Sailor Spotlight: Everett Botwinick
Everett Botwinick is a 13 year old Optimist sailor from Toms River. He is the middle of three boys, and all three sail at the Surf City Yacht Club during the summer. Everett has a positive attitude, thoughtful approach to the sport, and an eagerness to learn and improve that are a joy to witness and coach. He works incredibly hard both on the water and on shore, and his diligent approach to sailing has started yielding some top results. What also sets Everett apart is his love of reading and writing; Everett is one of the best writers I've ever seen for someone his age!
Name: Everett Botwinick
School: Toms River Intermediate North
Yacht Club: Surf City Yacht Club
1) Everett, you just returned from the Opti Team Trials. This is arguably the most important regatta on the Opti schedule each year. Can you tell me about the event, how you can qualify, etc? Where was it this year and what were the conditions like? Team Trials is probably the most rigorous Optimist event in the United States, excluding Spring Teams. While Spring Teams is an open regatta, Team Trials requires one top 25% finish at a USODA regatta or Nationals, with a top 50% finish. That means that only the best sailors qualify. This year, it was in Key Biscayne, Florida. The conditions were typically light, maybe 5-10 knots, and because of the proximity to the ocean, there were lots of waves and seaweed.
2) How did you do in the event? Were you happy with your finish? Did you have a goal going into the event? I placed 59th in Gold Fleet for Team Trials. I was very happy with my finish, considering that I haven't made Gold Fleet in any USODA regatta up until now, the hardest event of the year. My goal was to make an international event. Chances are that I will make one, considering that the amount of available spots exceeds my place in the regatta.
3) Why do you think that there were so many sailors from Florida at the top of the fleet? What advantages do they have over Northern sailors and how can we catch up? There were so many sailors from Florida at the top of the fleet because the majority of Florida sailors come from Coral Reef or Lauderdale, both of which have light wind and big waves, just like the conditions we had. They have a considerable advantage over Northern sailors because we, as Northerners, sail in drastically different conditions than Florida sailors. From personal experience at Surf City, it's pretty rare to have such light wind, even in the hot summer. During the spring, it's nearly impossible to have anything less than 10 knots. On the other end of the spectrum, Florida sailors sail in almost nothing all year round. Most USODA events are set in the South and therefore favor their expertise. We can catch up by sailing in as many USODA regattas as possible and gaining knowledge on light wind so we can sail well in it when the need arises.
4) What's your plan for this summer? My plan for this summer is to keep sailing Optis and become as good as possible. I'm still pretty young, so I have plenty of time left in this boat. 420 practices will be integrated into our regular practices (maybe once a week) so the transition from Opti to 420 is less jarring. Most of all, I'm going to have lots of fun.
5) I must ask, you are one of the best writers I've ever met. I'm incredibly impressed with your writing skills, especially since you're only in 8th grade! How did you become such a good writer? Thank you for the compliment! I read a lot, so I'm constantly finding new words and adapting them into my vocabulary. Over time, I have honed my writing style to accommodate different words in different scenarios. I love writing because it allows me to express myself in a unique way.