Editor’s note: Stu is Executive Director of the Youth Sailing Foundation.
Alex Delamater, Skyler Dussan, and Ashton Evers have been training on the Columbia River for the Opti National Regatta that begins tomorrow. They traveled with their families and Coach Roberto Ayala to Oregon last Saturday and were on the water the next day.
Coach Ayala reports that winds have gradually increased during the week with 16-20 knots on Wednesday. It was our sailors’ first real taste of Gorge conditions.
In addition to the wind, the sailors have to contend with strong currents that can be especially tricky during starts. (The Columbia River has been described as a 1,000 mile long water-cannon. It’s drainage area is the size of France.) Roberto says: “I think the boys are definitely feeling more comfortable sailing amongst the high level fleet, we’ve sailed against a lot of boats. Tomorrow we will sail against a whole lot more.”
Competition begins in earnest today. Over two hundred sailors from renowned programs such as: Edgartown Yacht Club (Martha’s Vineyard), Chicago Yacht Club, Coral Reef Yacht Club (Miami), Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, San Diego Yacht Club and St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco) will come to the line for three days of racing.
We can all be proud of our boys competing on the national stage against the best sailors in the United States and Canada. It is your generosity and support that provides the resources to make this happen. It is the dedication of our entire coaching staff and volunteers that provide the coaching, mentoring, and fleet support that has prepared these young men for an experience that will last a lifetime. Thank you to Skyler, Alex and Ashton’s families for their extraordinary commitment to their sailors and YSF’s programs.
More updates to come and thank you all for all you do for YSF!
Stu Keiller, Executive Director