With the Worlds not that far away we thought it would be fun to hear more about some of the sailors and teams heading over to South Africa. Here, Julie Ernest introduces us to team USA. We did have concerns about whether they were planning to dig their way to South Africa.......
“Antipodes” is a fun word (which isn’t often used). It means, essentially, “the opposite side of the planet.” When kids dig holes in their backyards in America, their mothers (at least mine did) will say, ‘if you go deep enough, you’ll dig to China.” Turns out Mom was wrong. The antipode for Dana Point, CA, USA is about 400 miles east of the Pine Lake Marina in South Africa where the RS Tera World Championship Regatta will be held this year. All that is to say: Team USA, coming from Dana Point California couldn’t be making a longer trip.
Oliver Ernest, Delany Ernest and Keel Scharf will travel the opposite side of the Earth and race for America this year. The kids have all been racing in Teras, and are excited to compete with other Juniors from around the world. They hail from Dana West Yacht Club, and Dana Point Yacht Club, and are grateful for the generous support of the Dana West Youth Sailing and the Dana Point Harbor Youth Sailing organizations. Their coach, Peter Albertson of West Coast Sailing is excited to be on hand to help them toward a huge win.
The Team USA considered attending the World Championship Regatta in Sweden last year. Logistical considerations and delay prevented it. In America, it is the dead of winter now. A few months ago, the team learned this regatta would take place in South Africa, during its late summer. The dates of the event coincided with “Spring Break” (a week where the schools in America are closed), so plans were made in (ahem) ernest. Each kid is practicing at least 12 hours every week, is excitedly designing regatta shirts, and researching the animals they hope will be drinking water and napping near the estuary while they race in the five-day regatta, set for 4-9 April 2020. Whether they win (or not) the week will surely be an adventure they’ll one day tell their grandchildren about (when travel to the antipode doesn’t require 2 days of flights).
Team USA is excited to come and compete, and looks forward to meeting the other Tera racers from around the world!
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