Rayne Duff at the United States Optimist Dinghy Association 2013 National Championships at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan.
Photo Credit: Provided
BVI youth sailor, Rayne Duff attended the United States Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA)2013 National Championships at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club, Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan.
USODA National Championships is the premier championship event for Optimist Dinghy (7'6" kids racing sailboats, used worldwide) in America, held each summer. Attended by over 260 sailors, with over 240 racing in the championship fleet, Rayne did the BVI proud.
With so many sailors attending, each in control of their own boat, the race organizers split the group into three heats of approximately 82 boats each, randomly assigned at first until results begin a seeding process whereby at the the end of a qualifying round they have determined the top third of the group, who are separated into a Gold Fleet and race for the Championship title.
The remainder of the competitors continue to participate for the Silver Fleet Title. Rayne, racing with sail number IVB 911, qualified for the higher level Gold Fleet placing 38th of 242.
During the Medal Rounds in Gold Fleet Rayne rose to a position of 9th overall by race 9; however, a starting penalty and two difficult races dropped him to finish in 54th of the 242 competing sailors by the end of the event.
Sailors in these regattas range in age from 8 to 15 and as such the organizers also score the sailors by age group in addition to overall.
The groups are labeled by colour with the oldest being Red for kids 13-15 yrs old, the middle is Blue for sailors 11 or 12 years old, and the youngest for sailors 10 yrs old and younger.
Rayne therefore took an additional position of 5th in the White Fleet, being just ten years old.
Rayne heads off on Sunday to the African Championships to be held in Mykonos, South Africa on August 10-18 this summer. You can watch his progress there at http://www.africanopti2013.com/
Rayne's teammates, also sailing the same class of boat; Jason Putley and Thad Lettsome, are currently in Lake Garda, Italy participating in the Optimist World Championships and you can track their results at http://www.fragliavelariva.it/en/regatta/1042/view.