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The next generation of Cocktail Class racers

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Caroline and Lawrence Fuccella with the #101 “Brass Monkey”

by Shannon Haley

Caroline Fuccella has spent her entire life on Urbanna Creek. This rising freshman is often found boating in Urbanna harbor with her dad Lawrence, mom Jo, and older sister Alexandra. Anyone can see that this close-knit family has deep roots and a great appreciation for the water.

In 2012 when her father joined the Cocktail Class Wooden Boat Racing Association (CCWBRA) and began building his Cocktail Class boat the “Brass Monkey,” it was no surprise that his girls became heavily involved in the process. Both Caroline and Alexandra would often be seen at the shop helping Lawrence sand and paint as the deadline for the first Urbanna Cup was quickly approaching. The family effort helped ensure that the boat was race ready in time for the big inaugural event in May 2013.

In 2014 all of Caroline’s time and effort finally paid off. This year CCWBRA developed a youth program and Caroline was quick to sign up. Participation is limited to family members of CCWBRA members who are between the ages of 12-16. Caroline was ready for the first-ever youth race to be held at the CCWBRA National Championship event in Rock Hall, Md., on August 16, 2014. 

The national race consisted of a total of four youths—three boys and Caroline. The qualifying heat had two boats compete around the course for two races. Each boat had a turn on the middle lane. As the horn blew, Caroline bolted off the line and around the course, winning both qualifying races. She then advanced to the finals against the young man who won the second heat. Her competitor won the first race but crossed lanes on the second race, resulting in a tie. Both were awarded first place cups for the youth event.

Once Caroline is 16 she can race the Women’s Class. Fellow racer Kenleighe Longest and I keep joking that we better keep practicing because Caroline will indeed be serious competition when she reaches the age requirement to compete with the adults. In the meantime, keep an eye out for Caroline racing around Urbanna Creek in the #101 “Brass Monkey” and preparing for the next competition. There is no telling what the future might hold for this talented and fearless young racer.

Read the rest of this story in this week’s Southside Sentinel at newstands throughout the county, or sign up here to receive a print and/or electronic pdf subscription.

posted 08.27.2014

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