NICKY SADDLETON SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDS HER BAHAMAS ALTS MATCH RACING TITLE.
This past Saturday the latest group of Adult Learn to Sail sailors had the opportunity to put what they had learned to practice during a friendly but fiercely competitive J-22 Match Race. Fortunately for everyone, the sailing conditions were perfect. It was a beautiful day.
Right from the start, defending champion Nicky Saddleton made it known that she was not “going down easily”.
Don’t be fooled by the smiling faces in the pictures. Many a brow was furrowed in concentration while the sailors were at the helm. Winning was on everyone’s mind. There were even playful wagers between spouses who were competing against each other.
Sailors from the previous sessions were invited to participate and we had a strong turnout of seven teams in total. Similar to the Americas Cup style of racing, two J-22s went head to head through a series of rounds until the champion was determined. Each boat was skippered by a student sailor and crewed by a more experienced expert and junior sailor.
The matches were intense and very exciting with each skipper’s technique changing ever so slightly according to what the wind dictated. We even had spectators motor through the race course while cheering on the sailors. Everyone wanted in on the action. Even a few stingrays.
Excitement was in the air!
From the vantage point of the dock, the leader in each match wasn’t always readily apparent. At times the boats were neck and neck as they approached the turn-around point. The victor emerged only after each team rounded the buoy and raced on-the-run to the finish line.
At the end of the day victory belonged to the defending champion Nicky and her team. Congratulations sailor! She is ‘the one to beat’ in the upcoming match races in June as she attempts a three-peat. See you there!