BVI Sailors at 2013 MLK Regatta hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club.
Photo Credit: Provided
Sailors from the youth sailing programme run by The Royal BVI Yacht Club made a particularly grand impression on the first day of racing with jaw-dropping performances by several BVI sailors at the annual MLK Regatta hosted by the St.Thomas Yacht Club this past weekend.
A windy Cowpet Bay was the venue for the Regatta hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club on January 19 and 20.
For most of the first five Optimist championship races on the opening day, Jason Putley and Thad Lettsome were in the top 5. Lettsome scored one first overall. Veteran sailor, Sam Morrell scored one second overall and newer sailors Amelie Clark and James Dawson sailed well in challenging weather conditions.
Also on the first day, in the beginner Optimist green fleet, Nathan Haycraft scored one first place and two second places overall with George Dawson kicking off his first race hard on the heels of the first sailor to cross the finish. Similarly on day one, Matthew Oliver scored two second places and Jonathan Woods two third places in Laser radials.
The regatta was Oliver´s first in Laser radials, Lettsome's first in blue fleet, having recently aged out of white fleet, and Clark's first in white fleet since winning the green fleet late last year at the Columbus Day regatta also held in St Thomas.
The second and final day of racing, however, brought several surprises for all by way of constantly changing shifts in the wind direction and light squalls. Winds were high and hiking was difficult. Not to be deterred by this, BVI sailors secured several awards for the trip back home.
When final results unfolded, Jason Putley was awarded 2nd place in Optimist red fleet; Thad Lettsome, 3rd place in Optimist blue fleet; Amelie Clark, 3rd place in Optimist white fleet; Nathan Haycraft, 3rd place in Optimist green; and Matthew Oliver, 3rd place in Laser radials.
This year for the MLK regatta, The Moorings partnered with the youth sailors in support of nurturing young sailing talent as well as securing a young knowledge base and skills pool to service the marine industry as a whole in years to come.
The MLK regatta was a fun-filled one and is usually well supported by neighbouring islands as it is often used as a practice run up to the international regatta hosted by Club Nautico de San Juan two weeks later.
Sailing Instructor and coach, Omari Scott, was very delighted with the support from The Moorings and indicated that he was anxious to get young sailors back on the water here in the BVI next week to continue training for the upcoming regatta in Puerto Rico.
Scott said that his team placed in all events that it competed in and that he was very impressed with Matthew´s resolve in securing a podium spot finish in sailing with the more powerful radial sails in conditions that did not highly favour him.
He was also impressed with Thad´s sailing on the first day as one of the best sailors on the course that day. Scott also credited Amelie and James for unstinting hard work which will pay off in the future and for their dedication in tricky wind conditions.
He is especially proud of this green fleeters Nathan and George whom he hopes will soon be able to advance to championship racing if they keep up the strong sailing.