St. Petersburg's Chris Gardiner will be one of 10 athletes on U.S. Sailing's 2009 Youth World Team, which will represent the United States at the 39th Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Buzios, Brazil, from July 9-18. Gardiner, a windsurfer who sails out of the Clearwater Community Sailing Center, will represent the United States in the RS:X class, the Olympic sailboard.
Yachtswoman of the Year: Florida's Anna Tunnicliffe has earned the prestigious honor of being named the 2008 Rolex yachtswoman of the year. Tunnicliffe, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, has been on the short list for four consecutive years. She was a gold medal winner at the 2008 Olympic Games in the Laser Radial class.
Tunnicliffe, 26, burst on to the national scene in 1997 as the youngest skipper in U.S. Sailing's Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship. A native of England, then just 14, finished 13th among 36 teams representing eight nations. At Old Dominion University, Tunnicliffe was an ICSA All-American three times from 2003 to 2005.
Melges News: New Wave, owned by Mike Carrol and Marty Kullman, won December's Melges 32 Gold Cup Regatta in Fort Lauderdale. The event drew an international field that included Terry Hutchinson, Gavin Brady, Tommaso Chieffi and Andy Horton, all recent America's Cup competitors. Other notables included Olympians Charlie Ogletree, Jeff Madragali, Morgan Reeser, Melges 24 and Farr 40 world champs Dave Ullman and Gabriele Benussi and Jeremy Wilmot from Roy Disney's Morning Light documentary on the Transpac (Los Angeles to Hawaii) race.
The New Wave crew, which has been together 10 years, consists of St. Petersburg's Kullman, helmsman; Clearwater's Carroll, navigator; Annapolis, Md.'s Scott Nixon, tactician; Bradenton's Steve Liebel, mainsheet; Eustis' Alex Shafer and Fort Myers' Judah Rubin, trim; Tampa's Jay Kuebel, mast; St. Petersburg's Ron "Hacksaw" Hyatt, bow.
In its second race of the season, New Wave finished fourth at the 2009 Melges 32 Acura Key West.
More Youth Sailing: Three Pinellas County residents are among the 35 youth sailors selected for the newly launched U.S. Sailing Team under 18 (U18) and under 23 (U23) teams.
These athletes are considered future Olympic prospects and will be provided with elite-level coaching, as well as educational, administrative and logistical support.
Clearwater's Emily Billing will be on the U18 Laser Radial girls team, and Treasure Island's Mateo Vargas and St. Petersburg's John Wallace will be on the U18 Laser Radial boys team.
Sailing Class: Boca Ciega Yacht Club will offer a five-week adult basic sailing class beginning March 11. The course includes five Wednesday evening classes as well as four weekend waterfront sailing sessions. Students will put classroom theories into practice sailing the club's Catalina 16.5 fleet. The cost is $225 per person including all classroom materials and an U.S. Sailing Association Basic Keelboat manual. For registration information, visit www.sailbcyc.org or call Jennifer Rogers at (727) 345-7544.
Looking Ahead: The St. Petersburg Yacht Club will host is 26th Valentines Regatta on Saturday and Sunday. More than 230 competitors from the United States, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean have registered. Spectators can watch the action from The Pier in downtown St. Petersburg.
The National Offshore One Design (NOOD) regatta returns to St. Petersburg for the 12th straight year on Feb. 13-15. This is the first stop of a national, nine-event tour. Organizers expect 200 boats in 16 classes.
The Clearwater Yacht Club will host the Regatta Laser Midwinters East from Feb. 19 to 22. This regatta, considered one of the premier Laser events in the world, is expected to draw more than 120 competitors from 10 countries to the waters off Clearwater Beach.