Did you get the chance to see all of the sailing at the club Sept. 12 and 13?

With almost every regatta in SAYRA canceled this year, we were searching for ways to get some juniors on the water safely and healthily.

With a few months of research and plenty of conversation with sailors at other clubs who attempted to hold events, we came up with a way to make it happen … and happen it did!

Embracing ‘Pluff Mud’

Three years ago, as a way to get the BYSC back on the SAYRA Jr. Grand Prix circuit, the Duer family kicked around some ideas and took into account what people love about Beaufort and what they shy away from. Biggest complaint? Launching in pluff mud.

So, what do we do? Embrace it! Enter the Pluff Mud Championship. A September event means the best chance of great breeze and cooler temperatures. So far each year we’ve dodged hurricanes, tropical storms, and now a pandemic.

But we’ve grown from 28 competitors the 1st year to 64 competitors last year and a record 74 competitors in 2020! In the last two years, our little Pluff Mud event has been the largest juniors event in the entire SAYRA district. And we are poised to grow next year!

Invitation Only

Because of Covid-19 concerns, we decided the 2020 event should be invitation only. We invited eight clubs from the region to sail in both the Optimist and Laser (Radial & 4.7) classes. In total, 50 Optimists sailed on their own course while 24 Lasers, split evenly between 4.7 and Radials, sailed on their own course. Each course ran 12 races per division during the two days — and the Beaufort weather again gave us a solid breeze, sunny skies, and moderate temperatures.

The racing was extremely competitive and a couple of classes ended in tiebreakers. For days after the event, we received emails, text messages and a huge social media impact lauding the event as well run, competitive, and hospitable.

Credit to Volunteers, Staff

We credit our success to more than two dozen volunteers and staff, who anticipated everyone’s needs and put things into action. So thank you to all of our BYSC and BCSB volunteers and staff for an incredible event amid a pandemic! (Who would have ever imagined we would write that?)

We are looking forward to 2021 when we can invite all of our friends from the East Coast in an open event. Thank you to the invited clubs: BYSC, Salty Dogs Youth Sailing, South Carolina YC, Carolina YC-SC, Carolina YC-NC, Hobaw YC, Augusta SC, and James Island YC.

Kudos to our club!

Chris Duer
Pluff Mud Championship, Regatta Chair