Florida Yotuh Wins William I. Koch International Sea Scout Cup

Patrick Arrington, 15, of Pinecrest, Florida was awarded the silver trophy at the closing ceremonies held at Annapolis Yacht Club, July 18, 2008, after sailing his Vanguard 420s in 14 fleet races. His teammate was disqualified for off-the-water conduct at the end of the regatta.

Arrington, a member of Sea Scout Ship 1946, Coconut Grove, FL, defeated Hayley Anderson, 18, and Gareth Moore, 16, of Christchurch, New Zealand. It was the fourth time a New Zealand team placed second in the international youth regatta. Jeff Adam and Delana Stoica of the Del Mar took third.

A sophomore at Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Arrington is hoping to study biophysics in college. In addition to Sea Scouts, he is currently a Life Scout with Troop 840 in Pinecrest, Florida where he is working on his Eagle Scout service project, collecting used sails for impoverished fishermen in Haiti.

Approximately 80 young men and women gathered at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD, to compete in the week long regatta. Sea Scouts from New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, sailed against youth from across the United States. The winds were light and variable most of the week, with a southerly breeze freshening on Thursday, building to 12 knots on the final day on July 18th.

The biennial event is underwritten, in large part by William I. Koch, the Palm Beach industrialist and last American to successfully defend the America’s Cup. Other sponsors include General Motors, which awarded the Chevrolet Sportsmanship Award, and West Marine.

Sea Scouts are divided into two fleets: more experienced sailors compete for the Koch Cup, and a second fleet sails for the Kiwi Cup, a Maori carving donated by New Zealand Sea Scouts. Both trophies are displayed at the Boy Scout Museum in Irving, Texas.

Eric Johnson, 17 of Mercer Island, and Levi White, 16, of La Conner, Washington, won the Kiwi Cup.

“The most interesting part of the Koch Cup is that it’s an international event,” said Eric Johnson. “Meeting people from different countries and seeing how similar we all are was cool. One of the last things I imagined was that we would be representing our country in any competition other than the Olympics. It felt like was sailing for America or at least the Pacific Northwest.”

Paula McFarland, Zone Manager for Chevrolet, presented the Chevrolet Sportsmanship Awards to Monica and Ryan Orphan, of Woodland Hills, CA and Franklin Simmons and Gary Burner of Akron, OH.

Sea Scouts is part of the Venturing Division of the Boy Scouts and is open to men and women between the ages 14 and 21 who learn leadership skills through seamanship.

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