Chayse Barsi, sailing in YSF’s “Eva Jane”, swept to victory over fourteen competitors at the Murdo Smith Regatta in Naples Florida on Saturday, March 26th. YSF’s Katie Schaller was right in Chayse’s wake to take home the second-place trophy. Both were sailing YSF’s Hansa sailboats designed and built in Australia for special needs sailors. What makes Chayse’s win even more remarkable, is that at 12 years old, he was likely the youngest competitor by a wide margin.
The regatta was hosted by the Naples Parks and Recreation Department and sailed under ideal conditions on Sudgen Regional Park Lake. After a lakeside breakfast the sailors spent two hours on the water before enjoying lunch on the beach. Two hours of afternoon racing was followed by an awards ceremony and dinner. At total of nine races were sailed. It was a full day! The Murdo Smith Regatta is a premier event for special needs sailors to showcase their skills.
The competitive juices were flowing as sailors took to the water for a full day of racing. There was a lot of whooping and shouts of joy as the boats raced round the big orange marks. Non-verbal Chayse spoke loudly with his sailing skills. After four hours of racing, Chayse brought home the winner’s hardware to Vero Beach.
Dick Gates, founder and benefactor of YSF’s adaptive sailing program, accompanied the sailors to Naples in YSF’s van towing a trailer with the Hansa boats. YSF’s special needs instructor Don Little was on-hand to assist the racers.
Youth Sailing Foundation of Indian River County, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit devoted to eliminating cultural and financial barriers to sailing. Please contact Executive Director Stu Keiller at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 772-925-2521 if you would like to learn more about YSF’s Adaptive Sailing Program.