The road to a coveted spot on The US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics is long and difficult. As any team member will tell you, however, it's well worth the effort. With any luck, some of the nearly 400 sailors who descended upon Island Heights, New Jersey this week will someday choose to follow that same path.
As a side note, this event was a truly impressive organizational effort on the part of IHYC. It's easy to focus on impressive fleet sizes (340 boats!) without thinking about how challenging it is for a club to stage this kind of event. Many clubs will attempt such an undertaking once every decade or so. Island Heights pulls it off every year.
Registration was smooth, quiet and stress free. There was plenty of rigging space and ramp/hoist availability. The harbor starts and first guns were precisely on time. Emergency plans were well rehearsed, and local police and rescue teams fully briefed. Even the pre-regatta pageantry was well done. All in all, regatta chair Buzz Reynolds and his staff of volunteers have formed one of the best problem-solving "SWAT" teams I've seen at a junior sailing event.
Clearly, there's a reason this event has grown to become one of the most popular junior regattas on the east coast. When you arrive, you simply know that you're in good hands.