Sunfish Sailboat World Championships headed to area

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Camp Sea Gull, Camp Seafarer to host both youth and adult competitions

A young sailor practices in a Sunfish off the Neuse River shoreline of Camp Sea Gull.

A young sailor practices in a Sunfish off the Neuse River shoreline of Camp Sea Gull.

By Brandon Blackman | Special to the County Compass

ARAPAHOE – The world’s top sailors will compete in the Neuse River, off the shoreline of Camp Sea Gull, October 8 through 18 as part of the 2014 Sunfish World and Youth World Championships.

The two events combined will welcome approximately 120 sailors from all over the world, along with their families, coaches, support crew and volunteers. Competitors in the World Championship earned berths through their home country’s qualifying regattas. The Youth World Championship is open to qualified sailors under the age of 19.

“We’re excited to host this premier event at Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer,” said John Hyde, Executive Director of Camp Sea Gull. “Our five-mile stretch of open water on the Neuse River, along with our facilities and team of dedicated volunteers makes this the perfect venue for a world class event.”


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Founded in 1948 and 1961, respectively, Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer have a long history of teaching sailing and seamanship skills to young people. The Sunfish is the world’s most popular recreational sailboat, and a favorite vessel for Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer because of its appeal to sailors of all ages and skills.

NEWS1-Top-right-corner-front-pageThe Sunfish was designed in 1951, and the Sunfish World Championship has been a prestigious competition since 1970. Today, the International Sunfish Class sanctions more than 1,000 events each year.

Nationally certified race officer, Hal Smith of Easley, S.C. will serve as the Principle Race Officer for the event. Smith led a well-organized race management team during the 2012 USODA Southeast Opti Championship hosted by Camp Sea Gull and Camp Seafarer. More than 120 youth sailors ages 7-15 competed in the event.

Warren Nethercote will serve as Head Judge. Nethercote is an International Judge from Nova Scotia, Canada who has judged three previous Sunfish World Championships.

Ann and John Crehore will serve as co-chairs of land logistics and volunteer management for the event. The Crehore’s served in this role at the 2012 Southeast Opti Championship.

The Youth World Championship is open to sailors willing to submit a resume for consideration. Resumes will be reviewed by a Sunfish Class Representative and must show evidence of participation in Sunfish or dinghy sailing in the two years prior to the event. Those interested in applying for the Youth World Championship should visit www.seagull-seafarer.org for details.

In an intriguing new wrinkle to this year’s Sunfish Championships, Paul Welles of Oriental-based Triton Yachts confirmed this week that a division of his company will furnish regatta organizers with 72 identical Sunfish sailboats. And, as competitors drop their sails upon conclusion of the championships, the boats will then be sold in rapid-fire fashion to Triton customers who are already placing orders at www.sunfishlaser.com.

For more information, call Welles at (252) 249-2001.

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