Youth Sailing Foundation IRC Shines at Spring Regatta

Holly Gandolfo, Cody Lanier, Brendan Williams, Nicholas Davidson, and coach Don
Reeser made a great showing for Youth Sailing Foundation of Indian River County at the
Treasure Coast 2016 Spring Regatta in Fort Pierce on May 22. Photo credit Charlie Pope.


FORT PIERCE – Steady hands were at the helm Sunday, as high school sailors from the Youth Sailing Foundation of Indian River County captured 1st and 2nd place wins in the 420 class at the Treasure Coast Sailing Foundation’s 2016 Spring Regatta in Fort Pierce.

Cody Lanier and crew Holly Gandolfo snagged the first place win, with Brendan Williams and crew Nicholas Davidson right behind them for the second. The high school crews competed against five other 420 class teams.

“Williams and Davidson won the first two races in better wind conditions very convincingly. When the wind went light, Lanier and Gandolfo showed off their light air skills and won several races,” said YSFIRC coach Don Reeser. “We had the right crews for both conditions and results reflected that.”

The win is Lanier’s second trophy this year, after placing third in a regatta in Jensen Beach. Lanier is a veteran YSFIRC sailor, coming onto the 420s for the first time this year after sailing in the Optimist class.

“It helped me to be a 420 sailor, especially in terms of general control of the boat as well as how the wind affects how you sail,” said Lanier. He also stressed the importance of the crew. “It’s necessary to have teamwork on the boat – working together in order to sail.”

Lanier and Gandolfo are Vero Beach High School students. Williams and Davidson are home school students.

YSFIRC was also represented in Optimist class competition by Sebastian Middle School student Alexander Maige, navigating the waters in a field that included ten other skippers.

“The Ft. Pierce Regatta was a big success today for YSF,” said Charlie Pope, founder and executive chairman of YSFIRC, who attended the regatta with his wife, Chris, also a YSFIRC board member.

The wins top off a great sailing season for YSFIRC, during which high school sailors honed their skills several days a week, and performed competitively at a number of regattas. High school sailors have the opportunity to continue their sailing practice over the summer during Friday sailing sessions, under Reeser’s coaching, from June into August.

YSFIRC also hosts its popular Summer Camp program, already filled to capacity, beginning June 13. Each week, for six weeks, 12 young sailors will take the helm and learn to sail in Optimist dinghies.

Youth Sailing Foundation of Indian River County is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering youth with life skills, confidence, decision making and more through the exciting sport of sailing. Through the generous support of donors and volunteers, YSFIRC provides sailing instruction free of charge during the school year to IRC students from 9 to 18 who can pass a swimming test.