Young sailors are competing for a spot to represent the United States. 68 sailors from far and near are gathering at the Erie Yacht Club for the 2020 nationals.
Rick Seibel, Chair of the Great Lakes Championship, “This is the OPTI Great Lakes Championship which is a national qualifier so what’s great about this, these kids the top twenty-five percent are going to get invitations to the national qualifier which will put them on the international stage to represent the states.”
Sailors will take part in three different fleet and compete at the same time. Races are roughly within a mile of the Erie Yacht Club break wails. Each course takes roughly forty-five minutes to an hour to complete.
These young sailors even take on the ropes and prepare their own sailboat for the championship.
Patricia McHugh, parent of a sailor from New Jersey says, “We had to drive up with the boat on the top of the car and just have to get everything rigged and ready for the kids being so young, they have to rig their own sails and it has to be done perfectly. It’s a big undertaking for them.”
Young sailors prepare for the event prior to getting on Lake Erie.
David Amatangelo, grandfather of a sailor tells us, “She was up at a class last week in Cleveland to get prepared and she was waxing the bottom of the boats the other day and getting everything ready so they know they’re in ship shape.”
The event also helps young sailors learn boat safety and water skills.