2018 Event Narrative
16TH Annual CJ Buckley Regatta
by Kyle Assad
Over 150 sailors converged on the Goddard Park Carousel in East Greenwich, RI on July 30 for the 16th running of the CJ Buckley Regatta for the Club 420 National Junior Team Racing Championship hosted by Greenwich Bay Sailing Association and East Greenwich Yacht Club. PRO Justin Assad led the competitors through the nuts and bolts of the day at the competitors meeting, and briefly held them ashore due to a shortage of wind. Sailors didn't get much of a break, and by 11:30 racing started on the outskirts of Greenwich Bay. Buffered by the usual army of over 70 volunteers, the 2018 edition saw the event with full umpiring for the one circle of racing which allowed race committee to implement a true Swiss League format.
Day 1 saw 11 flights of racing completed in conditions ranging from 6-18 mph of SSE breeze, slightly overcast skies, and temperatures in the mid 80's. Sailors were quick to adjust as conditions changed, and the energy provided by the classic "Flying Lunches" powered the group through trying conditions. Sailors hit the beach at 5:30pm to enjoy a classic Italian dinner provided by the Buckleys. Those who stuck around were able to take advantage of College Night, where over 15 coaches and college sailors from college sailing programs around the country were available to meet and speak with competitors and parents.
Day 2 brought more of the same! Perfect Team Racing conditions saw races get started in 6 mph SSE and build to 12-13mph for the Gold Cup Championship Races ending at 3:30. Two more flights were completed followed by knockout rounds for every position on the board. Racing was fast and furious, yet the squadron of judges led by Chief Umpire Clinton Hayes kept tempers cool by dispensing justice. Christchurch 1 steamrolled their way to the gold round knockout with only 1 loss, only to be tested by the other top teams. Despite faltering twice, Christchurch was able to prevail and won the 2018 CJ Buckley Regatta for the Club 420 Association National Junior Team Racing Championship. Second place went to Antilles, and newcomers VMG Sailing Outfit rounded out the podium.
As voted by their peers, the Team 1 Newport/Ronstan Sportsmanship Award was presented to the sailors from Saunderstown YC. The Team Spirit Award sponsored by Harken was presented to Christchurch 1, whose "unique" team outfits showed as much flair as their stellar results. Zim Sailing provided raffle awards this year, as did Dynamic Dollies, who donated a hiking bench which was won by Izzy Maggioni of Chatham Yacht Club.
The 2018 edition saw close to 200 races completed, which only happened because of the support provided by the 70+ volunteers and umpires that came. Thank you to the Buckley family who continues to support the growth of this event. Another thank you to the sailors that continue to come and make this among the best team racing events in the world.
We look forward to seeing you at the 17th edition!