Caymanian Youth Olympics hopefuls recently returned from Newport, Rhode Island where they competed in the inaugural Byte North American Sailing Championship.
All four sailors – Pablo Bertran, Shane McDermott, Florence Allan and Jesse Jackson – posted impressive results, finishing second, fifth, sixth and seventh overall respectively, out of a fleet of 15 boats.
On the first day of racing, sailors were greeted by a gentle 3-5 knots easterly wind. Betran was in fine form, with one second and two thirds.
He ended the day in second place, five points behind the leader. McDermott had a few mid fleet finishes and was sitting comfortably in fifth place – a spot he would not relinquish for the regatta – going into the second day.
Allan and Jackson were consistently rounding the windward mark in top five, but just could not get it together on the downwind legs and finished the day in 12th and 13th place.
On day two, the winds started out the same as the first, but eventually picked up to around 8- 12 knots – a welcome change for all sailors.
Betran and McDermott sailed consistently on day two and were able to maintain their position. Allan and Jackson put in a gritty performance on Sunday, which saw them jump a remarkable six places.
Coach Kelvin Brown had nothing but praise for his sailors. “The overall performance from the team was commendable, considering it was their first regatta in the boat and it was also Shane and Jesse’s first ever regatta outside of Cayman,” Brown said.
“The Cayman Island Sailing Club and the youth team thanks the Cayman Island Olympic Committee for their continued support, because without them this regatta would not have been possible.”
This regatta was used as a warm-up event in preparation for the Byte C11 World Championships and 2014 Youth Olympics Qualifier, which will be held in the same venue of Newport, Rhode Islands at the end of August.
The top ranked male and female competitors from the first five nations in the final scoring, will qualify their countries for a position in the single-handed sailing discipline of the Youth Olympic Games.