2023 Eastern District Regatta at Noroton Yacht Club
On June 29th, Noroton Yacht Club hosted the 2023 JSA Eastern District Regatta for Club 420 boats. Noroton hosts this annual regatta for junior sailors from programs in Connecticut on the same day as Norwalk Yacht Club hosts a similar regatta for the ILCA (Laser) class boats.
The day started out like many Long Island Sound summer days, warm and humid, with very little breeze. Regatta chairperson Casey Hart was hopeful the wind was going to fill in quickly, but worried it might taper off after lunch. Two competitors from Pequot YC, Grace Kinney and Campbell Thomas shared, “We’re excited to get started this morning, but concerned because of the light breeze.”
The committee worked hard to get the racers registered and get the coach and competitor meetings started. The regatta featured five different clubs with a total of 21 boats in the fleet. Casey said, “The number of C420 boats registered has increased, compared to past years.” A few different committee members and principal race officer John Bainton were happy to see that more racers registered this year and have been repeatedly coming to this regatta each year. During the competitors meeting, John asked for a general poll of the ages of the racers. With the results of the quick poll, John said, “It shows we are getting more and more sailors who are continuing to sail competitively, and moving up in age groups each year.”
In talking with one of the Cedar Point Yacht Club competitors, Sydney Lombard, she said, “My teammate and I just got back from the Club 420 New England Champs and are excited to get back into another race here in the Long Island Sound.” With their coach and other teammates, they were busy discussing some light air tactics in order for them to try in today’s regatta. They have been recently practicing these tactics during their junior sailing program at CPYC.
Eastern Districts is a great place for sailors to experience racing against other clubs early in the summer. Alec Basilion, sailing director at Noroton, said that their sailors were fairly new to racing in Club 420s, and he was happy they were able to participate here at their own club for their first race. Eastern Districts is a qualifying event for the JSA 2023 Club 420 Championship, and it also seems to be a good regatta for new competitors to get some experience in racing.
After the meetings were completed each racing team went back to their boat and started finishing up rigging, and getting the boat into the water. Many boats had to tack out of the harbor because of the light breeze coming right off their bow.
The race committee was hoping to get in at least three short races before lunch, in case the wind died down again. They were successful in completing five races for the day. View the Eastern District Club 420 results here.