Home News Local sports STEFAN HEBERT TAKES TOP HONORS IN MLK REGATTA

STEFAN HEBERT TAKES TOP HONORS IN MLK REGATTA

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Jan. 20, 2003 – The wind was the word of the weekend at the Martin Luther King Optimist Regatta for junior sailors hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club. Blustery gusts for Sunday morning's start of racing gave way to ultralight conditions in the afternoon, and Monday saw in-between states from propelling breezes to near dead calm.
This soup-to-nuts situation didn't daunt overall winner Stefan Hebert. "Light, heavy, it doesn't really matter to me," said the 12-year-old, who blitzed the advanced fleet to become the overall winner with a near-perfect string of first-place bullets.
Fourteen junior sailors from St. Thomas and St. John competed, in three advanced fleets — White (10 years and under), Blue (11-12 years) and Red (13-15 years) — and the beginner Green fleet.
Olin Davis, who placed second in the White fleet behind Tyler Rice, said afterward: "It was hard with the wind that way. I'd win one race and lose the next."
Mayumi "Mimi" Roller, who finished second to Stefan in the Blue fleet, commented: "I just kept watching my sail. And I kept looking across the water for any puffs of breeze that were coming."
Mimi's brother, Hugo, was the Red fleet winner despite an up-and-down showing. On the first day he struggled in last place after being flipped by a burst of wind. On Day 2, he led the pack many times. "The light air is hard," he said.
The Green fleet sailors saw racing just as tight as that of the more experienced fleets. In fact, the fight for first was razor close. Max Nickbarg, 8, from St. John, led on Sunday with Ian Barrows, 8, a close second. On Monday, the two traded slots but eventually tied in total points.
Counting the number of firsts and seconds as a tiebreaker, they were still even. Going by the next step in the rules and regs, looking at who won the last race of the event, gave Max the top spot.
The rest of the Green fleet also finished close in the scoring, although it was the first full-fledged regatta for many of them.
"It went from too windy to just right to nothing. Stop." said Francie Lenahan, who had been very nervous at the onset of the regatta but ended up completing all 10 races in her series.
In the end, it was having fun that made everyone a winner for the weekend. "I like sailing because it's fun and I can be with my friends," Mimi said.
Results
Overall:
1. Stefan Hebert
Red
1. Hugo Roller III
Blue
1. Stefan Hebert
2. Mayumi "Mimi" Roller
3. Rian Bareuther
White
1. Tyler Rice
2. Olin Davis
3. William Bailey
Green
1. Max Nickbarg
2. Ian Barrows
3. Christopher Cilliers
4. Nikki Barnes
5. Alec Taylor
6. Luke Davis
7. Francie Lenahan

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