I want to start of this month’s missive by saying that our young athletes just don’t take a break! Since our last message, our High School team has been practicing almost every Tuesday and Friday and traveling to regattas throughout the southeast. If they aren’t traveling, you can find them sailing at the club on the weekends.

Our O’Pen Bic and Opti team has been practicing constantly with our great weather weekends we’ve been lucky enough to have. We attended the very first Doyle Development Team clinic in Charleston in late January to prepare for the St Petersburg Yacht Club Valentine’s Day Regatta. The Doyle Development Team is a new group being run by BCSB that offers elite training to the Optimist team made up of athletes from 5 clubs from Hilton Head through Wrightsville Beach. Coaches are brought in to provide clinics to this group as they prepare for national events.

After the DDT clinic, we traveled to the SPYC Valentine’s Day Regatta. We were greeted with beautiful conditions! Temperatures in the 70s and 15 knots Saturday and 8-10 knots Sunday. We had a great showing with Bella Duer finishing in Gold Fleet (out of 157 boats) 65 overall, 31 in Blue Fleet & 18thgirl. Lachlan Duer finished in Silver Fleet (out of 72 boats) 18 overall, 8thin White Fleet. Lachlan even took a 2ndin one race!

These two will be traveling with the Doyle Development Team representing BYSC to the Optimist Sunshine State Championship at the US Sailing Center Martin County where they will have one more chance to qualify for the 2019 US National Team Trials.

We have also had our first meeting preparing for the 2019 Spirit of America program. This premier program for boating safety and sailing, powerboating and paddle sports does not happen without a huge volunteer family. While we have many volunteers each week, we are still in need of someone to be our Sailing Coordinator and Power Coordinator. There are 4 weeks scheduled this year over spring break, the 1stweek of June, the 1stweek of July and the 2ndweek of August. Our other 4 coordinator spots have been taken, but we NEED the sail and power coordinator spots filled in order for the program to run efficiently. We are asking you if you are even remotely interested in spending some time on the water teaching Beaufort County middle school children about the joys of our natural resource, please contact us at beaufort@spiritofamerica95.org. Our water is our life blood in Beaufort and getting more children safely into all sports and activities on the water is our mission. Think back to how you got on the water the first time and the thrill it brought you. We need your help to pass that on to the next generation. If you have any questions about the program, please contact Chris or Tauri Duer.

Finally, we have had one more donation of an Opti Refurb! This $1,000 donation allows us to now bring 3 of our 10 Opti’s back to life and full racing form. We thank you for your help and are always accepting donations to finish the last 7 Opti’s. We also want to thank those of you who supported the West Marine Port Royal Christmas Fundraiser. Thanks to your help, West Marine was able to donate $750 to Beaufort Community Sailing and Boating in support of our educational programs.

The BCSB Board of Directors

Chris Duer, Chris Hoogenboom, Peter Gamble, David Dixon, Walt Gnann, Jeff Myers, Paul Keyserling, Gordon Sproul and John Roberts