Challenging winds was a breeze

Following on from the thrilling Royal Bank of Scotland Primary School Championships, the older sailors took to the waters to compete in J22 keelboats for the High School Championships.

The regatta was sailed on 4 December at the Cayman Islands Sailing Club. The conditions were extremely challenging and the first race was delayed whilst the coaches and race committee monitored the wind and wave conditions to determine if it was safe to go out.

In the early afternoon the wind die out a little (it had been gusting up to 18 knots in the morning) and the decision was made to go ahead.

Each school had a team of four or five sailors who raced a total of three races. They had been training for many weeks on the two CISC J22 boats. The J22 is a globally established one design race boat, normally sailed by a crew of three or four adults. The sailing club is home to a fleet of 14 of these exciting boats, 12 privately owned.

Cayman Prep fielded two teams and it was not surprising when their A Team got off to a flying start with the more experienced Thomas Hanson at the helm. Hanson led the youth team sailing in Race Cayman 2010 earlier this year, sailing against adults from a number of different countries and acquitting themselves well. Cayman Prep B team and St Ignatius fought it out for second place.

Cayman Prep A went on to dominate and win all three races. Prep B, helmed by Thomas Bishop, took second in the first two races but in a very exciting third race they pushed too hard having to duck St. Ignatius in a very tight manoeuvre and nearly lost one of the crew overboard. This gave St. Ignatius the opportunity to sail into second place and with Prep B failing to finish the course, gave them a share of second place.

Coach Raph Harvey praised the children and their teachers for their efforts over the year in preparing for this regatta and having the confidence to take out a $15,000 boat in strong wind conditions.

“Although some of these youngsters don’t yet have the body weight and strength needed to sail the J22 in strong wind conditions, the boat handling skills they have learned coming through the youth programme allows them to control the boats in the competitive situation.”

Rick Caley, sailing club manager, handed out the RBC trophy. He said: “As always the sailing club is grateful to RBC for sponsoring this event for the last 12 years.”

In other J22 news, three teams of adults from Cayman competed in Montego Bay in the Jammin’ regatta last week and three adults are training hard to go to the J22 world championships in 2011.

For more information please contact Rick Caley CISC manager. 
Tel: 947 7913, Cell: 926 7914, Email: [email protected], Web: www.sailing.ky

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