Young sailors from around the globe are preparing to travel to South Florida for the Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta (OBIYR).This event, from Dec. 26 to 30 on Biscayne Bay, is the largest youth regatta in the U.S. and a boon to the South Florida economy.
One of the largest dinghy regattas for sailors ages 8- 18 in the world, the OBIYR will take place at the Coral Reef Yacht Club (CRYC) in Coconut Grove, with support from the U.S. Sailing Center Miami, Lauderdale Yacht Club, Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and Shake-A-Leg Miami. This year’s event boasts 689 competitors from 27 states and 23 countries — the farthest being the Czech Republic.
“The Coral Reef Yacht Club is proud to be involved in this premier event, which provides up-and-coming sailors with an opportunity to race competitively and become more active within the sailing community,” said OBIYG chair Henry Chau. “Besides the excitement of the regatta, more than half of the sailors and their families come from outside of South Florida and spend an average of five to six nights here, which helps support our local economy in the form of hotel nights, food, transportation, and retail sales.”
The four days of competition feature several types of vessels: Optimists, Lasers (Full, Radial, and 4.7), and Club 420s. This year’s regatta already has reached its cap in both the Optimist and Laser categories, and fleets are being put on a wait list.
Platinum sponsors for the event include: the Orange Bowl Committee, McLaughlin, Sperry Top-Sider, and KO Sailing.
Awards are distributed to the top sailors in each vessel category by government officials, Orange Bowl Committee leaders and Olympians including Magnus Liljedahl, a former U.S gold medalist who will be presenting this year’s Magnus Liljedahl Sportsmanship Award. In addition, this year’s top local Opti sailor will be presented with a trophy sponsored by the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District.
Staging for the four day regatta will take place at several locations including the CRYC, Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, U.S. Sailing Center Miami, and Shake-A-Leg Miami. For more information or a daily schedule of events, visit www.coralreefyachtclub.org or call 305-781-5177.