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Sailing: SPYC youth off to Turkey for Worlds

Mateo Vargas, right, won the Laser Radial division at the Orange Bowl Regatta, then won that class at a Youth World Championships qualifier.

Courtesy of Renee Athey

Mateo Vargas, right, won the Laser Radial division at the Orange Bowl Regatta, then won that class at a Youth World Championships qualifier.

The St. Petersburg Yacht Club's Mateo Vargas won the Laser Radial fleet when the Clearwater Yacht Club hosted the Youth World Championships qualifier Jan. 16-18.

Vargas, a member of U.S. Sailing's 2010 Youth World Team, will travel to Istanbul, Turkey, to represent the United States at the International Sailing Federation Youth World Championships.

Vargas' win came just a few weeks after he won the Orange Bowl Regatta in Miami. The event drew 722 sailors from 28 countries. The Laser class had 192 competitors, 135 of which were in the Laser Radial fleet. Vargas' SPYC teammate John Wallace sailed the Full Rig Laser and finished first in a fleet of 25 sailors. No other club won two classes.

Other SPYC sailors in Miami included Mary Kate Hall and Alex Martinez (Club 420), Georgia Hardage (4.7), Caroline Wallace (Radial), Drew King (Radial), Noah Blacker (Radial), Alexa Lynch (Optimist), Zachary Lynch (Optimist) and Martin Hood (Optimist).

Vargas will be joined in Turkey by Clearwater's Cullen Ahearn in the RS:X with 8.5m2 sail (boy's windsurfer). Ahearn won his class at the Youth Worlds qualifier.

Olympic prospects: Vargas and Wallace have also been named to the 2010 U.S. Sailing development team, a new youth pipeline team supported by the Olympic Sailing Committee. The team is designed to help young athletes who have been identified as future Olympic prospects get the training needed to compete on the international stage. Vargas and Wallace will compete on the Laser Radial team.

Gaspar Multiclass: Sailors from as far away as Canada braved 30 degree temperatures for this St. Petersburg Yacht Club event Jan. 9. Local favorite Ethan Bixby won five of the six races in the singlehanded Contender fleet. Lin Robson and Doug Hamilton finished first in all but one of the FD races. In the Snipe class, USF's Gonzalo Crivello and Hillary Noble took the top honors.

Women needed: The Safety Harbor Boat Club needs experienced female sailboat racers to participate in the second annual Safety Harbor Woman's Sailboat Race/Bikini Cup on April 17. For information, contact Ellen Henderson/Safety Harbor Boat Club at (727) 797-9380, or go to

Battle of the Bay: When SPYC Commodore Richard Doyle challenged the rival Davis Island Yacht Club to a race in December, he hoped to start a new local tradition. Davis Island skippers Joe Blouin and Bob Kroetsch accepted the challenge. The two Tampa boats, working as a team, squared off against two St. Petersburg boats, skippered by Doyle and Rick Erikcon, on Jan. 23. Racing in Sonars, the St. Petersburg team won five races; the Davis Island team three.

Local in Star Worlds: St. Peterburg's Mark Mendelblatt sailed in the Star World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Jan. 12-23. Mendelblatt finished 22nd out of 73 competitors. Mendelblatt and teammate John Von Schwarz won the last race and finished second among the American teams competing.

Fourth in Key WEst: Clearwater's New Wave finished fourth in a fleet of 24 Melges 32's at Key West Race Week, which wrapped up Jan. 22. Sailors Michael Carroll and Marty Kullman finished in the top three five times.

First Good Old Boat: A new regatta featuring boats made before 1990 drew more than 50 entrants to St. Petersburg on Jan. 23. Winners included Eclipse in the spinnaker division, Sazerac in non-spinnaker, Grrrr in true cruising, and Shutterspeed in the Good Old Fun division.

Got sailing news? Send it to Terry Tomalin at

Sailing: SPYC youth off to Turkey for Worlds 02/04/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 3, 2010 6:23pm]
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