2009-07-30 / News

150 young sailors compete for national title in racing dinghies

Sailors head out in fog Wednesday morning in Dutch Harbor for the third and final day of racing in the 420 National Championship. Photos by Jeff McDonough Sailors head out in fog Wednesday morning in Dutch Harbor for the third and final day of racing in the 420 National Championship. Photos by Jeff McDonough Jamestown this week is the site of the 420 National Championship regatta at Fort Getty.

Dr. Rob Salk, a Jamestown resident who is also president of the National 420 Association, said 153 two-man boats are competing in the event.

“The weather has been challenging,” Dr. Salk said Wednesday morning as the young sailors prepared for their third and final day of racing.

The sailboat racing is done in the West Passage of Narragansett Bay. The sailors are divided into three groups. Those groups change daily, so by the end of the regatta, all of the sailors will have raced against each other, Salk said.

Salk said the sailors “had a lot of breeze” on Monday. On Tuesday, he said, “persistent fog” over the race course hindered visibility.

Wednesday was the final day of racing in the 420 National Championship. At left, sailors prepared their boats on shore for racing. Above, skippers and crews launch their dinghies. At right, boats head toward the race course in West Passage. Wednesday was the final day of racing in the 420 National Championship. At left, sailors prepared their boats on shore for racing. Above, skippers and crews launch their dinghies. At right, boats head toward the race course in West Passage. The young sailors, who are mostly high school-age youth, completed three races on Monday and two races on Tuesday.

Salk said the race committee hoped to finish four additional races on Wednesday to wrap up the regatta.

Salk said that at least one local sailor was in the top 20 finishers of the regatta as of Wednesday morning.

The event was hosted by the Jamestown Yacht Club and the Conanicut Yacht Club. More than 100 local volunteers helped put on the regatta, doing everything from serving on the race committee to other on-water duties, and overseeing shoreside concerns, such as parking.

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