Sunday, 12 May 2013

Opti / Laser Spring Regatta

The Optimist / Laser Spring Regatta hosted by the Royal Nassau Sailing Club on May 4 & 5 was held in perfect racing conditions on Montagu Bay.  Winds were a moderate 10 to 13 knots out of the west, which made it shifty and fun for the sailors. This regatta is one of the four major junior events held each year in The Bahamas and attracts sailors from many of the family islands, like Grand Bahama, Abaco and Harbour Island.  
Spencer Cartwright racing upwind
The Optimist class was divided into three separate fleets; the Gold for our advanced international level sailors, the Silver for intermediate level sailors and the Green for beginners (first year of racing).
Spencer Cartwright from Nassau, as he has done now for over two years led the way for the Optimists, winning the Gold Fleet trophy with first place finishes in all seven races over the two days. Second and third in the Gold were Cochise Burrows (Nassau) and Brendan Sands (Abaco) respectively. All three of these sailors are on the Bahamas Junior National Team and will be representing our country along with Benjamin Derbyshire(Nassau) at the Optimist World Championships in Italy this July. These sailors as well as Melisha Higgins (Harbour Island), also on the junior national team will be competing in the Optimist North American Championship in Bermuda in early July.
The Silver fleet saw very close racing among the top four sailors. Joshua Higgins from Harbour Island managed to pull off first place overall by winning the last race. Taking second place with only one point behind him was Britini Thompson from Grand Bahama.  Blake Roberts and Tahj Ramirez both from Nassau were tied points-wise but Blake ended up third and Tahj fourth with the tie break.
The Green fleet in this event was coached around the course. Out of six sailors three managed to make it to the finish line in each race. Our top three were first place, Tyler Saunders, second Alvin Lewis (Harbour Island) and third Noah Simmons (Harbour Island). As coach Dunkley said, “These three young sailors are getting the hang of it and starting to know their way around the course so it won’t be long before they will be competing in the Silver and then Gold fleets”.   
In the Laser fleet Nicholas Rolle ( Grand Bahama) and Paul de Souza  (Nassau) battled it out to the end. Every race was close and at the end of the nine race series Nicholas won overall by one point. This made for great racing.  According to Coach Dunkley these two are the best junior Laser Radial sailors in the Country today. Paul won the Bahamas Laser Junior Nationals last year and was the Junior National Sailing Team’s top performer in the four qualifying events for the ISAF Youth World Championship in Cypress, which he will be attending in July.  
Britni Thompson (GBSC) - Second place, Opti silver fleet
Congratulations to all the sailors and a special thank you to the Royal Nassau Sailing for hosting this event and again to the BSA junior program sponsors Bahamas Hot Mix, East Nassau Rotary, KPMG, Palm Cay, Bahamas Ferries, Royal Bank, Coca Cola, Odyssey Aviation, Cable Bahamas & Cable Cares, Kerzner Corp., Cardinal Co. Ltd. and Ministry of Sports.

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