With the spring season fast approaching, Southern Regional High School sailor Turner Ryon has gained valuable experience so far this winter. Not here, of course.
Racing in the Melges 15 Winter Series in Sarasota, Florida, the teenager representing the Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club put in an exceptional effort in the second event of the series on February 26-27, placing second among a field of 63 boats with 32 points through five races, finishing 18 points behind Lake Geneva YC’s Eddie Cox.
Ryon, a freshman at Southern, grabbed fourth in race one, followed by two sevenths in races two and three, before taking fourth again. In race five he managed to clinch 10th place to hold on to second place overall ahead of former Southern star Emily Haig, also representing LEHYC in the Melges event.
Haig started a little slow, taking 10th, 14th and 12th in the first three races before turning the dial and taking second and first respectively in the last two races and finishing with 39 points. Scott Barbano of the Brant Beach Yacht Club finished fourth with 44 points after placing fifth and eighth in the first two races and third in the last race.
Another former Southern star, Dana Haig, who also represented LEHYC for the event, was in the hunt for the top three after placing seventh, ninth, sixth and ninth in the first four races but a 21st place in the final race yielded his 52 points, good enough for sixth place overall.
Clay Johnson, a two-time representative for Toms River and Little Egg Harbor yacht clubs, finished 12th overall with 75 points, despite finishing first in race four and two second places in two of the first three races. Xavier Stoldt of LEHYC ranked 18th overall with 99 points, and Kelly McGlynn, also of LEHYC, finished in 19th place with 102 points. The only other local representative, Richard Wagner, also of LEHYC, finished 54th overall with 253 points after finishing as high as 45th in the second race.
The third and final event in the series is scheduled for March 25-27. The Melges 15 Winter Series is hosted by Sarasota Sailing Squadron. —DB