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Team Zing calls upon Batavian Kegler Jr. to compete in Canada's Cup sailboat racing competition

By Mike Pettinella

Although he has “aged out” of his junior sailor role, Batavian Charlie Kegler Jr. made enough of an impression upon Team Zing owner Bob Hesse to earn a regular spot on the crew for the upcoming Canada’s Cup sailboat racing competition.

Last winter and this spring, Kegler (photo at right) handled the “floater” position for Team Zing, which represented the Youngstown Yacht Club at the IC37 Winter Series Lauderdale Cup race in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Kegler, who is entering his senior year at Batavia High School, figured that he wouldn’t be able to continue with that crew for this season’s races because he turned 17 in June – making him too old for the lone junior sailor post.

As fate would have it, however, one of the team members announced he would not be able to make the trip this year and stepped aside. Kegler threw his hat into the ring and, due to having gained experience in multiple areas on the boat, he was selected to fill the vacancy.

In his new “runner” role, Kegler will be called upon to trim the runners used on running backstays of offshore boats to adjust mast bend for different wind conditions.

The 26th Canada’s Cup will pit defending champion Royal Canadian Yacht Club, out of Toronto, against the Youngstown crew on Sept. 1-5 in Toronto.

“It feels great and I count it a privilege to be back with Team Zing after sailing last year in Canada's Cup and over the winter in Fort Lauderdale with all of them,” said Kegler, whose father, Charles, is vice commodore of the yard at YYC. “I am excited to be in my new crew position adjusting the running backstays.

“We have learned much more about the boat and proved we can win against excellent competition in the IC37 Class. We’re very confident going into this event.”

Kegler has fared well in other competition this summer, placing first in a Can-Am Regatta race on a J-111 class sailboat called Moneypenny, owned and skippered by Doug Clarke. He is part of the bow team on Moneypenny, manning the mast position.

Team Moneypenny is anticipating traveling to Cleveland later in September to race in the J-111 North American Championship and to Key West, Fla., in January for the Southernmost Regatta.

He also competed in the Junior Can-Am Regatta at YYC and in the 420 North American championship at the Buffalo Canoe Club, located at Crystal Beach, Ontario. The majority of the 420 fleet are collegiate sailors, many from climates that allow for year-round racing and practicing.

Previously: Batavia High student finds smooth sailing as junior member of Youngstown Yacht Club racing crew


Submitted photo: Charlie Kegler, in blue life vest, and his teammate maneuver their sailboat in waters off shore of the Youngstown Yacht Club.

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