Local teen sailor, Perham Black, a rising senior on the San Juan Island Youth Sailing Team won the Bellingham Youth Regatta sailing regatta held on Saturday, August 5, and Sunday, August 6, 2017.
Twenty-five sailors participated in the Laser Radial division, competing in heavy wind and chop on Saturday. An incoming tide, shallow depths, and steady southerly churned up 2 to 5-foot waves, presenting a formidable course. At around 5:30 p.m., and after four hours of hard sailing, the wind started to taper off and the sailors went to shore for a well-deserved lasagna dinner, provided by the Bellingham Yacht Club. The conditions were much lighter on Sunday, with no waves and a southerly breeze of just a few knots. Sailors came from Bellingham, Tacoma, Poulsbo, Seattle, Olympia, Bainbridge Island, Orcas Island, and San Juan Island. Perham amassed 13 points in eight races, besting AnaLucia Clarkson, his nearest competitor by 6 points, and Kitt Stoll, by 13 points. Clarkson and Stoll both sail for the Seattle Yacht Club. Local Sailor Maggie Toombs of Orcas Island took 8th Place in the regatta, with 62 points. Ronan Rankin and Emma Freedman, a skipper-crew combo from Orcas Island competed well in the FJ division, collecting 31 points and just missing third place by one point. Leah Black and Addi Kessler, sharing the skipper and crew jobs, also competed in the FJ division on Sunday.
The San Juan Island Sailing Foundation sponsors and supports the Island’s youth sailing team, which is typically around 15 sailors. The team can be seen practicing off Jackson’s Beach on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Spring. The San Juan Island Sailing Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance sailing in the San Juan Islands. The Foundation’s primary focus is to provide sailboats and coaching for the SJI Youth Sailing Team and funds participation in regional regattas. The Foundation also provides boats, equipment, and volunteers to support San Juan Island Parks & Recreation’s Summer sailing classes for beginning and intermediate sailors of all ages. The Foundation has also had youth sailors from Shaw Island on the sailing team and collaborates with the Orcas High School Sailing Team.