Balboa Yacht Club Maritime Sciences and Seamanship Foundation, thank you so much for your support, and for allowing me the privilege of traveling to Miami, Florida for this year’s Orange Bowl Regatta in the ILCA 4.7. By participating in this event, I was able to gain experience in a variety of wind conditions, along with improving and broadening my scope of big fleet racing in the ILCA. The week before the regatta, I participated in a four-day clinic through Key Biscayne Yacht Club to help immerse myself in the vast local knowledge of Biscayne Bay. During each of the clinic days, new conditions emerged, with some days being light and steady from the North while others were puffy, stormy, and shifty from the West. Overall, the clinic was a huge help to me in understanding numerous aspects of the bay including Miami weather patterns, currents, along with becoming more in tune with my controls and boat speed over shallower and choppier waters.

On the morning of the regatta, our team arrived at the busy Shake a Leg boat park, which was filled with sailors eager to get onto the racecourse. The wind that day was forecasted to be 12 knots, clocking right, and slowly shutting off. However, after reaching the racecourse, the wind was extremely shifty, leading to a two-hour postponement until the wind steadied. My first start that day wasn’t ideal, as I started in the middle without a clear lane, leaving me shot out and looking for options, resulting in a midfleet finish. With the wind rapidly decreasing, the race committee chose to abandon the racing for the rest of day, resulting in each fleet only getting in one race. Fortunately, the wind conditions improved for the second and third days of the regatta, bringing a steady breeze of around 14-16 knots each day, testing both endurance and mental strength. Both days went well for me, as I learned that the amount of work you put into keeping the boat flat directly corelates to the result you get out of it. Sadly, on the last day the wind shut off, leading to a postponement and then an abandonment of all races, which secured my finish of 20 th out of 50 boats. As I look towards the future, I realize that this is just the beginning of my big fleet regattas, and after learning a variety of new lessons, I am excited to see what else I can achieve in the ILCA. Attending this year’s Orange Bowl was a huge privilege, and without the support from the foundation it wouldn’t be possible, so thank you so much!