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Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Orange Bowl Int'l Youth Regatta is in town

You may have noticed larger crowds in the Grove this weekend. That's because the Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta is in town, this is their 70th year. From December 26 through 30, expect to see lots of sailors around the village. They are of course mostly along the waterfront, based at the Coral Reef Yacht Club, but their presence can be seen all along the waterfront. Starbucks, Monty's and most of the businesses in the area are overflowing with sailors and their families. It would be great though if they didn't all show up at Starbucks at the same time.

Most, if not all, of the hotels in Coconut Grove are sold out. I do wonder how many of the sailors make it into the Center Grove. We have tried over the years to get them to leave the waterfront area with all sorts of events put on by the Sail the Grove group. Breakfast is served at the event daily, so that's out as an option for restaurants in the Grove and the sailors are out all day sailing, so lunch is out, they usually brown bag it. Dinner is an option, but that is in between the parties and other events including their own dinners. They even have an ice cream social.

But it's nice to see so many people in the village. Even if they take one day or night to come into town and visit and eat and dine and unwind, that's great for business. The sailors are out from 8 am to 4 pm daily.

This is the largest youth regatta in the U.S. attracting more than 675 competitors from 27 states and 23 countries. One of the largest dinghy regattas for sailors ages eight to 18 in the world, the OBIYR will be held at the Coral Reef Yacht Club with support from their neighbors, the U.S. Sailing Center Miami, Lauderdale Yacht Club, and Shake-A-Leg Miami. 

The Regatta people and the Yacht Club people are good about spreading the news to the visitors about keeping the bay and surrounding areas clean. They are striving to be a Clean Regatta at the Bronze Level. Recycling is a big part of the event and there is filtered water filling stations so as to avoid water bottles thrown into the bay. Motorboats are not allowed in the sea grass areas or in the coral beds and Manatees and sea turtles are off limits, of course.

Monday, December 28 is College Night at Shake-A-Leg, down the road. And on Tuesday, December 29, there is a dinner for competitors. It's a party and free dinner on the pool deck at the Yacht Club.

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