The 2012 Junior Olympic Sailing Festival – Chesapeake Bay Open presented by BMW-Mini of Annapolis is going to be more than your usual youth regatta! This four-day event will be held just three weeks before the beginning of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The event begins Thursday, July 5 with high-quality youth clinics followed by Olympic-style opening ceremonies featuring ESPN personality Gary Jobson. July 6 kicks off three days of fun and competitive junior sailing featuring five separate fleets of boats. Closing ceremonies take place on July 8 and will feature awards presentations by renowned sailor and Olympic silver medal winner Scott Steele.
A youth-oriented Olympic Village on the AYC Annex grounds will feature activities for all ages. Highlights include a face painting contest with Zinka sunscreen, a games truck, daily visits from the Kona Ice truck, and beautiful gear for sale from Coral Reef Sailing Apparel and Layline.
Junior competitors will stay energized with complimentary breakfasts and dinners at the Festival Tent next to the Olympic Village. Volleyball matches for older competitors and a water slide for the younger ones will add to the off-water fun.
There will be lots of serious sailing as well — Optimists, Club 420s, Laser full and radial rigs, and Hobie 16s will all compete each day. Friday will be the AYC Annual Regatta, Saturday is the SSA/Sandy MacVickar Annual Regatta, and the Hobie Youth North American Championships run all three days. The entire event is the Junior Olympics; the regatta counts for double points for the Corum High Point Award.
Sailors for the Sea is certifying this Junior Olympic event as a Clean Regatta at the silver level. This is a first for the Annapolis Yacht Club and it’s made possible by the generous support of Culligan/US Water, who will provide bulk filtered and chilled water for all phases of this event. Minimizing the use of bottled water, providing recycling containers, and using paperless communication, as well as existing environmentally friendly practices, all contribute to achieving this certification.
In the spirit of the Junior Olympic movement, this event is open to all junior sailors and has a significant community outreach component. Community partners include Box of Rain, an Annapolis-based organization providing skill-building for at-risk youth through marine and land-based activities. A beautiful wooden stand-up paddleboard built by Box of Rain youth from a kit donated by Annapolis-based Chesapeake Light Craft will be on display in the Olympic Village.
Youth from Box of Rain will march in the opening ceremonies and man the paddleboard display to showcase their skills and accomplishments. They’ll also receive novice sailing instruction from expert instructors aboard the Annapolis Yacht Club’s fleet of J/22s.
“This will be THE event of the summer for juniors on the Chesapeake Bay; we have a tremendous amount of support from the local community, the sailing community, our sponsors, our volunteers, and the kids,” says event chair John Morgan.
He continues, “This is all translating into what will be an incredible experience here in Annapolis for over 250 competitors and the public. Our timing is also fortuitous, as this event falls just three weeks before the opening ceremonies for the London Olympics, raising the interest level in Olympic style events such as ours.”
Online registration and more information are available now at www.annapolisyc.org/