Young sailors aim to impress during sailing regatta

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CHICAGO -- The National Offshore One Design Regatta brings some 200 sailors from around the world to Lake Michigan and the Chicago Yacht Club each June - vying for a spot in the championships in the British Virgin Islands.

17-year-old Bridget Groble is one of four Chicago teens selected to race against the pros on the first ever junior crew.

Bridget is the main trimmer – the most labor intensive job – on a J-70.  It is a smaller boat gaining big numbers in popularity.

And it’s not a surprising position for her, considering she and her brother were sailing before they could walk.

“It’s a pretty empowering feeling to drive a boat yourself,” she said.  “I really like how you’re in control of everything yourself.  You’re responsible for your boat and it’s kind of like you’re with the elements so anything can happen even though it usually doesn’t happen.”

Bridget will be racing against her father Ray.  Ray and Bridget are very excited to race together. And beat each other.

Dave reed is the editor of Sailing World magazine, which created the event.   He says Chicago likely has the most passionate sailors in this regatta series.

“Because the sailing season is shorter than some of the other venues like St. Pete and San Diego,” he said.  “When it’s regatta time, the people are here and they’re excited.  They bring it from the water to the parties and the enthusiasm goes start to finish.”

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