Youth Sailing Foundation (YSF) hosted the Seventh Annual Steve Martin Memorial Regatta on Sunday afternoon, April 18, 2021. Sailing from the Vero Beach Waste Water Treatment Plant campus south of the 17th Street Bridge the first gun sounded at 12:30 PM under mostly sunny skies with a moderate west by southwest breeze blowing across the Indian River Lagoon.
The Regatta is the Florida East Coast Series #4 with sailing teams from Daytona Beach to the Mid-Keys converging on Vero Beach to race on the Indian River Lagoon. Fifty boats with sixty-six sailors aboard sailed two courses set east of Intracoastal Waterway south of the 17th Street Bridge. Seven races were sailed with sixty-degree wind shifts providing a challenge for the sailors and race committee alike. Five classes of sailboats competed: Opti Gold, Opti Silver, Feva, Club 420, and Open Skiff.
YSF sailors had a great day! Skipper Denali Herold with crew Luke Franco won the 420 Class sailing YSF’s #16. Rayne Herold captured a first in the Opti Gold Class. Alex Delamarter took line honors in the Opti Silver Class. The win propelled him to overall champion for the Spring 2021 Florida East Coast Series.
Steve Martin was a dedicated volunteer who taught sailing at YSF. He was a graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy, sailed in the 1964 Olympic Trials, and was inducted into the Academy’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992. After meeting is wife Eileen they sailed the world before coming ashore in Vero Beach to raise a family and build a citrus business. An environmentalist and staunch protector of the Lagoon, Steve served as Chairman of the Marine Advisory Commission for thirty-eight years. He passed away in 2013 doing what he loved, rigging a sailboat for a junior sailor.
Steve Martin’s legacy of seamanship and sportsmanship was display April 18. After three hours of racing fifty boats in a total of twenty-eight races not a single protest was filed with the race committee. Like Steve, we “Sail for Life”. Sailing disciplines young minds to focus on the dynamic problem of powering a boat by wind alone. One can go from sailing to swimming in a heartbeat if not concentrating. The exhilaration of sailing builds confidence and self-esteem enabling a young person to achieve their full potential.
Youth Sailing Foundation of Indian River County, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit devoted to eliminating cultural and financial barriers to sailing. Numerous youth programs are offered throughout the year, many of them free to participants. For more information or to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit: www.ysfirc.org.