Uschold, Trainer team up at Summer Sizzler regatta

original source

  Rick "Gilligan" Uschold and Amelia Trainer with the S.S. Minnow as they
  prep for the Summer Sizzler catamaran races in Daytona Beach Shores.

  News-Journal/Godwin Kelly

By Godwin Kelly

Published: Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 5:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 8:13 p.m.

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES -- Rick Uschold sails a Prindle 18-2 catamaran he dubbed the S.S. Minnow and is known to other sailors simply as "Gilligan," one of dozens of competitors in this weekend's 39th annual Gaulden Reed Summer Sizzler regatta.

The Summer Sizzler started Saturday and continues today with buoy races in front of Perry's Ocean Edge Resort at 2209 S. Atlantic Ave.

The ocean was picture perfect with hardly any wave action along the shoreline on Saturday as the fleet of boats prepared for water battle.

"These boats are a lot of fun and they're fast," Uschold said. "They are faster than most sailboats."

The 61-year-old sailor from Port Orange is retired and spends his free time sailing. He's not going solo for the Summer Sizzler. He had a crew for the competition.

Amelia Trainer is a 17-year-old sailing enthusiast recently graduated from Spruce Creek High. At the end of summer, she will start class at M.I.T.

"That's a typical team these days," event organizer Steve Caron said. "There are the older skippers and they use kids for crew."

Uschold controls the rudder and main sail while Trainer works the jib, or smaller sail at the front of the boat, and becomes a counterweight if the wind becomes brisk.

"To maximum speed, I have to control how loose or how tight the sail is to give it the right curvature," she said. "I strap into a harness and sometimes I'm out on the edge of the boat, which is called 'trapezing.'"

Uschold and Trainer have paired before and seen past success.

"They're a very good team," Caron said. "Gilligan sails that boat very well. He's been sailing that same boat for 20 years."

Uschold moved here from Buffalo, N.Y., in 1978 and said he got interested in sailing during the area's catamaran boom years when the Summer Sizzler would attract boats by the hundreds.

"I remember I came down the beach on my bike in 1986 and saw this event," he said. "There were 150 boats in front of the Treasure Island hotel.

"I went farther down the beach and saw another 110 boats in front of another motel and that's when I thought, 'I got to get me one of these.' A month and a half later I had one and I've been sailing ever since."

Uschold, Caron and other enthusiasts hope more young people are drawn into the sport to keep catamaran racing alive for years to come.

"It's good to have young people involved," Uschold said. "We are laid-back people. We like to have fun in the sun, hang out at the beach.

"There are a few people who take this really serious, but most of us want to have fun."

Last modified: Tuesday, 2014-Jun-17 12:00:18 PM EDT
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