Great day to sail

Junior Bic sailers battle each other to make it around the windward mark during the first race Sunday at the Carolina Yacht Club's annual regatta. (Brad Nettles/Staff) 7/31/16

Dressed in red from head to toe — a white hat with red trim, a red and white checkered shirt and bright red capris accented by a pair of ruby boat shoes and a chunky red necklace — there was no other place Vida Robertson would have been Sunday afternoon.

For some 30 years, without fail, Robertson has attended the awards ceremony of the Carolina Yacht Club’s annual regatta, which came to a close Sunday.

Of the two most prestigious awards that the club hands out annually — the Henry Clay Robertson IV Trophy and the Philip O’Neill Hanvey Memorial Trophy — one is named for Vida’s son.

“My son is Clay Robertson,” she said Sunday. “He was killed about 30 years ago … I’m the mother of the Robertson trophy.”

The Robertson trophy, awarded to the top Charleston sailor 16 or younger, first came to fruition about 30 years ago after Clay’s death. Every year, without exception, Vida goes to meet the recipient.

An avid sailor at the time of his death, Clay first picked up the sport at summer camp and developed an itch for the water immediately thereafter.

“He was a fabulous sailor … we couldn’t believe that he sailed because nobody in our family sails,” Vida said.

“But then he started winning a whole lot of little local things … We’d go down to Savannah and sail and he’d win. We’d go to Beaufort and he’d win. He just kept going, going, going and won every award there was to get. He was a wonderful sailor.”

The 2016 Robertson trophy went to Neil Walters, a 15-year-old rising freshman at Porter-Gaud.

Both the Robertson and the Hanvey trophies are given to young sailors who have not only excelled in the sport, but who have demonstrated sportsmanship and a commitment to leadership.

Walters won the 2016 O’Pen BIC North American Championship in April and grew up watching his siblings sail.

“It’s pretty cool because my dad grew up with (Clay Robertson) sailing,” Walters said. “They were great friends when they were little.”

Margaux Bacro-Duverger took home the Hanvey trophy, given to the top sailor 21 or under.

Bacro-Duverger is a rising senior at South Carolina, studying international studies, and began sailing at age 10. She also recently won Charleston Yacht Club’s Women’s Award earlier in the month.

“No one in my family really sails, but the community has really come together and helped me get into boats,” she said. “I have so many people in the community that I want to thank. They’ve all just been so helpful to get me here.”

The emotional awards ceremony concluded with both Walters and Bacro-Duverger being carried out of the ballroom, down the steps and onto the pier, where they were promptly tossed into the water as part of a celebratory tradition for the winners each year.

The ceremony marked the end of a two-day regatta that saw 139 boats compete, the largest outcome since 2009 when 155 registered, said regatta chair Harvey McCormick.

Moments before Vida’s son’s award was presented, she struck up a conversation with a young boy sitting in front of her, who had just completed the junior portion of the regatta.

He looked to be around 10 years old.

“Maybe in a few years from now, you can win my son’s trophy,” she told him.

“So were (Robertson and Hanvey) really good sailors?” he asked.

“Oh yeah! Real good,” she smiled. “Y’all get practicing today.”

Final Results

Top three in each category

420 Club (Spinnaker)

1. 3277, Austin Ando[Junior], Hobcaw Yacht Club, 1-1-1-2-1- ; 6

2. 10 / 10, Walter Gnann[Junior], Beaufort yacht club, 2-3-3-1-3- ; 12T

3. none / 58531, Garrett Mergenthaler[Junior], Lake Norman Yacht Club, 3-2-2-3-2- ; 12T

