SARASOTA - Hundreds of skilled sailors descend on Sarasota Bay to compete in Sarasota Sailing Squadron's signature event, the 72th Annual Labor Day Regatta.

Athletes from 8-18 compete for prestige and prizes in what Craig Bridges with ‘SSS’ calls Sarasota’s oldest continually run sporting event

It is a celebration of our city! Quite frankly our facility, which is a natural facility, Sarasota Bay, is world class," says Bridges.

Which Bridges explains is why sailors come from as far as Canada to participate. The regatta holds five separate race courses specializing in three different sailboats. Many of the sailors navigating the Bay waters are trained by coaches with Sarasota Youth Sailing.

“We have most of our kids out on all the courses, and they’re all local kids. They come for our program through summer camp and some of them start at age five and some of them are graduating this year as seniors," says SYS' Mary Trichter.

Regardless of age, these sailors all have winning on their minds.

“I got second place most the races and I got first the last race," says youth sailor Nil Wheeler.

SYS' training serves these kids to react to all sailing conditions.

“I got a little frustrated when the wind went down," says youth sailor Natalie Hoffman. She has a tip for sailors big and small in their moments of struggle at sea.

 “Well, I’ve been practicing meditation, so I was like whoooo.”

Visit for scores and winners.