KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (February 28, 2021) – Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif.) secured a regatta win at the 2021 Laser Midwinters East hosted by Key Biscayne Yacht Club, and Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) brought home second place in an impressive fleet of 89 boats.
Both athletes will be heading to Tokyo this summer as members of Team USA. This event was the culmination of Florida training before they head to Europe to continue their final preparations in the Laser European circuit. Charlie and Paige were proud of their performance in Key Biscayne, with Buckingham adding that the event was “a really good way to conclude [their] two months of preparation in Florida,” and that he’s “very much looking forward to getting to Europe to see how [he] stacks up against everyone else.”
Railey was sitting in first place heading into Day 4 with Sarah Douglas of Team Canada hot on her heels in the results, and while Douglas ultimately snagged the win, the pair has greatly enjoyed training with each other over the past few months and sparring on the race course whenever possible.
“I was happy with many aspects of the event and I’m looking forward to taking the lessons and improving them when I re-connect with my coach,” said Railey.
The Olympic Development group showed up in force on the water this weekend and came away with some impressive scores. Hallie Schiffman (Sarasota, Fla.) represented the Radial ODP squad and secured an 11th place result in the fleet of almost 90 boats. The ODP Laser Standard group featured eight men to the starting line with Leo Boucher (West River, Md.) claiming the best ODP finish of 4th in a fleet of 26. Over the winter, both the radial and standard ODP groups committed to training together and pushing each other in south Florida, and their efforts are truly paying off on the scoresheet.
On the local level, this event saw massive turnout from Key Biscayne Yacht Club’s youth program, boasting 13 Laser 4.7 sailors, 31 Laser Radial sailors, and eight Laser Standard sailors. The numbers are a testament to the strong youth development efforts happening in Key Biscayne and the bountiful sailing conditions the bay yields each winter.
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