The BVI Dinghy Championships, hosted by the Royal BVI Yacht Club, took place in Nanny Cay over the weekend. The majority of participants came from the U.S. Virgin Islands, marking a two year decline in the number of participants from the BVI.
The weather conditions were stellar with winds of 6 – 12 knots, with sunny skies and calm seas. All proceeds from the event were donated to the BVI Youth Sailing Development Programme in support of instructor wages and the maintenance of sailing equipment.
Awards were presented on Sunday and showcased the sailing achievements of young sailors in the Caribbean. Awards recipients in the esteemed Optimist Championship were divided according to age category. Young BVI sailor Rayne Duff won first place in his age category. The remainder of young winners include:
- Red Winners (Children aged 13 – 15 years old): 1st place Teddy Nicolosi (St Thomas, USVI); 2nd place Rocco Falcone (Antigua); and 3rd place Robert Hunter (St Thomas, USVI).
- Blue (Children aged 11 – 12 years old): 1st place Rayne Duff (BVI); 2nd place Mateo DiVlasi (St John, USVI); and 3rd place Thad Lettsome (BVI).
- White (Children aged 10 years old and younger: 1st place Mia Nicolosi (St Thomas, USVI); 2nd place Nathan Haycraft (BVI); and 3rd place Maria Eldridge (St John, USVI).
The Optimist North American Championship takes place in July and will see young sailors aged 8 – 15 travel to Mexico and participate in this race. The BVI’s Rayne Duff, Nathan Haycraft and Thad Lettsome are some of the territory’s most experienced young sailors who will be traveling to Mexico to take part in this event.
This year the BVI Dinghy Championships included Laser Full, Laser 4.7, Laser Radial, IC 24 and 420 class raceboats. The winners include Andrew Barlas of St Thomas USVI (Laser Full), Abby Maddox of the BVI (Laser 4.7), and Rhone Findlay of St Martin (Laser Radial). Laser Radial and Laser 4.7 are classes of primarily junior sailors and they have smaller sails to make them more manageable for juniors. Laser Full sailboats are full rig primarily for men and heavy sailors.
Sara Hardee of St Croix, USVI, topped the 420 class and the BVI’s Colin Rathburn won the IC24 class. Benjamin Barlas of the BVI was named winner in the Sunfish Single class race.
The competition in the Byte -Youth Olympic Games Class saw Scott McKenzie (USVI) take first place and Paige Clark (St John, USVI) take 2nd place. Sam Morrell (BVI) did not take part in the regatta in this category as his Byte has been shipped to the USA for training this summer. Sam will represent the BVI in the Youth Olympic Games Sailing Competition in July 2014.
The event served as a successful fundraiser for youth sailing and with 28 races over two days, it showcased the racing achievements of Virgin Island sailors. Participants and attendees enjoyed food and refreshments from a range of BVI eateries including Myett’s of Cane Garden Bay, Sharky’s Tex-Mex Bar and Restaurant and Peg Legs Restaurant in Nanny Cay. Entertainment was provided by the renowned BVI dance troupe, the Cada Players.