Governor Helen Kilpatrick was recently at the Cayman Islands Sailing Club to meet sailors before they headed out onto North Sound to start the first race of the 23rd annual J22 Governor’s Cup regatta.
The two-day regatta is the traditional start of the J22 season and is always closely competed.
“I am not a sailor myself,” said Mrs. Kilpatrick, “but I have learned a lot today from Peta Adams and her race committee and am delighted to be part of it. It was especially pleasing to meet the youth sailors.”
The light winds were unusual for this event and added a different flavor to the racing as strategy became all-important.
Mike Farrington, who has won the last four Governor’s Cup regattas, was out in front early but did not enjoy the dominance that he has become used to.
Simon Farrington, skippering Sunshine, was close behind with his Stingray spinnaker close on his brother’s stern serving as a warning that this year would not be a runaway event.
Tomeaka McTaggart was also challenging hard, and the Youth Team aboard DMS, who had very little spinnaker experience, were sailing well enough to mix it up with the best of them.
On the second day of racing, the winds started out too light to race and after a two-hour delay, the fleet ventured out onto glassy seas. However, the race committee had got it right, and the breeze picked up enough to run two more races. Pablo Bertran and the youth team showed they had learned quickly the mysteries of the big, baggy sail and led for most of the first race, beaten by just one second at the finish line by Mark Edmunds.
They were at it again in the second race, showing no fear of their adult competitors but could not quite beat off Mike Farrington, who finished comfortably in first place ahead of Simon Farrington and McTaggart.
Commodore Mike Farrington was quick to praise the youth team.
“The light conditions favored the lighter crews, and the youth took full advantage showing that under the coaching of Raph Harvey they have really upped their sailing skills across the board,” he said. “We hope they will now challenge us at every J22 event if they can find the time away from their Youth Olympic campaign.”