420 Collegiate (Jib & Main)

1. 1, Troy Dybowski[Jr], C of C, 2-1-1-1-1- ; 6

2. 6, Julianna Skoglund[Jr], Carolina Yacht Club, 3-3-2-2-2- ; 12

3. 29, William Hussey[Jr], none, 4-4-3-4-4- ; 19

E-Scow

1. SC-22, Will Hanckel, Carolina yacht club, 1-1-1-2-2- ; 7

2. SC-55, Robby Wilkins, cyc, 3-2-2-1-1- ; 9

3. SC-3, walter prause, Carolina, 2-8/DNC-3-4-3- ; 20T

J-24

1. USA 3266, Mike Palazzo, ChYC, 3-1-1-2-1- ; 8

2. 5259, Dan Rogge, Carolina Yacht Club, 1-2-2-3-3- ; 11

3. 1 / usa-555, Charles Bumgardner, Columbia Sailing Club, 2-3-3-1-4- ; 13

Laser

1. 159815, John Porter, Savannah Yacht Club, 1-1-[3]-1-1-1- ; 5

2. 165142, Rob Bowden, CORA, 2-2-1-2-[3]-2- ; 9

3. 169484, Stanley Hassinger, Columbia Sailing Club, 3-4-2-[5]-2-3- ; 14

Laser Radial

1. 206155, Collin Porter, Savannah Yacht Club, 1-2-2-1-[4]-2- ; 8

2. 200323, Lucas Sawin, Hobcaw Yacht Club, 2-1-1-3-3-[5]- ; 10

3. 205393, Thomas Smith, Carolina Yacht Club-NC, 3-[4]-3-2-1-4- ; 13

Lightning

1. 15202, Eric Oetgen, syc, 2-1-2-1-1- ; 7

2. 15381, David Van Cleef, Columbia Sailing Clun, 1-2-1-8-2- ; 14

3. 14701, Carter Cameron, CYC (SC), 3-3-3-2-4- ; 15

Bic

1. 8329, Walter Blessing[U13], CYC, [3]-1-2-1-2-1-1- ; 8

2. 8231, Michael Owens[13+], CYC, 2-3-3-2-4-[21/OCS]-2- ; 16

3. 8371, Gregory Walters[13+], CYC/JIYC, 1-2-1-3-1-9-[21/DNC]- ; 17

Opti

1. 10849, Cole williamson[Red], Carolina Yacht Club-NC, [6]-1-4-1-2-3-1- ; 12

2. 13223, Smith DesChamps[White], Krista Combs Deschamps, 1-[12]-2-4-4-2-8- ; 21

3. 21808, Wyatt Norman[White], South Carolina Yacht Club, 5-2-5-[21/OCS]-8-6-5- ; 31

Opti Green

1. 21475, Sawyer Norman, South Carolina Yacht Club, 1-1-1-1-1-2-[5]- ; 7

2. 5432, John Parnell, Carolina Yacht Club, 2-[4]-4-3-3-1-3- ; 16

3. 8, Mills Egleston, Nancy H. Egleston, 3-[5]-3-5-2-3-1- ; 17T

SIOD

1. SI-60, Stan LaRoche, Sea Island, 1-2-1-2-1- ; 7

2. 111, Michael Miller, ChYC, 4-1-2-1-2- ; 10

3. 89, Prentice Brower, SIYC, 3-4-4-4-4- ; 19

Sunfish

1. 77266, Brian Swan, Charleston Yacht Club, 1-1-1-1-1- ; 5

2. 4454, dean omirly, cyc-nc, 3-2-2-4-2- ; 13

3. 57557, charles frasch, JIYC, 4-3-3-3-3- ; 16

Y-Flyer

1. 2716, Carlin Hodges, Atlanta Yacht Club, 2-1-2-4-1- ; 10T

2. 2660, Amanda Hodges, Altanta Yacht Club, 1-2-3-1-3- ; 10T

3. 2751, Craig Bennett, CYC, 3-3-1-5-2- ; 14

H20

1. charleston / 647, Tim Fitzgerald, James Island Yacht Club, 2-1-1-2-1- ; 7

2. 681, David Brown, GFYS, 4-2-2-1-2- ; 11

3. 80085, Otto DeMuth, JIYC, 3-6/DNC-6/DNC-3-6/DNS- ; 24