Team Fortis starts well in KPMG regatta

The KPMG International Invitational J/22 Regatta started in earnest on Saturday with nine teams competing with Team Fortis, the Cayman youth team, doing exceptionally well.

Team Fortis came second, third and fourth in their three races on Saturday to place them amongst the leaders for the final two days competition.

Team Fortis is Mike Weber (driver), Chris Delaney, 17, (bowman), Nadeska Concha, 14, Marina Maffassanti, 14, Stuart Jennings, 16. The reserves are Hugo McErlean, 14 and seven-year-old Aleena Rankine. Weber is Cayman Islands Sailing Club’s director of sailing.

Donald McLean, the experienced Caymanian who has raced at the Olympics, was amongst the leaders on the first day too in his boat Team Radium. McLean is the president of the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee. Compass Marine were expected to be one of the fastest but they didn’t have a good day on Saturday.

‘I think we’re in the top three and I’m very happy with that,’ said Weber on Saturday before the standings were confirmed. ‘We’re very happy with our boat speed and our goal was to be the first or second boat off the start line and then sail a conservative race and our goal is to finish in the top three and we’ve accomplished that so far.’

Despite their success, Weber was not entirely happy with their form. ‘I’m happy with the second and third but not the fourth because I made a lot of mistakes. The kids had a great day, the mistakes are mine and I’ll have to sail better the next two days.’

Weber was pleased to see the turn out with boats coming from England, Puerto Rico, Italy, New York, Texas and Jamaica. ‘Everyone’s sailing well and they’re only going to sail better, especially the teams that haven’t been on the J/22 that much. They can expect it to be a very competitive regatta, the teams are great, great sportsmen and women.’