After three days battling cool temperatures and the choppy waters of Tampa Bay, more than 1,000 sailors moored up at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club on Sunday to celebrate the 26th annual Sperry Top-Sider National Offshore One Design Regatta.
After Travis Odenbach from Webster, N.Y., claimed the overall title last year, swarms of area sailors turned out to keep the laurels local. Robby Brown, from St. Petersburg, did just that, clinching the race in what officials deemed the strongest finish in the most competitive class.
Brown, at the helm of a Sunsail 44i, will compete against other overall winners from the 2013 series in the Championship Regatta in the British Virgin Islands at the end of the season.
The St. Pete stop — the first on a six-city tour in the largest sailboat racing circuit in the United States — has been a part of the race series for 16 years. Sailors from across the country and Canada spent the weekend competing in races and assessing points based on their performances. The boat with the fewest total points is the winner of its respective class.
"It was cold, but sailors want winds and that's what they got," said George Brengle, director of marketing for Sailing World Magazine, which sponsored the race. "But overall the conditions were fantastic and the race was a success."