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July 28, 1999

For further info contact:
Greg Wilkinson, SBYC Event Coordinator
SBYC: 978-546-6240 H: 978-546-3164

Lisa Martin, Press Relations
W: 978-768-3264 H: 978-546-9580

Event Web Site:

Media Press Boat Passes Upon Request

USA Junior Olympic Sailing



Rockport, MA - (28 July, 1999) - Up to 350 young "Olympic hopeful" sailors, ages 8-18, will flock from New England and other points in the U.S. to Granite Pier and the Sandy Bay Yacht Club (www. sandybay. org) in Rockport, Mass. on August 17, 18 & 19 to take part in a three day, action-packed USA Junior Olympic Sailing Regatta being hosted for the first time by Rockport's Sandy Bay Yacht Club Sailing Program. The event, involving several hundred visiting boats, awards ceremonies, special events and multiple races is the Mass Bay Junior Championships, and one of the largest events of its type for young sailors in the State. Over 100 local youths from Gloucester, Manchester and Rockport are expected to compete in the four classes being sailed - Laser, Laser Radial, Club 420 and Optimist.

Sailors and their vessels will arrive Monday afternoon August 16 at Rockport's Granite Pier, with the first round of 10 total races to start at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, August 17. Races continue beginning 10:30 am on both Wednesday and Thursday. Action will be non-stop as racers compete in four different age and skill-levels in the four boat classes. Get out your cameras: simultaneous races involving dozens of boats will be running in three areas: just off Front Beach, in the middle of Sandy Bay, and just outside Sandy Bay to the north or south. Good vantage points for viewing will be off the end of Bearskin Neck, Front and Back Beach, Granite Pier, The Headlands Park, Old Garden Beach, and Andrews Point if races are run to the north. The Coast Guard will be on hand with its 41 foot Cutter to guide recreational boaters around the races, and to assure the highest levels of water safety.

Special tents will be set up for the sailors at Granite Pier, which is the official Regatta Headquarters. Nightly functions will be held at the Rockport Golf Club for the youths, there will be a Parents' Reception at the Yacht Club Tuesday night, and an Awards Ceremony is scheduled for 2:30 pm Thursday afternoon at Granite Pier, with over 60 trophies. Jr. Sailing Chair of the Mass Bay Sailing Association, Peter Bent of Gloucester was instrumental in bringing the Championship Regatta to Sandy Bay. He and race organizer Greg Wilkinson of the Sandy Bay Yacht Club Sailing Program have been working closely with the Coast Guard, Massachusetts Environmental Police, Harbormasters, Rockport Police Department and the community to assure that all will enjoy the Regatta. Wilkinson notes "This is an amazing event that the kids really benefit from, and we plan to make it a win-win for the Rockport community and all the visiting racers and their families."

Local corporate and private sponsors are being sought to support trophies, lunches and refreshments, and volunteers are needed as well to continue the organization of facilities at Granite Pier and to help during the event. While the Mass Bay Sailing Association is the primary sponsor along with support from U.S. Sailing, the regatta event is presented by national sponsor West Marine, and a BankBoston sportsmanship trophy will be given to a young sailor who demonstrates outstanding sportsmanship qualities.

The USA Junior Olympic Sailing is a grass-roots youth development program the defines a path for youngsters to become involved in sailing and develop their skills through events nationwide with a goal of making sailing a life-long sport. The United States Olympic Committee Junior Olympic Program involves more than 3,500,000 participants in over 20 sports annually. The event in Rockport brings together young sailors from the over 40 yacht clubs that are in the Mass. Bay Sailing Association, plus racers other from places up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

Local racers are reminded that registrations are due by August 1. Persons wishing to volunteer, or to become sponsors can contact Greg Wilkinson at the Sandy Bay Yacht Club, 978-546-6240 (

Media wishing more information, or planning to cover the event by land, sea or air should coordinate press passes and coverage opportunities with Lisa Martin at 987-768-3264 ( Press boats will be available daily at harbor start times one hour before races begin, or by request.

More information on the U.S.A. Junior Olympic Sailing Festivals can be obtained from U.S. Sailing by contacting Lee Parks, Inshore Director, at 401-683-0800 or


Sandy Bay Yacht Club, P.O. Box 37, 5 T Wharf, Rockport, MA 01966 USA
(978)546-9433 Clubhouse, (978)546-6240 Office

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