Offshore sailboat regatta benefits Sandy relief center

     Sailboats racing in the third annual JetStar Regatta rounding the mark located near the final resting spot of the JetStar roller coaster off Seaside Heights and heading back up the beach to the finish at the Manasquan Inlet. (Image courtesy of Mark Connell)

    Sailboats racing in the third annual JetStar Regatta rounding the mark located near the final resting spot of the JetStar roller coaster off Seaside Heights and heading back up the beach to the finish at the Manasquan Inlet. (Image courtesy of Mark Connell)

    A sailboat regatta that began during the summer after Hurricane Sandy struck took place under “perfect conditions” yesterday, an event organizer said. 

    The third annual JetStar Regatta, organized in 2013 by Metedeconk River Yacht Club members to pay respect to the barrier island communities and demonstrate the resilience of the Jersey Shore sailing community, hugged the coast between Point Pleasant Beach and Seaside Heights, said organizer Mark Connell. 

    The three classes of boats — with a flying spinnaker, without a spinnaker, and one design Sabre 34s — began racing just south of the Manasquan Inlet at 10:30 a.m, Connell said.

    The racers arrived at a designated gate just off Camp Osborne — a barrier island community in Brick that was destroyed by a massive gas-fed fire during Sandy — and continued south to a mark near the location of the JetStar roller coaster resting spot off Casino Pier in Seaside Heights. 

    They then turned around the mark, returned up the coast, passed through the gate off Brick, and sailed through the finish line at the Manasquan Inlet.

    “The spectacle of all these sailboats racing along the coast was visible from the entire beach, with some coming so close to shore lifeguards blew their whistles,” Connell said.

    According to the organizer, the winner include: Rick Eytel in “The Grin” in the spinnaker fleet, Jon Bailis in “Stardust” in the non-spinnaker fleet, and Rick Pokorney in “Erica May” in the Sabre fleet.

    The Visitation Relief Center in Brick will receive all proceeds from the regatta’s raffle. 

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