Ten Team BVI Sailors raced in St Thomas this weekend at the 2017 MLK Regatta. It was a tough two days for all the sailors with the chill northerly wind gusting up to 30 knots across the race courses. Kael Chalwell, Rayne Duff and Sam Morrell all topped their classes, Opti Green, Opti Championship and Club 420 respectively.
Optimist Championship Fleet
Back with a vengeance after some time away from competition in the Optimist Championship fleet was Rayne Duff. Thriving in the windy conditions he was on form throughout the weekend. With nine races sailed, Duff took the bullet in seven, posting six consecutive race wins and finished on top of the podium ahead of arch rival Mia Nicolosi.
It was a less successful weekend for the other Championship fleet sailors... Nathan Haycraft finishing in sixth and Kyle Roose in ninth to give them second and fifth in the blue fleet.
Haycraft, forced to skip the first race after breaking his mast step, was luckily able to switch to a spare boat and get back into the action for the remaining four races of the day. A better second day saw him climb back up the leaderboard but not quite clicking into his recent top form. Roose posted consistent middle fleet results with his best finish of sixth coming in race six.
White fleet sailors Ryan Lettsome and Samuel Allen finished 17th and 18th overall respectively, both sailors challenged by the strong winds. Allen, the newest sailor to the championship fleet, could not quite match his excellent first day when he showed outstanding downwind speed in the breezy conditions. Just two points ahead was team mate Lettsome who secured fifth in the white fleet but like many of the lighter sailors found the conditions a major challenge.
The BVI's Sam Morrell, currently at school in St Thomas, was dominant in the five boat Club 420 fleet with crew Caroline Teare. Finishing first in five of the nine races he racked up a six point lead to take the overall win from Teddy Nicolosi of St Thomas. Morrell is looking ahead to a busy high school racing season, so we will be hearing more from him soon.
Optimist Green Fleet
The Green Fleet were wisely held ashore on Saturday but completed six races on Sunday under the watchful eye of Guest Coach Danny Petrovic. Kael Chalwell took the fleet by storm, finishing first in four of the six races by comfortable margins to secure an emphatic win.
Racing at his first overseas regatta was Antonio Cisneros. After not finishing the first race he went on to post confident results, including two 7th place finishes and rounded out the weekend in ninth overall.
Just two points behind in tenth place was Amanda Plaxton who stormed out of the blocks to finish fifth in the first race and went on to post consistent results through the remaining races. The youngest (and smallest) sailor in the team, Wil Seddon, struggled with the strong winds and after solid finishes in the first two races sat out the rest of the weekend.
Thank you to the organizers for putting on a great weekend, the Moorings for the mothership, all of the parents who helped load / unload, prepare meals or chaperone the team, skipper Chris, Coach Taylor, guest Coach Danny Petrovic and all the sponsors / supporters of the BVI Youth Sailing Team.
More classes will be confirmed on Tuesdays and Thursdays due to commence in February.
Team BVI Youth Racing Calendar...
Team BVI sailors will be competing at the following regattas over the next few months - stay tuned for how to follow their progress.
20-22 January - Caribbean Laser Midwinters - Danny Petrovic
3-5 February - Pan Pepin International Regatta, Puerto Rico: Opti, Opti Green & Laser Radial
18-19 February - Cruzan Open, St Croix: Opti & Opti Green
18-20 February - Club 420 Midwinters, Florida, USA: Sam Morrell
It's that time of year again...time to renew your membership at the Royal BVI Yacht Club.
Your membership is very important to us and helps us continue managing a successful youth sailing programme.