Life Lessons at LIYC Spring Dinghy



For eight year old Miles Gordon, Race #1 of the Koll Family Spring Dinghy Regatta turned out to be a “significant emotional experience.” A life changer, in the sense of lessons learned. For his age, Miles has advanced technique and a rare level determination. It was no surprise when he nailed the start, and at 48 pounds in 5 knots of breeze, pulled ahead to lead at every mark and on to what should have been a 1st place finish – so he thought. But no signal came from the R/C. Those nearby heard a cry and observed the rapidly increasing horror as he realized boats were finishing on the other side of the committee boat! Quick as he could, Miles ducked below the committee and crossed the line but the mistake put him in 5th place.


In the next few minutes, Miles confronted the question “to sail or not to sail” with all the intensity an extremely distraught eight year old can muster. Lucky for Miles, his coach Steve Potter was able to smooth over the rough spots, highlight the importance of close attention to the Sailing Instructions and offer up sage advice to “never look back, always focus on the next race.”

As it turned out, Miles rallied to place 1st in Race #2 and 3rd in Race #3, earning him 2nd overall. Close enough that if he hadn’t made the mistake in Race #1, he would have beat 2018 RS Tera North American Champion Emily Rychlik. It’s safe to say Miles Gordon is one to watch, and he’s now even better prepared for life’s next essential lessons.


Since 2014, Lido Isle Yacht Club has invited RS Teras to race in the Spring Dinghy Regatta. With the races held directly in front of the club, LIYC is not only a favorite for the kids, parents enjoy perfect viewing and a relaxed friendly atmosphere. Based on consistent growth in SoCal with new fleets at Oceanside, Westlake and Santa Monica, and turnouts of up to 30 Teras at regattas, it won’t be long before the class can support A and B fleets. Most important for the kids is the new friendships and an opportunity to reconnect junior sailors from across the region in traditional One-Design competition.