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Local waters see tons of action this month

Sailing activity abounds around Tampa Bay during November before slowing down before the holiday season.

The annual Carlisle Cup was sailed from the Clearwater Community Sailing Center. The Carlisle family was one of the earliest promoters of the now-thriving center.

The Access Dinghy fleet was led by Vincent Daddio and crew Tommy Timbery while the Hobie 16 novice fleet sailed on Clearwater bay with Josh and Ricardo Seidner leading.

The Daysailor winner was Dede and crew Dean Plessner, while the Sunfish were led by Paula Shur of the Windlasses.

Hayden Grant won among kids in Optimist Dinghies with Amy Gamache leading the Green fleet for new sailors.

Casey Bowles with crew Sara Smoot was the C420 champ and Emily Billing won the Laser Radial fleet. Boats without enough representatives to make up a class were lumped together with handicap times applied. The Yngling of David Morrow and Jerry Smith prevailed.

Meanwhile, out in the gulf, the catamarans were enjoying short, steep waves and decent wind. Robbie Daniel and Tina Pastoor sailed their Capricorn to the top of the Formula 18 class, as did Mike Wilson and Kirk Van Zandt in the I20 class. The largest group was the Hobie 16 with 14 boats, led by Evan Miller and Nick Jernigan. The Open fleet had Bob Curry on a Nacra 17 just nipping Woody Cope on his A-Cat.

EGMONT KEY RACE: One of the few remaining distance races each year starts from Davis Island Yacht Club and sails to the Southwest Pass buoy "G3" and back.

This year the wind filled in at about 5 knots on the way down and increased to as much as 10 on the return. Tidal current was a major factor. Most boats finished by midnight.

The Morgan 25 Odyssey, sailed by the experienced crew of Grover Griffen, sailed alone toward the St. Petersburg side of the bay after clearing MacDill point. It was a gamble that paid off, as his slowest-rated boat led the 24-boat fleet for hours. Griffen usually sails at the top of the Non-Spinnaker fleet. But finding that there was only one boat in that class, he went home and collected the spinnaker gear and one extra crew member to enter Spinnaker B. Only Danger Zone, a much faster boat, beat the little boat's corrected time, winning the Spinnaker A fleet.

THANKSGIVING REGATTA: Among the longest-running small boat regattas in the area, the Davis Island turkey day event drew 64 small boats to upper Hillsborough Bay.

Zack Marks of St. Petersburg Yacht won the Laser racing while Emily Billing of Clearwater Yacht Club topped the Radial fleet and Cam Hall of St. Petersburg the Laser 4.7 group.

The C420 fleet winner was Zeke Horowitz. A strong Lightning fleet saw former world champ Jeff Linton of the local club prevail. David Clemment won the Flying Scott class with Pat Crump leading the Handicap fleet on his Fireball.

The Optimist Dinghy fleet winners were Michael Popp in Red Fleet, Courtney Lihan in Blue, Luke Muller in White and Marcus Darcy in Green.

FLYING SCOTT: The Florida District event at Sarasota Sailing Squadron was won convincingly by Jeff and Amy Linton.

SUNFISH: The Regional Sunfish champion was a busy Jeff Linton, followed by Joe Blouin, also of Davis Island YC.

SNIPE: The Florida State champ was David Mendelblatt with crew Trudy Bixby. Colin and Karen Park were vying for the title when Karen fell ill and they missed a race.

FALL BAY RACE: St. Petersburg Yacht Club's annual fall keelboat racing enjoyed sparkling northeast breezes of around 10 knots. Saturday's racing for the 28 boats was around buoys, while one race of 20 miles around government buoys was staged Sunday.

Results: Spinnaker A, Time Bandit, J/35, George Haynie; Spinnaker B, Orangatan, J/105, Bob Glaser; Spinnaker C, Air Hammer, Wavelength 24, Don Fretz; Non Spinnaker, Lucky Ducky, Hal Palmer; Cruising, Sonya Cate, Catalina 30, Donald Miller.