The 2012 Junior Olympic Sailing Festival – Chesapeake Bay Open presented by BMW-Mini of Annapolis was a huge success in very high temperature conditions. The event drew over 1000 to the Olympic-style opening ceremonies on July 5, including 235 competitors from all over the Chesapeake and the nation. Closing ceremonies took place on July 8 and competitors were thrilled to have medals presented by renowned sailor and Olympic silver medalist Scott Steele.
Key facts and figures:
- 235 registered competitors and 50 registered coaches participated.
- 57 separate races ran on 5 courses stretching from the Severn River south to Thomas Point.
- Each racer was scanned in and out each day using a specially developed bar coding system at 3 venues.
- The temperature reached 104 degrees on Saturday, July 7; the entire event was run in record-breaking heat.
- Over 1000 lunches and over 1050 dinners were served.
- The derecho event of June 29 left the JO venue without power until 5 p.m. the evening before opening ceremonies.
- Clean Regatta efforts quadrupled the number of recycling containers in use and saved conservatively over a thousand plastic water bottles.
Racing for the 31 teams in the Junior Olympic Regatta saw some very close competition in light breeze and choppy conditions on Chesapeake Bay. With near 100 degree temperatures and lots of powerboat traffic, the competitors faced the tough challenge of trying to get their boats up to speed in difficult sailing conditions. Adding to the fun was an abnormally strong current provided by a full moon during the week. The final day of racing saw the best conditions, with a 6-8 knot breeze steady through the day.
Competitors and families kept busy off the water with activities at the youth-oriented Olympic Village on the Annapolis Yacht Club (AYC) Annex grounds featuring a games truck, a giant water slide, and daily visits from the Kona Ice truck, which provided cool treats.
The regatta is seeking certification by Sailors for the Sea as a Clean Regatta at the silver level. This is a first for the Annapolis Yacht Club, made possible by the hard work of volunteers and the support of Culligan/US Water.
Box of Rain, an Annapolis-based organization providing skill-building for at-risk youth through marine and land-based activities, partnered with the Junior Olympic Sailing Festival to provide an amazing experience for both underprivileged youth and junior sailors. Youth from Box of Rain marched in the opening ceremonies and joined in dinner under the festival tent. Older children and junior instructors enjoyed going out for an afternoon sail aboard two of the AYC’s J/22s.
“We were honored to host such a talented group of junior sailors and their families,” said event chair John Morgan. “Despite the difficult conditions presented by the record setting heat, sailors persevered, got in some good racing, and had a terrific time both on and off the water.”