The Race Cayman 2010 regatta
reached a successful conclusion last week.
Ian Barrows of US Virgin Islands
won the Byte CII North American Championships and Cayman’s Compass Marine Team
of Mike Farrington, Matt Diaz and Sam Dawson claimed victory in the CISC J/22
Both events were run simultaneously
by the Cayman Islands Sailing Club with excellent conditions prevailing in the
North Sound where a total of 25 races were held over six days.
Jane Moon the event organiser said:
“This event was the biggest international sailing event that Cayman has ever
“A total 17 countries from the
Caribbean, Europe and the United States took part. Within the overall Race
Cayman event there was a youth event, racing in single-handed Bytes, and an
adult event racing J/22s, a fixed keel boat typically raced by a crew of three
The youth regatta combined the
Youth Olympic Games regional qualifying event and the Byte CII North American
Championship, while the adult event was the CISC J/22 International regatta.
Moon added: “The event exceeded our
expectations and the hope is that we will be able to continue to host more
major international sailing events in the future.
“Over 100 visitors came to Cayman
for Race Cayman and they were very excited by the ideal natural sailing
location that the North Sound offers. The water is warm, the sea is sheltered
and there is always an ideal sailing breeze.”
Barrows put in an awesome display
of sailing skills to run out clear winner and also qualify for the 2010 Youth
Olympic Games in Singapore in August.
The top four nations in the boy’s
and girl’s division qualified for the inaugural Youth Olympics too.
Behind Barrows, Eugene Hendrix from
the Netherlands Antilles took the silver medal, with Spain’s Marti Llena, already
qualified for the YOG but in the Cayman Islands to get some additional racing
practice, taking third.
In the battle for the Youth Olympic
Games qualification places, the top four qualifying counties were the US Virgin
Islands, the Netherlands Antilles, Bermuda and Cuba.
In the girl’s division the four
places went to Canada, USA, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
Oliver Fogarty was the top Cayman
finisher in 12th place whilst Marina Maffessanti finished second in the girls’
division. However, due to age restrictions Fogarty and Maffessanti are not
eligible to participate in the Youth Olympics.
Mike Weber with his instructors,
runs beginners to advanced racing classes at the sailing club together with the
government schools sailing programme.
He said: “We were really pleased
with the performance of our Cayman sailors.
“This event really put Cayman on
the map in the sailing world and reinforces all the hard work the team has been
putting in to raise the standard of competitive sailing in Cayman.
“Having a formal programme in place
to teach Caymanian kids at a grassroots level will feed this enthusiasm and
hopefully produce future sailing Olympians.”
In the J/22 event, eleven teams
battled it out in the North Sound with nine races being held over the three
days of competition.
The Cayman teams Compass Marine and
Ciao! led a strong field of international competition and faced tough
challenges from Peter Harper’s Jamaica team from Montego Bay Yacht Club and the
Bahamas team skippered by Jimmie Lowe from Nassau who were constantly in
contention for the top spots.
However, consistency paid off and
Compass Marine finished in first place with seven first place finishes in the
nine races, securing victory by a margin of eight points.
The Ciao! team of Tomeaka
McTaggart, Nick Taylor, Paul Johnston and Lindsey Macfee claimed second place
with the Bahamians edging out the Jamaicans by one point to finish third.
Sailors were able to enjoy perfect
Cayman sailing conditions with steady north to north east breezes at 12-15
The regatta was organized by Cayman
Islands Sailing Club in conjunction with the Byte CII Class with support from
Cayman Islands Government Ministry of Sport, Cayman Islands Olympic Committee
and a large number of local sponsors.
Moon added: “Particular thanks were
expressed to His Excellency The Governor Duncan Taylor and Taylor for inviting
participants to Government House for an opening reception, Acting Governor
Donovan Ebanks, Sports Minister Mark Scotland, CIOC Olympic President Donald
McLean, Chief Executive Officer Carson Ebanks and the army of volunteers who
manned race committee, mark and safety boats, organized shore administration
and social events, hosted visitors, secured sponsorship, lent boats, all of
whom contributed to the event’s success.
Visiting officials assisted with
race management and jury processes and according to International Judge Harry
Keith “the sailing was excellent as was the race committee work. The
hospitality of the CISC and the general friendly atmosphere of the Island was
fantastic. The whole trip was a total pleasure”.