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Sailors get jump on State Games

By Staff
FLYING WITH THE WIND Fred Smith, left, and Robbie Harrison measure the mast for their sailboat as they prepare for the 2002 State Games Sailing event. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
May 29, 2002
Okatibbee Lake will be the site of the first competition of the Mississippi State Games. Sailing will get a jump start on the rest of the games by starting its competition on Saturday.
Fred Smith, director for the sailing competition for the State Games, said weather was a primary concern.
Twelve boats competed last year with 25 sailors.
Sailing is divided into two classes, one for Open Centerboard boats and one for Cruising Class.
The Cruising Class is for a larger boat which has a cabin and a galley.
The cost to entering the sailing competition is $25 per boat with a two-man crew. Each crew member must also sign a waiver form.
Smith said sailing on Okatibbee Lake makes for a different sort of competition than the more traditional sea-course sailing on the Mississippi Coast.
There will be six races run. Four will be run on Saturday with two more on Sunday. One race will be dropped from the boat's score. U.S. Sailing rules and regulations will apply.
The day begins with a skipper's meeting at 8:30 on Saturday. The first race will begin at 9:30.
Smith's boat has won the past couple of competitions but he expects another big challenge from Leo Potvin from Petal.
The sailing competition is open to all sailors. In past events, sailors have been as young as 13 to as old as 70.
A warm-up race will be held Friday afternoon. For more information on entering the sailing competition, contact Smith at 632-4770 or 485-2458 (work).