Cayman finds some success at CAC Games

Cayman sailor Allena Rankine

The Central American and Caribbean Games continued Tuesday in Barranquilla, Columbia.

Squash

A day after winning bronze medals in the Women’s Doubles and the Mixed Doubles divisions, Cayman’s squash team returned to the courts.

In the Men’s qualifiers, playing out of Pool C, Cayman went up against Trinidad and Tobago. First on the court was Jacob Kelly, who won three out of five rounds against his opponent. Tied at two games each, Kelly walked away with a 11-5 win in tiebreaker to give Cayman its first win in the qualifiers.

Next up was Cameron Stafford, who went on to win all three of his matches, 11-5, 12-10, and 11-6.

The final men’s competitor was Julian Jervis, who also won his three games to help secure Cayman’s spot in their group. His final scores were 11-4, 11-5, and 11-8.

In the Women’s Singles qualifiers, the Cayman ladies played Guatemala in Pool A. Eilidh Bridgeman took to the court first. She lost her opening match 5-11 but rallied back and claimed the following three matches 11-8, 11-6, and 11-7.

Marlene West, Cayman’s next player, lost her opening match as well, by 2-11. Although she was able to win the second match, 11-6, she lost her third and fourth matches, 8-11 and 7-11.

Cayman’s third and final female competitor in the qualifiers was Jade Pitcairn, who, like her teammates, also lost the first match to her Guatemalan counterpart. Despite the 7-11 defeat, Pitcairn was able to assert her dominance in the game and went on to secure the remaining three games 11-9, 11-3, and 11-5.

When the men returned to the courts, they went up against Guatemala, a side that proved very difficult. Playing in the same order, Jacob Kelly took to the court first. Despite a valiant effort, Kelly lost all three matches 4-11, 8-11, and 9-11.

Cameron Stafford was next up and also faced a tough opponent. Stafford lost his opening match 5-11, but not being one to go down without a fight, Stafford dug deep and found the strength to claim to the second and third matches, 11-9 and 11-7. Despite his best efforts, he would still go on to lose the remaining two games, 9-11 and 13-15.

The Cayman women’s squash team with their Colombian adversaries, from fourth left, Marlene West, Eilidh Bridgeman and Jade Pitcairn.

Julian Jervis, Cayman’s third and final men’s qualifier, was able to win all three games, 11-6, 11-7, and 11-4. However, Kelly and Stafford’s losses meant they did not advance out of the qualifying stages.

In the women’s second set of qualifiers, they played against Trinidad and Tobago. Eilidh Bridgeman got the ball rolling for Cayman with a 12-10 win in her first match, but went on to lose her second match 9-11. The back forth continued with Bridgeman claiming the third game 11-7, only to lose the fourth 5-11. In the final round, she managed to overpower her opponent 12-10 to give the Cayman ladies a one up advantage.

Marlene West was next on the court and went on to secure the squad’s position with three straight wins, 11-5, 11-8, and 11-7.

Last on the court was Jade Pitcairn, who went on to seal the women’s victory with three out of five wins. Pitcairn took the first two games 11-9 and 11-5 but went on to lose the third and fourth games 6-11 and 3-11. In the tiebreaker, she managed to clinch an 11-7 victory.

On Wednesday the Cayman ladies advanced to the semifinal round in the Women’s Team division – having beaten Trinidad & Tobago and Guatemala – where they faced the host, Columbia.

First on the court was Marlene West, who lost all three sets, 6-11, 1-11, and 0-11. West was followed by Jade Pitcairn, who also fell to her Columbian opponent in all three sets, 7-11, 4-11, and 5-11.

The back-to-back loses cost Cayman the match, thus Bridgeman did not play.

Despite the defeat, Cayman’s women still tied with Barbados to claim third place. Cayman’s men’s team narrowly missed out on medals after losing to Jamaica.

Sailing

Off the coast of Puerto Velero, Cayman’s Allena Rankine continued to face troubled waters. Competing in the Women’s Single Handed Laser division, 18-year-old Rankine finished the competition in 10th place with 81 points accumulated over nine races.

Rankine says the CAC games were a new experience for her, and she is grateful to have been able to compete against some of the world best Women’s Single Handed Laser sailors.

“I kind of didn’t know what to expect because I’ve never sailed at this ability level before, or with people that have sailed in the Olympics before. So, I think I did pretty well being that I wasn’t too far behind them,” she said.

On Wednesday, after seven days on the water, the CAC sailing events officially concluded

In the Men’s Single Handed Laser Division, Cayman’s Shane McDermot finished 10th while Jesse Jackson placed 12th. McDermot and Jackson competed against 15 other sailors.

In the Open Hobie 16, Alun Davies and Florence Allan finished 8th out of nine teams.

An additional eight days of games remain, during which Cayman will compete in Athletics and Beach Volleyball.