Lucas and Aiden Meyer, of Liverpool, earned second place in the Kiwi Cup earlier this month. The Kiwi Cup, held in Long Beach, Calif., is part of the William I. Koch International Sea Scout Cup. The Meyer brothers belong to Sea Scout Ship 876, which is headquartered at the Onondaga Yacht Club. (Photo courtesy of Sea Scout Cup/Flickr)
L’pool sailors traveled to California for international regatta
By Ashley M. Casey
With less than three years of sailing experience under their belts, Aiden and Lucas Meyer of Liverpool took second place in the Sea Scout Kiwi Cup earlier this month. The Kiwi Cup is part of the William I. Koch International Sea Scout Cup, a biennial regatta open to Sea Scouts from across the globe.
“It’s crazy. It’s surreal,” said Aiden, who is entering his junior year at Manlius Pebble Hill School. “One part of you is just like, ‘Wow, we did it and we did it fairly,’ and the other part is like, ‘This has got to be a joke.’”
The Meyers began sailing about two and a half years ago. Lucas saved up to buy a small Sunfish dinghy and the brothers attended the Onondaga Yacht Club’s “learn to sail” sessions. They also had some help from their mother, Stacey Meyer.
“My mom was a sailor when she was a little girl, so we always heard the stories growing up,” Aiden said.
Aiden said he and his brother learned to be resourceful at the yacht club, working with older, simpler boats before unleashing their talents on newer models at competitions.
“It almost makes us better sailors. When you do get the newer boats and the fancy gadgets you can really cinch down your sailing,” Aiden said.
Sea Scout Ship 876 of Liverpool fielded two teams for the Koch Cup qualifier in the Chesapeake Bay region in September 2015. The Meyer brothers won eight of 13 races and began raising money for the trip to California. The American Legion Auxiliary of Post 1276 in Eastwood took up the Meyers’ cause and funded their entire trip.
“They were a great help,” Aiden said.
Upon arriving in California on July 31, Lucas and Aiden began practicing, along with 39 other Sea Scout teams. The top 20 teams went on to the Koch Cup; the bottom 20 went on to the Kiwi Cup, where the Meyers ended up.
“The competition was a lot tougher than we expected,” Aiden said. “A lot of these kids were world-ranked sailors, and it was my and Luke’s second time sailing that boat.”
While the brothers would have preferred to be ranked in the top 20 — “We’re only satisfied with perfection,” said Aiden — they were pleased to take second in the Kiwi Cup, placing them in the top 25 crews at the regatta.
“We wanted to do well, but we didn’t expect to do that well. It’s kind of mind-blowing,” Aiden said. “That level of success with [our level] of experience was really gratifying and stunning for us.”
After having “basically spent this summer … just sailing together,” Aiden and Lucas’ next sailing adventure will have to wait. Lucas recently began his freshman year at SUNY Maritime, where he is studying naval architecture. “The yacht club has helped shape his career path,” Aiden said of his brother, who previously considered going into engineering.
Aiden said he is looking at colleges with sailing programs such as Boston University, Brown University and the College of Charleston. He wants to major in public health and go into medicine.
“I’m not the engineer that my older brother is, but I definitely want to continue sailing in my college career,” he said.
Sailing has become an integral part of the Meyers’ lives.
“A lot of people see sailing and think it’s relaxing,” Aiden said. “The dinghy sailing is actually very intense because of the winds. I found it as a release during the summer because it’s very intellectual and physical at the same time.”
Aiden and Lucas help repair boats at the yacht club, where sailors range in age from 8 to 90, according to Aiden.
“There’s always someone here to teach you something,” Aiden said. “They have all this knowledge; you just have to be willing to take it.”
Ashley M. Casey is a reporter for The Baldwinsville Messenger and The Eagle Star-Review. She graduated from Le Moyne College in 2012 and previously worked for the Scotsman Press.