Miami, Florida, March 16-18, 2018– Twenty-three 29er teams raced the 29er Midwinters East Regatta, hosted by the US Sailing Center Miami, last weekend. Even with the pressure of this selection event, the 29er fleet was able to switch off and enjoy the warm, dry mornings under AP socializing with one another and making new friends. US Girls team Berta Puig and Bella Casaretto (Miami, FL) earned the regatta win easily, winning 5 of 10 races.
This three-day, 10 race series was a showdown of light air skills and strategic execution with wind in the 5-10 knot range. PRO Carol Ewing and her team did a super job with square courses and minimal down-time on the water. They also minimized general recalls by recording 21 OCS or BFD scores.
Charlie Hibben and Nicholas Hardy, from Massachusetts, scored a 2, 1, 2 in the last 3 races to eke out 2nd overall. Hibben and Hardy were lying 3rd for most of the regatta as various other teams challenged them. Ripley Shelley and Severin Gramm (3rd overall) were in contention to win the regatta after they won the 8th race but couldn’t find top gear in the final races. The Californian teams of David Eastwood and Sam Merson and the Joslin brothers also looked strong at different times but could only manage 5th and 9th overall respectively.
The Canadian and Caribbean sailors added the MWE to their spring break training camps and were well represented. The Virgin Island’s Youth Worlds Team of Taylor Hasson/Steven Hardee, and Lucy and Kate Klempen was there along with another team from the Virgin Islands, and the Canadians were there in force, fully a third of the fleet. Canada’s Audrey Staples and Caterine Krikorian-Kunz brought their A-game to this event, finishing 7th.
The North American fleet is growing steadily, and it is exciting to see top representation and skills from our core 29er regions like Florida, New England and California. The next event on the 29er schedule is the Midwinters West, this coming weekend in San Diego.
Top 5 finishers
- Berta Puig & Bella Casaretto (FL) 24 pts.
2. Charlie Hibben & Nick Hardy ( MA) 38 pts.
3. Ripley Shelley & Severin Gramm (FL) 45 pts
4. Brooke Sachoy & Jana Laurendeau (MA) 49 pts.
5. Ryan Eastwood & Sam Merson (CA) 52 pts.