Sailing News

Children Under 13 Now Required to Wear PFDs while Boating on Federal Waters

In compliance with a new U.S. coast Guard regulation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul, District, will now require all children under 13 to wear a personal floatation device, or PFD, approved by the Coast Guard, while in an operating vessel on all Corps’ lakes.

This requirement is to comply with Coast Guard regulation 33 CFR 175 that became effective this year.

It applies to all federal waters, including the Mississippi River and Corps’ reservoirs. Corps’ reservoirs in St. Paul District include Cross, Gull, Lac Qui Parle, Leech, Orwell, Pokegema, Sandy, Traverse and Winnibigoshish lakes in Minnesota; Ashtabula and Homme lakes in North Dakota; and Eau Galle Lake in Wisconsin.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, serves the American public in the areas of environmental enhancement, navigation, flood damage reduction, wetlands regulation, recreation sites and disaster response. It contributes around $142 million to the five-state district economy. The more than 750 employees work at more than 40 sites in five upper-Midwest states. For more information, see

Hundreds of Small Ships to Descend on Chicago’s Lakefront

On the same day the Tall Ships will leave Chicago, hundreds of “small ships” from all around the world will arrive on Chicago’s lakefront. Four hundred young sailors, ages 7-15, are expected to battle the wind and the waves of Lake Michigan in the Optimist Dinghy National Championship Regatta, hosted by Chicago Yacht Club.

The event will draw some of sailing’s future stars. Many of the international sailing circuit’s most successful sailors began their careers in the Opti class, including many Olympic medalists. More than half of the dinghy sailors at the 2000 Sydney Olympics raced in the Optimist Dinghy as youths.

Winners of the Optimist Dinghy National Championship Regatta will race in the 2004 Team Trails, the top five winners of which will represent the United States at the World competition in Europe in July of 2004.

The event will be held August 4-8 on Lake Michigan near the Navy Pier in Chicago, IL. The races can be viewed from the Museum Campus on the south end of Monroe Harbor and also from the east end of Navy Pier.