SailStrong Red (JC Hermus, Thomas Rice, Gray Benson, Maddie Hawkins, and Clayton Johnson) bested 20 other team to win the Lauderdale Yacht Club Optimist Team Race Championship. They had a tough first day, losing a few more races than they had hoped, and were sitting in 7th after 2 1/2 qualifying rounds, tied with SailStrong Blue. On Sunday they came together as a team and went on to win every race in the following 1 1/2 rounds before the finals. This put them in first on points, just one ahead of Coral Reef YC 2 and gave them a pass through to the finals. The next four teams would face off to get to the finals.
SailStrong Blue (Madeleine Rice, Michelle Lahrkamp, Jordan Bruce, Sam Bruce, and Walter Henry) had similar struggles on Saturday to the Red team, though they didn’t make their Red teammates too happy when Blue beat Red, the more experienced team. Red got revenge on Sunday though, giving Blue their only loss before the Top 5 eliminations. Blue came up against eventual second place finisher Coral Reef 2 in the Quarter Finals and lost the best of two series 2-0 and ended up 5th overall after losing a close race to Coral Reef 3 in the 4/5 deciding race. They showed great potential and came together as a team for the first time at this event.
SailStrong White (Alex Ellis, Nick Chisari, Torrey Chisari, and Jack Farrell) had a much less experienced squad but learned a ton at this event. They finished 13th of the 20 Teams, but are looking forward to improving their result at Team Race Midwinters in January.