A team of 10 youth sailors pitted their skills against the elements during a 12-hour “sailathon”.
The sailors and their parents started at 6am on Saturday, 20 April, some having arrived much earlier to prepare their boats.
The youth sailors have all come through the schools’ sailing programme and are experts at setting up their boats. They sail most weekdays and weekends, and are members of the Cayman Islands Sailing Club.
They are dedicated to improving their sailing expertise with extensive training programmes and competing at the regular club events alongside adults.
The sailors had elicited sponsorship from friends, family and community members. They managed to raise more than $4,000. These funds will be used for travel to overseas regattas, so that they may compete regionally. There was a strong core group of supporters who encouraged the youngsters to complete their designated hours while the coaches ensured everyone was safe.
All 10 youths achieved their goal of sailing nonstop for 12 hours. Conditions were perfect and having circumnavigated North Sound, they visited Kaibo via Booby Key, Starfish Point and Stingray City on their way to Camana Bay before returning to the club to sail the last couple of hours at home base. A flotilla of small boats encouraged them on the last leg of the journey.
Exhausted, but exuberant, they still had energy to celebrate on the giant trampoline donated by Compass Marine. The Youth Reps provided luscious fare from the barbecue for all sailors and supporters.
The Sailing Club’s Rick Caley said: “Many thanks to all those who gave generously towards the youth fund for overseas regattas. They are the future of Cayman sailing and deserve our support as they are down at the club nearly every day.
“Florence Allan, Pablo Bertran, Jesse Jackson and Andreas McDermott have their sights on the Youth Olympic Games in China in August 2014. Allena Rankine is hoping to attend the Optimist Worlds in Argentina next year and the remaining kids are gearing up and preparing for their first overseas regatta later this year.”
For more information, contact the Sailing Club at [email protected]