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Trail Mix: Outdoors bits and bites


{outdoors-related bits and bites}

St. Petersburg sailors win silver

J en French and J.P. Creignou captured the silver medal in the 21-boat SKUD-18 fleet at the International Association of Disabled Sailing World last month in England. The local sailors finished behind Great Britain's Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell. French and Creignou delivered a consistent performance by finishing at the top of the fleet in at least half of the 10-race series. "We are pretty excited with the silver," Creignou told US Sailing. "We started sailing together a year-and-a-half ago, and we are also dealing with new equipment; a new mast and new sails. "We weren't sure what to expect. We hoped to do well, of course, but we didn't know where we'd stack up."

In other action, the Sonar team of Floridians Paul Callahan (Cape Coral) and Brad Johnson (Pompano Beach) and Tom Brown (Castine, Maine) finished at the top of the American teams and fifth overall, which was good enough to qualify the United States for the 2012 Paralympic Games.

Finishing in sixth place was 2008 Paralympian Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J.) and Clearwater's Brad Kendell.

Great Bay Scallop Search

Scallopers in Homosassa, Crystal River and Steinhatchee are gathering their share of these tasty shellfish. On Aug. 27, bay area residents can join the hunt. But this game is strictly catch and release.

The Great Bay Scallop Search is a resource-monitoring program in which volunteers snorkel in lower Tampa Bay to count scallops. It has been conducted since 1993 with support from the Tampa Bay National Estuary Program. For more information, go to

Bay scallops grow to about 2 inches and are found in sea grass beds and shallow waters of estuaries throughout Florida's west coast and as far north as West Palm Beach on the east coast. Unlike other bivalves such as clams that can live up to 40 years, the life span of a bay scallop is just 12-18 months.

An adult bay scallop can filter about 15 liters of water per hour, taking both food and oxygen and expelling cleansed water along with waste products. Extremely sensitive to water pollution, bay scallops are considered the proverbial canary in a coal mine for the marine environment.

Poor water quality wiped out Tampa Bay's scallops during the mid 1960s. But with the implementation of the Clean Water Act in 1970, conditions gradually improved enough for scallops to regain a foothold. Stocking efforts by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have helped boost local scallop populations.

The year's scallop season runs through Sept. 25 in the waters north of the Pasco-Hernando county line (near Aripeka) to the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County.

You can land up to 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or 1 pint of scallop meat each day. Recreational scallopers may not possess more than 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in the shell or a half-gallon of meat aboard a boat. For regulations, go to

Florida sailors race in England

Nearly half of the 16-sailor U.S. team competing in England this month, the last major international competition before next year's Olympics, hail from Florida. The Weymouth and Portland International Regatta runs through Aug. 13 at the Portland National Sailing Academy in Weymouth, the venue for the 2012 Games.

Designed to be a dry run for Olympic competition, the regatta has drawn 460 sailors from 66 nations. The athletes representing the United States in the nine classes were selected at June's Sail for Gold regatta, the sixth event on the International Sailing Federation World Cup circuit.

The Florida sailors: Clearwater's Paige Railey in the Laser Radial (one-person dinghy); brother Zach Railey in the Finn (one-person dinghy heavy); St. Petersburg's Mark Mendelblatt and Miami's Brian Fatih in the Star (keelboat); Plantation's Brad Funk in the Laser Radial; Miami Beach's Elizabeth Kratzig Burnham in the Elliott 6-meter (three-person keelboat match racing); and Naples' Trevor Moore in the 49er (two-person dinghy high performance).

Information from US Sailing contributed to this report.

Trail Mix: Outdoors bits and bites 08/04/11 [Last modified: Thursday, August 4, 2011 8:12pm]
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