The Sandpiper Worlds were held February 21-24 at the Useppa Yacht Club, Useppa Island, FL. Perfect weather for the regatta. Winds easterly turning southeast at 8-10 knots with tempts near 80 under sunny skies each day. (Editors Note: Ever wonder why the birds head south in the winter…don’t ask!) Nineteen Sandpipers with sailors from MA and NJ adding to the local fleet. The format was two races in the morning and one in the afternoon after lunch on the beach each race day. Six races were completed with one thrown out. Total of 80 people joined the festivities with an awards dinner on Saturday night at the historic Collier Inn on Useppa Island. There was even a special recognition for local sailor Paul Swigert for “discovering” a new knot – the Houdini Bowline. The knot that unties itself and releases your mooring float!!
The racing was close and competitive throughout and not settled until the last day when Kitty Kat, sailed by Gary Fretz and Nik Pro of the Useppa Yacht Club, sailed a perfect day with 3 bullets to capture the title by 4 points over first day leader George Francis, Metedeconk River Yacht Club NJ, sailing Black Pearl with his daughter Gillian, Third place was captured by Ed King, Useppa Yacht Club and Bay Head Yacht Club, NJ and Jim Cadranell, BHYC NJ, sailing Coot . Ed edged out defending “Worlds” champion Jim Gelenitis and Susan Rauf, Metedeconk River Yacht Club, by one point.
Place Boat Skipper
1 Kitty Kat Gary Fretz & Nik Pro
2 Black Pearl George & Gillian Francis
3 Coot Ed King & Jim Cadranell