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Youth Sailors to Compete in Key Largo’s Buccaneer Blast Regatta

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KEY LARGO, Florida Keys — More than 250 sailors ages 8 to 18 from across the U.S. and Caribbean are to set sail on Key Largo’s Blackwater Sound Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 4 and 5, in the 14th annual Buccaneer Blast Regatta.

Youth sailors are to compete in the Optimist or “Opti,” ILCA/Laser, Club 420 and Windsurfing classes. The single-handed dinghy “Opti,” intended for use by youngsters up to age 15, is the largest sailboat class in the world.

The weekend begins Friday, Feb. 3, with a welcome reception at the Upper Keys Sailing Club, 100 N. Ocean Bay Drive in Key Largo, and a sunset cruise on Buttonwood Sound for registered sailors, families and sponsors.

Racing is scheduled for noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday. According to organizers, the 2023 regatta is to feature the largest number of competitors in the event’s 14-year history.

The public is invited to catch live-action racing both on the water and near-shore from Rowell’s Waterfront Park, mile marker 104. On both days, spectators who make a small donation can board a pontoon boat to head out and see the racing up close on Blackwater Sound.

Following Saturday’s races, spectators are invited to participate in a raffle event at the park where everyone can buy tickets for the chance to win notable prizes.

An awards ceremony is scheduled around 3 p.m. Sunday to crown the winners in each class.

The event and raffle support the Upper Keys Sailing Club’s non-profit Mark Sorensen Youth Sailing Program. The program provides affordable, accessible and inclusive sailing camps and instruction for Upper Keys and South Miami-Dade youth. 

Event information: msysp.org

More than 250 sailors ages 8 to 18 from across the U.S. and Caribbean set sail on Key Largo’s Blackwater Sound Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 4 and 5, in the 14th annual Buccaneer Blast Regatta.

More than 250 sailors ages 8 to 18 from across the U.S. and Caribbean set sail on Key Largo’s Blackwater Sound Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 4 and 5, in the 14th annual Buccaneer Blast Regatta.

The public is invited to catch live-action racing both on the water and near-shore from Rowell’s Waterfront Park, mile marker 104.

The public is invited to catch live-action racing both on the water and near-shore from Rowell’s Waterfront Park, mile marker 104.

This article was updated on February 2, 2023 at 8:14 PM
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