What a fun weekend of sailing! This past Saturday and Sunday all of our dinghy classes, Snipes, Lasers, Sunfish and Optis were on Montague Bay battling it out. This was a challenge regatta with many sailing in boats they don’t usually sail - and it wasn’t just the junior sailors making all the noise. Many of our recent Adult Learn To Sail participants were right there in the mix of things yelling with their newly acquired expertise and spouting words like “staaarboard!”, “buoy rooooom!” and a repertoire of other battle-cry words. Also amazing was how obedient the fathers were to their sons’ commands as dads were crewing for the youngsters in the Sunfish class. As one of the kids said; “This is a first! It is the first time I have ever been in charge of my dad. Telling him what to do was great and he did what I said most of the time, cause if he didn’t he was going to have to swim back to shore…. and he ain’t that good a swimmer”.
In all, 42 sailors in 32 boats competed with teams coming from Grand Bahama and Abaco. The “hotshots” of the events were Eric Nabb (Freeport) in the Lasers, our junior representative this year at the ISAF Youth World Championships, Paul de Souza, Spencer Cartwright and Alande Forbes, our top three Optimist sailors who just recently returned from the Optimist World Championships and last but not least, Nicky Saddleton, the “reigning champion” of our Adult Learn To Sail J22 Match Race Championship. Paul and Alande accepted the Laser challenge with Paul actually winning in this class while Spencer took on and won the Snipe challenge. Nicky who with crew Lori Lowe raced in the Snipes, also made her debut helming the Snipe for the very first time and sailed amazingly well.
In the Jr./Dad Sunfish class two teams, the Rachel / Tim Sands Team (Abaco) and Tristan / Roger Eldon Team (Nassau) battled it out every race with the Eldons coming out ahead at the end of nine races….but by only one point.
In the Opti Advanced Fleet there was also close racing especially between Richard King and Brenden Sands. Brenden won his class and is on his way to doing well in the up-coming Bahamas Optimist National Championships (Oct 5 & 6 in Harbour Island). In the Optimist Green Fleet Tre Romer took top honors while Tahj Ramirez, who just started sailing this summer, placed second.
Judging by the smiles on all the sailor’s faces, I would say everyone had a great time. As you will see from David Valentine’s video and Dunk’s photos – all on the new BSA website www.BAHsailing.org and Facebook – the racing in all classes was close, challenging and fun.
It was extremely encouraging to see so many sailors of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds participating in this event. With thanks to the support of the Bahamas Sailing Association’s sponsors so many more young sailors have taken to the sport and now make regattas like this possible. So thank you JS Johnson, Cable Bahamas and Cable Cares Foundation, Rotary East Nassau, Odyssey Aviation Bahamas, Bahamas Hot Mix, KPMG, Bahamas Maritime Authority, Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture for your financial assistance. Your support really does help young Bahamians develop healthy, disciplined and productive lives.
Paul De Souza leading the way to the finish of the 8th race in the Mix-Up Regatta - In 9 races he took 6 firsts, 1 second and 1 third. - Way to go Paul!
Two juniors with their dads as crew battling to the finish line of the 7th race. Rachel Sands with her dad Tim (#3927) and Tristan Eldon with his dad Roger (#3963). In the end, the Eldons won by 1pt over the Sands duo.
Richard King sailing his new boat upwind during the Mix-Up Regatta. Congratulations on your second place overall finish in this event!
Spencer Cartwright (skipper) and Daniel Gibson (crew) crossing the finish line to win the Snipe division. Great sailing guys!
Trevor and Andrew Goodrum ducking the stern of Fernando De Cardenas. It was this sort of close sailing that was present in the Snipe class during the entire regatta.