Several of Cayman’s youth sailors spent their Easter break competing in regattas in the Netherlands and Italy.
In the first of these, Jasper Nielsen and Xavier Marshall, both 12, battled gusty winds and freezing temperatures at the Optispring competition. They placed 70th and 103rd, respectively, out of a field of 223 sailors. Jasper also had his first international bullet – a win in a sailing heat – in race two of the event.
The following week, Jasper and Xavier met up with teammate Matheo Capasso, 14, and younger members of the squad to compete at the 37th Lake Garda meeting in Italy. Conditions for the event were perfect, with consistent big wind, waves and massive fleets where nearly 1,000 sailors competed.
Matheo represented the Cayman Islands in the one-day Country Cup event and finished in eighth place in a field of 35. Each competitor was chosen as the top sailor from their respective countries.
In the main event, Jasper finished 67th out of all competitors while Matheo came in 153rd. Xavier placed 287th overall, while also placing 130th in the silver division. In their first advanced fleet regatta, Allie Capasso, 11, and Ciara Murphy, 10, finished 782nd and 796th, respectively.
In the junior fleet, 9-year-old twins William and Rory Murphy sailed for the first time outside of the Cayman Islands and placed 4th and 14th, respectively, in the silver fleet, translating to 49th and 59th overall.
Matheo continues to gain recognition as a promising sailor. He has been selected to compete at the RenRe Junior Gold Cup regatta to be held May 8-11 at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, in Hamilton, Bermuda.
The youth competition is by invitation only and a scholarship from the RenRe organisation will pay all expenses for Matheo to compete for the Cayman Islands.
The event is in its 17th year. This is the first time the Cayman Islands has received an invitation.