The seventh running of the Red Jacket Youth Sailing Regatta set sail from the Rockland Community Sailing’s pier Aug. 1 as more than 50 young sailors enjoyed several hours racing on the water.

The regatta, the largest to date, took place on the Rockland Harbor near the Breakwater Lighthouse.

The three-hour event enjoyed beautiful weather conditions, with blue skies, bright sunshine and temperatures near 70. The winds were southeast from 7 to 12 knots and mildly choppy waters, with occasional boat wake rolling through the course.

Fifty-two sailors from nine Maine sailing clubs participated in the race started by Rockland Community Sailing (formerly Atlantic Challenge) in 2003 to “foster the sportsmanship, teamwork, and sailing skills that racing develops in youth,” said KC Heyniger, waterfront programs director at RCS.

Rockland Community Sailing, Saint George Community Sailing, North Haven Casino, Camden Yacht Club, Northport Yacht Club, Stockton Harbor Sailing Center, Castine Yacht Club and Christmas Cove Improvement Association of South Bristol competed in the event.

“This is the largest Red Jacket Regatta to date with 52 sailors dodging and weaving through the race course near the Breakwater Lighthouse,” Heyniger said. “The racers bring such enthusiasm and we enjoy creating this fun venue on our awesome harbor for them.”

Sailors raced in single-person, eight-foot Optimist dinghies and two-person, 15-foot sloops called 420s. Each race lasted about 15 minutes and required sailors to utilize sailing and boat handling skills, while understanding how to best use the wind and weather to sail fast around the half-mile triangular courses.

The teams raced in “A” and “B” divisions in a rotation that allowed more sailors to race on fewer boats. “A” division sailors raced twice, then landed on a float and switched with “B” division sailors, who raced twice and then switched again with “A” division. This rotation continued throughout the regatta.

The top finishers by clubs in each division were:

Optimist “A” Division — 1, Rockport Boat Club; 2, North Haven Casino; and 3, Camden Yacht Club.

Optimist “B” Division — 1, North Haven Casino; 2, Stockton Springs; and 3, Rockport Boat Club.

420 “A” Division — 1, North Haven Casino; 2, Northport Yacht Club; and 3, Castine Yacht Club.

420 “B” Division — 1, North Haven Casino; 2, Christmas Cove Improvement Association; and 3, Camden Yacht Club.

Trophies for first-, second-, and third-place finishers were hand-made square rigger ships masts and sails modeled after the rigging on the famous Rockland-built clipper ship Red Jacket. Launched in 1853 next to what is now the Apprenticeshop pier, the 250-foot Red Jacket set sailing records that stand to this day and was widely known for its beautiful craftsmanship. The ship’s name was selected for the regatta to foster connections between today’s youth sailors and Maine’s rich sailing and boat-building heritage.

The coaches award is given to the young sailor whose ability to work well with the team, learn from their coaches, and put their knowledge to work stands out, Heyniger said. This years’ winner was Nadim El-Jaroudi, 15, of the Northport Yacht Club. El-Jaroudi normally races the two-person 420s. However, he voluntarily gave up his 420 spot and sailed the smaller one-person Optimist. This allowed another sailor to race and added an additional boat to the fleet.

“Nadim technically did not have to race in a different boat that is smaller and slower for someone with his ability and size,” said Collin Pope, RCS head instructor, who presented the award. “But he took the lead from coaches and made the choice to make the regatta better for everyone. Coaches enjoy seeing this character and maturity in athletes as much as their improving sailing skills.”

El-Jaroudi’s actions earned him a copy of “Maritime America” by Peter Neill, former president of South Street Seaport in New York. The coffee table photo book illustrates America’s rich maritime heritage with boats, art, and nautical artifacts photographed in collections from across the country.

