Nearly 200 sailors competed in the annual Dutch Shoe Marathon Friday, beginning at the San Diego Yacht Club and finishing at the Coronado Yacht Club.
The 47th annual running of the regatta marks the longest distance race yet for most junior sailors.
Mission Bay Yacht Club’s Paige Tillson, 11, came in first followed by Siena Nichols of Balboa Yacht Club, who pulled close in the second half of the race. Caleb Everett of Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club finished third.
“It’s exciting, but I’m also really tired,” Tillson said of her win.
The race, which began at noon at La Playa Cove, was three hours long. Early on, sailors encountered ideal conditions with blue skies, sunshine and up to 12 knots of wind. Later though, the breeze kicked in and the current fought against the young sailors.
An army of coach boats rode along with the racers, assuring their safety.
“The first few boats got pretty far ahead and there was a lot of overlap between fleets really quickly … A long day like this can be a little much for some of the small sailors who were already exhausted and the tide was against us, but they all did really well,” San Diego Yacht Club Head Coach Molly Pleskus said.
Aside from the top awards, one good-natured sailor won the “First to Capsize” prize – Conrad Cook from Newport Harbor Yacht Club.
“We only had one capsize that didn’t keep sailing,” Pleskus said. It shows great spirit and a good level of character from all of our junior sailors that for the most part, everyone picked their boats back up and kept on sailing.”
– Staff reports
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