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Annapolis Yacht Club's Ruiz de Luque selected as coach for Magic Marine Easter Regatta

Annapolis Yacht Club's Tomas Ruiz de Luque has been selected as one of two coaches who will take 15 U.S. Optimist Dinghy sailors to the 30th Magic Marine Easter Regatta in The Netherlands on March 29 to April 7.

Ruiz de Luque and Richard Feeny, a sailing educator and coach from Rhode Island, were chosen by the U.S. Optimist Dinghy Association's international committee, which also picked six other coaches for three other international regattas.

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"It's an honor to be named among the other coaches, because they're some of the best coaches in the country," Ruiz de Luque said. "To be one of the eight in this international events selection is amazing. It speaks highly of the AYC Junior Program, without which, it wouldn't have been possible for me to do this."

The eight coaches will work in pairs to train their respective teams, which are composed of 15 of the top 60 Optimist Dinghy sailors who had qualified at the USODA Midwinter Championship in New Orleans during Thanksgiving weekend.

The four international regattas are the 30th Magic Marine Easter Regatta in Braassemermeer, Roelofarendsveen, The Netherlands; XXVI International Palamos Optimist Trophy in Palamos, Spain; XXXIII Lake Garda Optimist Meeting in Riva de Garda, Italy; and IODA (International Optimist Dinghy Association) South American Championship in Paracas, Peru.

Coaches and sailors ranked their preference of regattas, then the USODA made its selections.

Ruiz de Luque says he chose the Easter Regatta first because "I've never been to Holland and I wanted to see the country. I also liked the idea of getting to know new sailors and helping them learn and perform to the best of their abilities."

He added that for the Optimist sailors who will be going to the Easter Regatta, "they will get to know a different country and a different culture, but they will also get to share the same passion for sailing as the other international sailors that will be there. That passion is the same everywhere."

In the coming weeks, Ruiz de Luque and the other coaches will be informed of who they will be training, and in February, they will head to the Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami for the U.S. national team practice.

Baltimore angler sets first Maryland gray triggerfish record

The Maryland record fish list has a brand-new species category thanks to Wayne Gower and his 5-pound, 2-ounce gray triggerfish catch.

The Baltimore angler landed the fish Oct. 31 while bottom-fishing aboard a charter off Ocean City, drawing the praise of DNR biologists and fellow anglers.

"When I reeled in the fish I could see it was huge compared to the 1- to 2-pound triggers I've caught before," he told the Department of Natural Resources.

Gower was one of about 20 passengers on charter Captain Chris Mizurak's 65-foot head boat for a trip to the Great Eastern Reef.

"Wayne comes down from Baltimore about a dozen times a year to fish," Mizurak said. "We were catching mostly sea bass and some bluefish in around 110 feet of water about 20 miles southeast of the Ocean City Inlet. Lately, we have caught some triggerfish in the 2- to 3-pound range. This one was the biggest I've seen."

Mizurak called DNR Fisheries biologist Steve Doctor to inform him they had a large triggerfish to weigh. The crew met Doctor at the dock, where he confirmed the species, and then headed to Sunset Marina where weighmaster Amanda Sprows certified its weight. DNR fisheries biologists agreed that a gray triggerfish of this size in Maryland is rare and deserving of a record.

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The New Jersey record is 5-11. Delaware's record is 6-5. The world record is a 16-9 beast from Murrells Inlet, S.C.

Muzzleloader deer season to reopen Dec. 20

The second portion of Maryland's muzzleloader deer season begins Saturday, Dec. 20, and runs through January 3. Hunters who possess a valid Maryland hunting license and a muzzleloader stamp, or are exempt from the hunting license requirements, may use muzzleloading firearms to hunt white-tailed and sika deer during this season.

For bag limits and restrictions, go to dnr2.maryland.gov.

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