A team from Saint Ignatius Catholic School triumphed in the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) School Sailing Championships at the Cayman Islands Sailing Club (CISC).
St Ignatius, which also secured victory in last year’s championships, held off spirited challenges from three other schools – Cayman Prep and High School, Cayman International School and Grace Christian Academy.
Racing was held over several weekends and in three classes of sailboats – Bytes, Picos and Optimists.
Going in to the final day, a team from Cayman Prep held a slender one-point lead over St Ignatius, but those positions were reversed during an exciting and sometimes tense competition.
The teams raced all day, completing seven races in 10-15 knots of wind, a schedule and race conditions which would be considered gruelling even by adult sailors.
In addition to winning the overall competition, St Ignatius also secured victory in the Byte CII class, while Cayman Prep won the Pico class and Cayman International School triumphed in the Optimist class.
The race officer for the event was CISC coach Marisa Bailey.
Darren Tricket, representing RBC, was on hand to award the prizes to the winning teams. Mr Tricket congratulated the competitors and thanked all the volunteers who helped to organise the regatta.
CISC Sailing Director Mike Weber said that St Ignatius was a deserving victor overall, adding that he was particularly impressed with the school’s Byte team of Stuart Jennings, Hugo McErlean and Joe Roberts.
‘Stuart, Hugo and Joe sailed a very consistent regatta, often placing first, second and third respectively,’ said Mr Weber. ‘St Ignatius was also the only school with a team coach, Mr Rick Caley. Mr Caley made some smart decisions on crew placements which helped the team accumulate points.’
Although the RBC Sailing Championships has been held at Red Bay’s CISC for several years, the 2007 event was the first time that it has taken place over an extended period.
‘We are very pleased with the outcome,’ said Mr Weber. ‘The students’ sailing skills improved and the month-long competition made for close and exciting racing.’
He added: ‘The Cayman Islands Sailing Club wants school sailing to be one of the most popular sports in local schools and we are very happy that RBC shares this vision.’
Next year’s school sailing circuit will run from January-March 2008. Schools are encouraged to contact Mr Weber at [email protected] in order to be a part of the event.
For further information about the CISC, including sponsorship opportunities and details on the youth sailing programme, either visit www.sailing.ky or contact Club Administrator Heather Bradley on 947 7913 or at [email protected].