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Orange Bowl Regatta

Dear Newport Harbor Sailing Foundation,

I am just back from the Orange Bowl Regatta at the Coral Reef Yacht Club. I am so appreciative of the Foundation's support, because I could not participate in this kind of an event without this assistance.

My crew Nathan Sih and I are working hard in the C420, and have improved our results dramatically since our first regattas this past summer. At the Orange Bowl, we took the podium with a 5th out of 80 boats and raced in everything from 20 to 5mph winds.

Please find my regatta report attached to this email, as well as some photos.

Next is the Perry #3, Midwinters in Jensen Beach, Florida, culminating in the C420 North Americans at St. Francis in July.

Again, thank you for helping me out, as these regattas are creating lifelong memories and friendships, and honing my skills in this sport I love so much.

Thank you,

Morgan Pinckney


Regatta Report

This winter break I competed in the Orange Bowl. This event was held out of Coral Reef Yacht Club in Biscayne Bay. It was a four-day event. I competed in the C420 class, which consisted of 80 boats.

My crew Nathan Sih and I arrived in Florida, two days early, to practice with our team, LISOT. The practice days were windy. We had a great time and refined main trim, rudder use, toggling and centerboard height.

On day one of the regatta I went to the breakfast buffet and made myself waffles and hard-boiled eggs. My dad did not like that I put whipped cream on my waffles, and he told me to eat like my coach, Udi, would eat. Udi is a very intense coach who makes sure every small logistic is perfect, and if I had to guess he would probably be eating raw eggs for breakfast. Just after I finished eating waffles, Udi arrived. Nathan, Dad, and I were all watching to see what he ate for breakfast. He one-upped me: he made waffles with Nutella and whipped cream. I asked Udi why he had no protein for breakfast, to which he responded, "I am a coach, not a nutritionist." We all laughed.

We arrived at the boat park at 8 a.m. and started rigging. It was just like the regattas this past summer on the East Coast. Everybody was in one small boat park rigging right next to each other. There was some pretty solid wind at about 15-20 knots. Our starts were not superb, but our boat speed made up for it. I also made mistakes like over standing the mark and fouling, but we still finished second for the day, with a 3, 1, 4. I was very happy with our results.

The next morning started the same way; I ate my waffles and arrived at 8 am. Day two was about as windy. It was also a very long day. We did four races. We had a tougher day. We started terribly, went the wrong way every race, and got the jib sheet caught around the spin pole during the first start. We finished the day with a 17, 8, 4, 7. We were in 6th at the end of the day and I was fine with that finish.

By day three, I had my morning routine of eating waffles and rigging at 8 am. It was the biggest day of the regatta, and the wind had dropped to five knots (Newport light). We could not afford another deep race because we already had one deep race and there was only one throw out. Our goal for the day was all top five finishes so we could possibly win the regatta on day four. We barely missed our goal and finished with a 5, 7, 3. We moved up to 5th and were in a position to win the regatta.

The final day of the regatta was nerve racking. We needed all top five finishes. Long story short... we farmed it. Our starts, boat speed, and tactics were not where they needed to be to win the regatta. It was just small decisions that separated us from those top five finishes. We ended up getting a 25, 15, and we narrowly held on to fifth. Nathan and I were very happy with our finish, even though we had a tough last day.

Overall, this regatta was one of the best regattas of my life. I learned a ton from my coaches Nick Chisari and Udi Gal. As an 8th grader, I was perhaps the youngest helmsman racing, while my other counterparts on the podium were Juniors and Seniors in high school. Most importantly, I made memories that will last a lifetime. Nathan and I are now turning our attention to training for the final two Perry events here in Southern California, Midwinters East in Jensen Beach, Florida, and the North Americans at St. Francis in summer. Thank you to the Newport Harbor Sailing Foundation for its support.