The sportsmanship award is the highlight of the regatta. It is awarded to the sailor who exemplifies competition and excellent sportsmanship, Heyniger said. The trophy is an old wood rudder. The winner is given a hammer and metal punches and the sailor taps his/her name into a brass plate and screws it to the rudder. This unique ceremony reflects the “hand-on, can-do” philosophy of The Apprenticeshops’ history of inspiring personal growth through craftsmanship, community and the traditions of the sea.

This year’s sportsmanship award winner was Zach Cody, 8, of Saint George Community Sailing. Cody was extremely new to racing but this did not deter him from giving his all.  Even though his finishes were not at the front, he did not let this bother him and kept sailing with determination, enthusiasm and constant smiles, Heyniger said.

“For someone so young and so new to racing he did exceptionally well and never let his inexperience get in the way of going for it with gusto,” said Pope, who presented the award. “Cody’s great attitude, no matter what place he finished, should be an inspiration to athletes everywhere.”

The event’s participants were:

Rockland Community Sailing

Coaches — Collin Pope, Maya Fe Holzhauer and Mike Root.

Optimist sailors — Rory Polyblank and Laila Ferguson.

420 sailors — Luke Kuhn, Will Alexander, Cyrus Demmons and Jesse Hansen.

Camden Yacht Club

Coaches — Alexander Liam and Camille Conover.

Optimist sailors — Samatha Zwecker, Carly Berry, Ella Simon and Simon Morin.

420 sailors — Brooks Saltonstall, Rose Flanagan, Wyatt Smith and Evan Flanagan.

Christmas Cove Improvement Association

Coach — Christopher Clarke.

Optimist sailor — Grace Materne.

420 sailors — Curran Greenberg, Jack Lindblom, Max Lindblom, Helena Sorenson and Joseph Marino.

North Haven Casino (“Autobots”)

Coach — Connor Dow.

Optimist sailors — Sophia Schaefer and Felix Wolfrom.

420 sailors — Nick duPont, Sophie Kerr, Carrie Shaw and Johnny Lamont.

Northport Yacht Club

Coach  — Steve Kaziuonis and Angela Cassidy.

Optimist sailors — Nadin El-Jaroudi.

420 sailors — Connor Cassidy, Jake Kelly, Charlie Kelly, Hannah Homans, Philip Smit and Erik Ekberg.

Saint George Community Sailing

Coaches — Peter Anderson, Will Gibney and Blair Southworth.

Optimist sailors — Chase Flaherty and Zach Cody.

420 sailors — Jack Hupper and Elizabeth Hupper.

Castine Yacht Club

Coach — Doug Lyman.

Optimist sailors — Apple Lieser and Ella Kitterman.

420 sailors — Parker Lyman, Madeline Parish, Scott Pedersen and Liza Morgioni.

Stockton Harbor Sailing Center

Coaches — Steve Jancarek and Betsy Bradley.

Optimist sailors — Garrett Smith.

420 sailors — Christopher Jancarek, Robert LaRosa, William Nichols and Kyle Nichols.

Rockport Boat Club

Coaches — Alistair Phaup, Paige Kooyenga and Nick White.

Optimists sailors — None

420 sailors — Parker Lawson, Thatcher Chamberlin, Braden Nolan and Aidan Gordon.

Heyniger thanked Art Tibbetts Marine Contractor for its continued sponsorship, BFLI/Joe and Kim Kuhn for providing refreshments, Rockland Yacht Club volunteers for running the race committee aboard Steve Pierce’s Hunter 41 sailboat Spirits, the apprentices at the Apprentice Shop, race organizers John and Susan Root, Jon Kuhl, David Jones, Maya Fe Holzhauer, Steve Pierce, Roy Davis, Ed Neising, Andy Sulieve, Adam Yanchunis, Pat Dilalla, Jeff Cashman, Kyle Swan, Jim Cuthbertson, Tom and Suzanne Wright, Wes Todd, all clubs and volunteers assisting with the regatta and M/V Monhegan, which loaned its mooring to tie up the floats for the racers.

For more information about the regatta, contact KC Heyniger of Rockland Community Sailing at 570-8184 or e-mail

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