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Sailing: USF team wins collegiate sloop championship

ST. PETERSBURG — The USF team of junior Mitch Hall, senior Tim King, junior Simon Sanders, sophomore Darby Smith and junior Dave Weaks won the Intercollegiate Sailing Association Sloop National Championship on Nov. 23 just off the Pier, beating State University of New York Maritime in a tiebreaker.

Ten schools that qualified out of district events sent four-man teams to race Sonars, a 23-foot keelboat popular in the Paralympics, for a total of 10 races. St. Mary's was third.

The other competing schools were: Brown, Southern California, Texas, United States Coast Guard Academy, Western Washington, Miami of Ohio and Notre Dame.

High SchoolS: St. Petersburg Catholic's sailing team finished fifth at the Interscholastic Sailing Association Great Oaks National Championships in New Orleans on Nov. 15-16.

Sailed from the Southern Yacht Club, the Barons competed against 27 other teams, some coming came from as far away as Hawaii. Another Tampa Bay area team, Tampa Jesuit, came in 12th.

Naples Cup: The St. Petersburg Yacht Club's Mateo Vargas finished second overall in the Laser Radial class after a tightly fought battle with W. Ian Heausler of Davis Island at the Naples Cup Youth Regatta on Nov. 8-9. After six races in 48 hours, only 3 feet separated first and second overall at the event hosted by the Naples Community Sailing Center.

Windsurfing: SPYC's Mateo Vargas, more comfortable in a Laser Radial, finished fourth overall in his first windsurfing regatta, a pro-am event hosted by Miami's Shake-a-Leg Sailing Center on Nov. 14-15. Formula sailor Chris Gardiner finished 10th overall in a highly competitive fleet that included both professional board sailors and Olympic hopefuls.

Opti: St. Petersburg Yacht Club Opti Racing team members Hayden Grant, Sylvia Hopkins, Sofia Juster-Kruse, Claire Dudenhoefer and Trevor Avila recently traveled to San Diego to compete in the Mission Bay Yacht Club Junior Commodores Regatta. The five sailors were selected to represent SPYC as part of an annual exchange with five regional clubs in the San Diego area.

America's Cup: At a November meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, a large majority of the teams entered in the 33rd Americas Cup agreed to work together to come up with a class rule and regulations to govern the next Super Bowl of sailing.

The next America's Cup is scheduled for 2010, but defending champion Alinghi is currently locked in a legal battle with BMW Oracle Racing. So far, 10 teams from Spain, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden, New Zealand and France have signed on to compete.

But the San Francisco-based BMW Oracle Racing, owned by software mogul Larry Ellison, has been fighting to become the challenger of record, which would give them the right to help Alinghi set the rules for the next race. Oracle has built a 90-foot trimaran with a mast 16 stories high and a mainsail twice the size of a 747 wing that it wants to race in 2010. The Swiss defender is apparently working on its own trimaran.

Have sailing news? To submit information, go to and click on the "Submit info here" link. Or reach Terry Tomalin at (727) 893-8808 or e-mail him at


Upcoming events

Dec. 6-7: St. Petersburg Yacht Club J-24 Green Bench races

Dec. 27: Davis Island Yacht Club Winter Couples race

Sailing: USF team wins collegiate sloop championship 12/04/08 [Last modified: Thursday, December 4, 2008 3:30am]
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