Local sailors on Podium at Laser Regatta
More than 150 of the world's top small-boat sailors, many of whom have already qualified for the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics in England, gathered in Clearwater last month for the Laser Midwinters East Regatta.
Sailors representing 14 countries competed in 14-foot sailboats that were broken down into three classes based on sail size. Marit Bouwmeester of the Netherlands took the gold while Clearwater's Paige Railey won the silver in Laser Radial Fleet. Liam McCarthy from St. Petersburg won gold in the 4.7 fleet, while David Wright from Toronto won gold in the standard rig fleet.
Dinghies racers on area waters
Still more sailboat racing takes place in the bay area when the Clearwater Sailing Center hosts the Team FOR Invitational Regatta for Optimist sailors on Saturday and Sunday Sailors and spectator boats will launch from the Bellair Causeway Boat Ramp and racing begins about 10:30 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday.
Optimist dinghies, commonly called "Optis," were first designed and built in Clearwater in 1947 by local boat builder Clark Mills. The small, relatively inexpensive sailboats were originally made for children as the nautical equivalent of a soap box derby car. Optimist prams are now raced by sailors ages 8 to 15 in more than 100 countries.
Icon remembered through tourney
Mel Berman, the longtime local radio host and angler, died two years ago this month, but anglers can pay homage to this fishing icon on March 10 by entering the Captain Mel Trout & Redfish Classic. Last year's inaugural tournament drew more than 150 anglers. The captains' meeting is 5:30 p.m. March 9 at the Fat Cat Tavern in Clearwater, with fishing the next day. Tournament boundaries include all "Pinellas County waters," and fishing will be strictly photo and release. This is an "all lure" and "all amateur" event. To learn more, go to capmel.com.
Adventure writer dishes up stories
Terry Tomalin, Outdoors-Fitness Editor for the Tampa Bay Times, will talk about his book Everyday Adventures at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Mirror Lake Library, 280 Fifth Street North in downtown St. Petersburg. The Friends of Mirror Lake Library will hold a reception in the Library's Community Room before the talk from 5:30 to 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For information, call (727) 893-7268.
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Terry Tomalin can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 893-8808.