Sailors at the start line
Photo Credit: Provided
The Royal BVI Yacht Club was represented by a strong team of 13 youth sailors at last weekend's annual Columbus Day regatta, hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club.
The sailors for this event ranged from ages 6 to 15 years and are part of the many kids who practice with Coach Omari Scott after school and on Saturdays with the club's Youth Sailing Development Programme, which is run out of Nanny Cay.
The lone female BVI sailor on the Optimist team, Amelie Clark scored 5 wins making her the overall winner in the beginner's Optimist category, followed in second place by BVI's Nathan Haycraft with 3 bullets. BVIs George Dawson left 7 of his competitors behind to finish fifth.
These sailors are among the youngest of the team and have been sailing on average for less than 12 months and racing competitively for even less time, making their wins all the more impressive.
In the advanced Optimist championship fleet, BVI also brought home top awards. In the 10 and under White Fleet division, BVI took first, second and third places with sailing sensation Rayne Duff in first position, followed closely by BVI's Thad Lettsome with only 5 points separating the two. A comfortable third place was taken by Sam Childs.
James Rajic-Knight also competed in this division as one of its youngest sailors.
Jowan James competed in the under 13 Blue Fleet division.
Winning the advance Optimist championship overall was BVI's Jason Putley, followed by Sam Morrell in second place in the fiercely competed battle.
In the Laser 4.7 division, BVI's Mollee Donovan took first place over St Thomas's Challis Diaz in second. Still in the Laser division, radial category, BVI's Matthew Oliver secured a third place position to St Thomas' Colin Brego and Nick Gartner in challenging conditions, whilst BVI's Jonathan Woods made it to the fourth position.
The lone female BVI sailor on the Optimist team, Amelie Clark scored 5 wins making her the overall winner in the beginnerís Optimist category.
Photo Credit: Provided
Coach Scott encouraged all the sailors to continue to train hard and excel as the results show how sweet the rewards can be. He particularly noted that the kids work extremely hard and are improving their tactical skills on the water with continued practice and the many opportunities to execute those skills on the race course at events such as these.
Being a Caribbean man himself who enjoys working with the youth sailors, Coach Scott said that he hopes that results like this would encourage even more kids to get out on the water and learn to sail.
Team BVI sailors hope to make their next showing at Orange Bowl in Florida in December where over 350 youth sailors are expected to compete, but very much in a fun way.
To see the full results visit: http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/5817#_home and click results. For more information on the programs offered and to get involved, visit www.royalbviyc.org/sailing/youthsailing.html