USVI sailors impress in Miami regatta


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U.S. Virgin Islands sailors came way with a haul of six trophies during the recent Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta in Miami, Fla.

More than 700 boats, 23 countries and 27 states were represented at the event, the largest youth regatta in the nation. It was held Dec. 26-30 on Biscayne Bay.

The territory sent 14 sailors - 13 from the St. Thomas Yacht Club - to the event, and they won races in the Laser, 420 and Optimist divisions.

In the Laser class, Paige Clarke displayed the right stuff, placing fourth among 29 racers; Scott McKenzie won a race and finished sixth out of 29; and Colin Brego won a race and took 10th among 127 racers.

In the 420 division, Thomas Walden (and William Hundahl of Pleon/Eastern Yacht Club) won a race and finished 10th out of the 103 teams; Taylor Ladd and Amanda Engeman was 21st out of 103; Nicholas Gartner and Graceann Nicolosi placed 31st; and Ryan Hunter (and Olivia Gonzalez of Coral Reef Yacht Club) captured the 77th spot among 103.

In the Optimist division, Teddy Nicolosi won two races and placed sixth out of 240 competitors, and he finished sixth in the Red Fleet; Mia Nicolosi also impressed, taking the 57th spot among 240 racers and finishing first in the White Fleet; Julian van den Driessche finished 93rd out of 240 racers; Robert Hunter took the 106th spot; and Mateo Di Blasi placed 119th out of 240.

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