremony on Sunday afternoon. Seven races are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday on courses in Pensacola Bay south of Plaza de Luna Park. Spectators are invited.
All Southeast and Gulf Coast sailors 8-21 years old have been invited to bring their Optimist Dinghys, Lasers, Club 420’s and Flying Scots to join the fun at this traditional 4TH of July holiday regatta. The public is invited to come out on the bay to enjoy some spectacular racing and help PYC and these young sailors celebrate sailing. For details, reservations and registration visit www.pensacolayachtclub.org
Over the weekend, racing takes the spotlight with competition in nine racing classes: Opti Green, Red, White, and Blue fleets; Laser Full, Radial & 4.7 fleets; Flying Scots, Club 420’s depending on entries in various clases. The PYC committee predicts that there will be anywhere from 50-60 young sailors participating in the festival.
Clinics and practice are scheduled for Friday afternoon. Randy Smyth headlines the coaching slate. He is NW Florida’s sailing ace, the Tornado Class double silver Olympic medalist. Randy is well known to the international sailing community. He’s won more than 55 national and world championships, was a featured 1988 America’s Cup Sailor and a sought after coach. All the young sailors are excited to have Randy Smyth coaching at Friday’s clinics.
Dodge Rees, Pensacola’s own 17 year-old Olympic hopeful, will take his turn coaching young Laser sailors. Dodge is considered a legitimate Olympic sailing prospect by the US Sailing Olympic Sailing Committee. For the second year in a row, Dodge has been named to the US Sailing Olympic Development Team, as a member of the Laser Team (standard rig). He is very successful in both optimist racing and team racing and has moved into competitive international laser sailing.
It’s hard to be an Opti sailor or an Opti parent and not know Spencer Wiberley. He has been a US Optimist Dinghy Association and US National Team coach for 10 years and FAST (Fort Adams [RI] Sailing Team) coach for five years and will lead the Opti group through their drills. Spencer’s day job is sales manager for McLaughlin Boat Works, Opti builders based out of Chattanooga, TN. He brings skill and insight to the youngest group of sailors in the festival.
The SUBWAY® Junior Sailing Clinic, and the 10th annual Independence Day Regatta and the US Sailing Junior Olympic Sailing Festival on the Gulf Coast are presented again this year by local SW Alabama and NW Florida SUBWAY® restaurants. Pensacola Yacht Club in Pensacola, Florida hosts the annual festival and regatta from the clubhouse located at the mouth of Bayou Chico on Cypress Street, Pensacola.